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Art Fridays: Studio Visit with Sculptor Patriciu Mateescu

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

The Artist’s amazing journey


Venerable Patriciu Mateescu, one of the greatest post-war Romanian sculptors and the founder of Princeton-based Hamangia Foundation, is the artist in focus at our Art Fridays this week. Succeeding in transforming the ceramics into a major art and influencing a whole generation of disciples, Mateescu’s works vary from small to large scale cast porcelain, to unique stoneware figurative monuments in Romania or to abstract composition, all in the hands of this highly skilled artist. His art comes in such various shapes - elongated, curvaceous, circular, geometric, angular - that the eyes of the viewer are confronted simultaneously with the miniature and the monumental, his work being eclectic and unpredictable.

Romanian-American visual artist PATRICIU MATEESCU was born in 1927 in Răchitoasa, Romania. Despite his 93 years of age, he still works daily in his studio, stating that art helps him carry on. He created his first public sculpture - a bust of Stalin for the Romanian USSR Embassy - back in 1946, right after the end of WWII, after graduating high school and joining the Romanian Communist Party. Until 1950 he worked to achieve a Master’s degree in Sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest. In 1962 he won the prestigious Gold Medal at the International Ceramic Exposition in Prague, Czechoslovakia. In 1965 he was elected as Secretary of the Decorative Arts Section of the Romanian Union of Fine Arts and in 1968 he was awarded the Romanian Order of Cultural Merit for his contribution to the Arts. In 1973 the artist represented Romania at the First U.S. International Ceramic Symposium at the Memphis Academy of Art. A few years later he moved to California at the invitation of art collector John Waller, who organized for him a ceramic workshop. Other awards won: Gold Medal at Form und Qualitat, Munich, 1966, Henry Reynaud Prize Istanbul, Turkey, 1972, Diplome d'Honneur at the 3d Biennial of Ceramics, Vallauris, France, 1972. Patriciu Mateescu has lately established himself in Princeton, New Jersey, in the house which Hamangia Foundation, gathering over 100 works of art, will transform into a museum space once the artist has completed his final sculpture.

Studio Visit with Sculptor Patriciu Mateescu (2020)

"Ceramics is the only art that makes one believe in miracles" - PM.

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