Ioan Isac-The fulfillment of a vocation

Ioan Isac-The fulfillment of a vocation

volume Ioan Isac-The fulfillment of a vocation elaborated by the art historian Mihaela Vlăsceanu approaches a new material in specialized historiography - a private painting collection located in the house where the painter lived in Timișoara during the interwar period, the editorial project being carried out by the Mega Publishing House from Cluj-Napoca. The context in which the volume appears is also unique, namely the organization of a retrospective exhibition dedicated to the painter 70 years after his death and 9 years after his first presence on the grounds of the Banat Museum. The project was financially supported by a private entity from Timișoara (Amiacor Association) through Dr. Caius G. Streian, who took care of the volume and opened the doors "Ioan Isac Museum", bringing to the National Museum of Banat, the entire collection of which his lordship is the custodian, to which are added works donated by the painter's wife of the Banat Metropolis, as well as works from private collections.

            The study with the value of an artistic monograph captures the stages of artistic development of the painter from Banat, through an analysis of the artistic discourse, with a selection of the most successful creative solutions discovered, insisting on the evolution of the technical mastery built through formal additions coming from the contemporaries of the guild and, of course, of the published sources that refer to the self-taught painter, who managed to overcome his modest condition in a period of deep transformations of the interwar Banat society.

             The painter Ioan Isac (1885-1950) returns to the public's attention, through the works presented in the exhibition hosted by the National Museum of Banat between September 4 and October 7, 2020, with different works from a thematic and especially stylistic point of view, highlighting phases of his formation his artistic works, testimonies of the course of knowledge and the awakening of national consciousness in a period of profound transformations of European and Romanian society, of the definition of nations and the search for local and national specificity with identity value. Among the multiple valences of Isaccia's painting, the space described by him becomes the expression of a permanent dialogue initiated with nature, which he cultivated and documented through the personal diaries he kept in which he inserts daily observations of history in direct connection. Among the published sources, those in which we discover references to the painter who became "the most important representative of the plein aire artistic movement in Banat", we mention the articles from the interwar Banat press, a mirror of the multicultural society that resonated with everything that meant innovative spirit . Bringing together in the pages of the volume the published and unpublished sources, to which the comparative stylistic analysis is added, the study contributes from the perspective of the methodology of the study of art history to the understanding of the controversies related to the conditions for the fulfillment of a talent. The work of art becomes a historical document, a snapshot of Romanian daily life that attests to national values, in a century of - ISME, of the separation and reconnection to a Europe of contrasts.

            Isac's favorite subject - nature, was captured in various poses, nature that he knew, understood, interpreted and loved in the manner that consecrates the painter unanimously evoked as a virtuoso of gender. The interwar art of Banat was a tool capable of generating transformations of the society and of the individual in which he lived, through an education of taste, through the formation of a progressive attitude and mentality. From the simple world of the Romanian village, seen through the eyes of the Romanian intellectual animated by the national sentiment, where symbols become recurring images, to the cities that consecrated him through the exhibitions organized, whether we are talking about Timișoara, Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest where he participated at the official picture salons with works appreciated by the discerning public, Isac proves to be a skilled critic of light and color. The architecture of his development can be found both in the landscapes of the mountainous Banat, but also in the investigation of classical subjects - views of European and Eastern cities made in a stage of stylistic maturity.

      The place of the painter Ioan Isac in the national painting gallery, but also his role in what defines the artistic style developed in synergy with the model of Europeanness that started after the birth of the nations, is outlined by the fulfillment of an artistic vocation that emphasizes both the national and the Europeanness, constants of creation in the interwar period, specific to this area of ​​convergence of civilizations - Banat. His creation marks an original moment of synthesis achieved in the realm of arts through west-east and north-south confluences, through contacts with European centers with which there was a permanent exchange of ideas. The initiative initiated by the Isac retrospective is an invitation to the world of the museum created by Ioan Isac in his personal home, a gallery reopened to the public through the exhibition held at the National Museum of Banat. From a stylistic point of view, whether they furnish landscapes or are details of the landscape, the technique is the same, the painter using the chromatic palette to orchestrate a poetics of space, looking for the patina of time on the weathered facades or on the rotten shingles of wooden churches , the same being valid for the plastic contouring of the interiors of sacred spaces of churches. The Isaccian artistic identity took shape in a period of liberation from European conventions, his creation becoming eventful through the way in which, through additions, constructions and deconstructions of light and color, he creates compositions with optical and tactile effects resulting from a trained aesthetic sense of the self-taught . Ioan Isac who overcame the barriers of history, becoming one of the main exponents and initiators of impressionist painting in Banat.

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