Ion Grigorescu

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Self-portrait, lithography, 1975.

Ion Grigorescu (1945) is a Romanian artist. Grigorescu is one of the very few multimedia artists in Romania who during the communist regime conducted visual research on the body: a taboo topic at the time. The artist’s body became work “material”—perceived as a “medium” and surface—onto which mental images are reflected. His body performances are to be seen as “post-happenings” with the emphasis no longer on the temporal dimension but rather on the photographic snapshot that, however, preserves a performative character. These works, like many others from the 1970s and 80s, would go public only much later. (Source)

Member of Prolog group. He published texts on history of photography in the magazines Arta and Secolul 20.

"When I started recording events, back in the 1970s, I was not too much into theory; my relationship was in fact with technology. It exerted a kind of magnetism on me similar to that of the TV set, or to the vision provided by the camera obscura, or to looking through spy holes, or to voyeurism. It was leading to the same solitude and illusion of communication as the Internet platform of today. In the 1980s, my vision on this changed. I stopped being interested in the actual recording process, and developed an interest in living among others, in society, in finding my own place among people. My comeback in the 1990s made me finally think that performing in everyday life may be a dangerous thing to do, and so is improvising ad infinitum." (from artist's statement)


Election Meeting, still, 1975. Courtesy: Artist.
  • Election Meeting, 1975, 28 photographs, b/w, 20 x 30 cm each. Snapshots taken during a rally in Bucharest, with a camera hidden on the artist’s hip, catching Securitate agents supervising the crowd and contrasting this view with that of with the ordinary participants, who were relaxed, tired, or bored.
  • Dialogue with Ceauşescu, 1978, N8mm film / DVD, 7 min 11 sec. Here, the artist plays two opposing roles, in one of which he is wearing a mask with the face of Ceauşescu [1], Youtube.
  • Post-mortem Dialogue with Ceauşescu, 2007, Video / DVD, 22 min 29 sec.
Other works

Recent exhibitions[edit]

  • Ion Grigorescu, Am Boden, Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria, 2006
  • Ressources, with Geta Brætescu, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania, 2007
  • Ion Grigorescu, Retrospective, Artra, Milano (curator: Marco Scottini), 2008
  • Superpositions, JGM Galerie, Paris, France (curator: Ami Barak), 2008
  • Le temps a modifié les lieux, Enseigne des Oudin, Paris, France, 2008
  • Ion Grigorescu & Lili Dujourie, Ludlow 38, Goethe Institute New York, USA (curator: Anders Kreuger), 2009
  • The Poor People Are Fending for Themselves, Angels, Barcelona, 2009
  • Ion Grigorescu, In the Body of the Victim 1969-2008, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland (curator: Kathrin Rhomberg), 2009
  • Oedipus the Wanderer, Galerija Gregor Podnar, Berlin, Germany, 2010
  • Ion Grigorescu, colecţia Mircea Pinte, National Art Museum, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (curators: Mihai Pop & Călin Stegerean), 2011
  • Horse/Men Market, Museum Sammlung Friedrichshof, Zurndorf, Austria, 2011


  • Omul cu o singur camer / The Man with a Single Camera, ed. Alina Şerban, Sternberg Press, with Asociația pepluspatru, Erste, 2013, 362 pp. With contributions by Maria Alina Asavei, Nuno Faria, Klara Kemp-Welch, Anders Kreuger, Ileana Pintilie and Alina Şerban. [2]


  • Magda Radu, "Art and Politics: considering some of Ion Grigorescu’s films and photographs", PDF. (Romanian)

See also[edit]