Iulia Hălăucescu

VI. Talk


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New Art

Born on the 31st of March 1924 in Tarcau within the Neamț Mountains she has been passionate about art since childhood. She played theater, recited poems, wrote scripts and was fascinated by gypsy dances. Nevermore, she has been selected the class painter for her botanical and anatomical drawings.

During this period, she encounters her teacher Lupu-Chesloi who introduces her to the watercolour techniques, uncovering the enigma of colour and water. This prompts her to be the winner of a competition organized by “Children’s Universe” as well as many other scholar competitions.


In the year of 1943, during the middle of WW2 her life reaches a crossway as she enrolls in the courses of the University of Bucharest where she takes up philosophy as a major. At this time, her artistic career seems to stagnate. However, something she did not yet know was that the universe was merely paving her pathway toward finding her true topos. Within an auto-biography, Iulia states that her study of philosophy has prompted her to better organize her thoughts, reaching essences, as she further confesses that she did not plan on pursuing a career in philosophy, but on organizing her ideas coherently. She takes up private lessons with Schweitzer-Cumpană whom, through guidance and advice imprints the force of colour and form unto the young artist.

In 1948, at the same time with the educational reform she definitively parts ways with her philosophical career and painting devoutly embraces her. She marries Lucius Petronius Hălăucescu, her confident in matter of art, the soul of many of her exhibitions, a Theo Van Gogh. At the debut of their romantic love story, Iulia would communicate through images. It is a suite of watercolour in a vibrant sentimentalism, which would be unequaled in her artistic endeavours, but which marks, beyond its lyrical undertext, her artistic debut with the watercolour technique, a technique for which the artist writes chapter of her own. During this period, the artist gravitates between the techniques of oil and watercolour and at the same, it is the the start of a period of timid but more and more pregnant artistic incursions. As she returns to Piatra Neamț, Iulia shifts her gaze upon the city of Iași, the city where Ștefan Dumitrescu and Nicolae Tonitza excelled. In 1948, as she provides a few paintings and graphical drawings for the regional competition, she is lucky enough to be spotted by Nicolae Baba. His keen eyes immediately spots her particular stamp and her veritable artistic mark and he recommends to her that she should enroll in Belle Art, in the autumn of the year 1949.

There and in Bucharest, after the dismantling of Belle Art the artist polishes a bunch of techniques as well as her vision which she garnered during her private lessons with Schweitzer- Cumpană.

Prior to becoming “The lady of Romanian watercolour” as she not only imposed herself to the public whom she enthusiastically electrised during each exhibition,  but also to the art critics, she has continously gravitated between oil and watercolour.


Whereas her biography mentions techniques such as tapistry and monumental art. At least during her debut years, in the 50’s oil and watercolour were the two attraction poles between she has been trying to choose until instinct showed her the path toward full and original expression.

Her works have been analyzed by numerous critics who attempted to atribute her a style found in the artist’s sphere of influence,  thus some believed the artist belonged to a group of artists born between 1921 and 1926 caracterized by the figurative-decorative relation. Others have pondered that the most natural and strongest link was that between the artist and the Iași school of watercolour which represents Romanian colourism. Amelia Pavel compares her to Kircher and Heckel with whom she relates through the art of contures  and spatial cut-outs, whereas Grigore V. Coban uncovers similarities to the graphical art of Braque or Marquet. However, all critics are unanimous in asserting her original synthesis in watercolour.

The artist structured her work in cycles, and showed them up in more than 50 personal exexhibitions both in Romania and abroad, individually or in groups. This cyclical conception allowed the artist to highlight the essence of her personality, to change registers, to innovate and above all to find her own expression.

Today, the artist’s creations are present in the collections of numerous museums in the country but also in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Canada, Switzerland, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, Israel, Japan, Russia, Sweden, the USA, the Netherlands and even Australia.


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, Albert Marquet, Raoul Dufy, Romanian Colorism, Constantin Ridinschi, Adrian Podoleanu


1943-1948 Bucharest Faculty of Philosophy

1949-1950 Iasi Academy of Fine Arts

1950-1953 Nicolae Grigorescu Institute, Bucharest

Iulia Hălăucescu

“I tried to reproduce what I feel. I, traveling a lot both in the country and abroad, sought to capture various moments, which I could immortalize and synthesize[….]

I, born at the top of the mountains, lived on an ascending line, on high lines, so I saw either the bottom-up perspective, or the bird’s perspective from top to bottom, and I created a style of this kind[…] like this, as I felt my art and nature itself should be[…..]

The focus today is on money more than on art. It’s unfortunate. According to me, the works created by hand are abandoned for what the machines produce, for anything else, except for those made by the hand and the soul. As long as there is art, there will be man. The soul cannot but triumph, no matter how much we go towards materialism and a science of such a degree, there is a God and something spiritual, which leads humanity.”


2000 National Order “For Merit” in the rank of Knight (December 1, 2000) “for outstanding artistic achievements and for the promotion of culture.


1994 The title of Honorary Citizen of the municipality of Piatra Neamt (March 31 1994)


Diploma of honor awarded by the International Biographical Center, Cambridge United Kingdom


21st Century Lifetime Achievement Award from The American Biographical Institute United States


1963 Founding member of the Art Museum of Piatra Neamt, Romania


2003 Iulia Hălăucescu Art Museum Opened in 2003 Piatra Neamt, Romania

Solo Expositions


1954,1956,1959,1964,1968 – Bucharest, Romania

1984-Retrospectiva ’60  – Dalles, Bucharest

1956,1967,1970,1976,1977,1978,1979,1991,1993, – Piatra Neamt, Romania

1987 Piatra Neamt Art Museum, Romania

1957 Prague

1994 Retrospectiva ’70 – Piatra Neamt Art Museum, Romania

1996-1997 Piatra Neamt Art Museum

1999 “Panta Rhei”-Piatra Neamt Art Museum

1999 Retrospectiva ’75 – Piatra Neamt Art Museum

1999 “History on canvas” -Piatra Neamt History Museum

1960,1963,1965,1969– Bacau

1988 Bacau Art Museum, Romania

1967,1971,1978,1984,1985,1986,1996 Iasi, Romania

1964-National art Museum in Tg Mures, Calarasi, Mangalia, Medgidia


1954-1997 -“Graphic Saloons”  Bucharest – 30 participations between 1954-1997

1955-1983 “Bienalele de pictura Dalles” – 16 Exhibitions between 1955-1983


Collective Expositions

1957– Prague

1962-Cairo and Alexandria, Egipt


1962- Morocco

1962 – Syria

1962 – Athens

1969 – Rusia

1971 – Boston and Cleveland, USA

1972 -Philadelphia, USA

1973 Osaka, Japan

1974 – Prague




1975 – Irak

1975– Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi, Muree Pakistan

Philippines – 1975

Ciudad de Mexico – 1975

Germany – 1977

Istambul, Ankara  Turkey – 1977

Stockholm, Sweden – 1977

Germany – 1978

Rio de Janeiro – 1982

Italy – 1982

Tanzania – 1982

Algeria –1982

Morocco – 1982

Beijing, China – 1984


1985- Berlin, Rostock Germany

1988- Israel

1989 Moscov, Rusia

1989 Berlin

1992 Bayonne and St-Jean-Pied-de-Port ,France.

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