Adrian Ghenie, Million-Euro Artist, Returns to Romania


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Considered by critics, but also by art lovers, perhaps the best-known and best-rated contemporary Romanian artist internationally, Adrian Ghenie returns to an auction in Romania with a large and expressive work. It is an intricate “Self-Portrait” of youth (made in 2003-2004), which is available in the “Artmark Auction of Postmodern and Contemporary Art, including a charity sequence for the awarding of a scholarship to encourage the research of Romanian art”, an event that presents to the public over 200 contemporary creations and which will take place on Tuesday, February 20, from 7 p.m., both at Cesianu-Racoviță Palace, and online, on the Artmark Live platform.

The exceptional work in the auction, whose price starts at 50,000 euros, presents one of his first known self-portraits and dates from what the artist called “a strange period”, with many searches, when he emigrated to Austria and was as young as on what to give up painting. Originally from Baia Mare, Adrian Ghenie has set new sales records in recent years. His painting “Pie fight Interior 12”, made in 2014, was recently awarded in May 2022 for €8,000,000 at an auction in Hong Kong. At profile events in Romania, his record for another compositional self-portrait (2006-2009) was registered at Artmark, in December 2019, for 150,000 euros.

“Painting is the only medium in which the visceral nature of the world can be expressed”, is the opinion of Adrian Ghenie, the artist whose works can be found today in the most important collections in the world – such as the Center Pompidou (in Paris) and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (from New York).

Abstract Composition

The new event of Casa A10 by Artmark also brings together the most important Romanian postmodern artists, among which there is also a small collection of works belonging to Marcel Iancu, coming from different periods and made in different techniques, from lithography to abstract paintings in oil.

Complex artist, creator of several artistic worlds, striking avant-garde in Romania, founder of universal Dadaism in Zürich, dividing himself between plastic, scenography and architecture (in France he had worked as an architect for the reconstruction of buildings from the ruins of the First World War), he emigrates out of conviction in Palestine, where he is still celebrated as the founder of the modern Israeli school of painting.
Two of these works, painted in the classical technique of oil on canvas in the manner of lyrical abstraction, are called “Composition with Masks and a Drum” and “Abstract Composition” and are conservatively estimated at €1,500-2,500.

The auction event on February 20 also includes a charity section, in which 18 works participate, including “Caryatide” by Irina Dragomir, a work that was part of the “Young Blood” exhibition, from Art Safari (Bucharest, 2019). With the money raised from the sale of lots marked with a red heart, A10 by Artmark grants a scholarship to encourage the research of Romanian art, in a classic and precise manner, consisting in the creation of monographs on important Romanian heritage artists, widely valued in the art market, but insufficiently researched academically and documented in the specialized literature.

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