Joseph Iliu (1914-1999) - Original drawing
Beautiful original drawing by Romanian artist Joseph Iliu
Pencil on paper
Stamp of the artist's signature lower right.
Size of the drawing: 10.3 x 8.8 cm
Total format with frame: 25.5 x 22.2 cm.
Joseph Iliu (1914-1999)
Born in 1914 in the region of Sibiu, Romania. Twentieth century.
Active in France and since 1951 also active and since 1956 naturalized in Canada. Romanian.
Painter, sculptor, illustrator, decorator, ceramist. Abstract.
Strong supporter of integrating the arts into architecture.
Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Cluj, he does illustrations for literary magazines
and produced theatrical sets, notably in Bucharest at the start.
In 1942, he obtained a scholarship for Rome, where he settled until 1949, before settling in Paris.
He adheres to the current of geometric abstraction and participates in numerous group exhibitions in Paris, in particular:
Salons des Réalités Nouvelles in 1949 and 1950, the Surindépendants.
He shows his works for the first time in a solo exhibition in 1937 in Bucharest,
event which will be followed by many others, notably in Montreal and Toronto.
He exhibited in Parisian galleries with his compatriots Natalia Dumitresco and Alexandre Istrati (Galerie Huit - 1951).
But it was in Montreal (Quebec) where he settled between 1951 and 1968 that Joseph Iliu a powerful mural art (reliefs, sculptures, mosaics)
intended to integrate with contemporary architectures resulting from the abundant post-war construction programs.
His art combines metallic materials, monumentality and sensitivity to light.
His paintings, vast compositions in black, white and gray, are abstract, with flexible shapes in very balanced arabesques.
He has completed more than forty works of integrating art into architecture and is renowned as one of Canada's great designers.
He tries to give a spiritual dimension to his decorative sets, composed of all kinds of materials:
ceramic, tiles, aluminum, glass paste, cement, bricks, marble, enamels ...
The most famous mural works of Joseph Iliu in Canada are as follows:
The Petroleum Club in Edmonton, a commercial building in Winnipeg.
In Toronto, we can cite the giant Dominion Store, the entrance to the Royal York Hotel, the high-relief mosaic of the CIL Building.
In Montreal and the surrounding area, he made the murals for the Saint-Bernardin -de-Sienne church,
the Construction Center, the entrance hall of Peel Center,
the entrance hall of the Blueridge, the entrance to the Northern building, the Caisse populaire Saint-Zotique, the gymnasium of the Cardinal Newman school,
of a school in Laval-des-Rapides, many facades of private homes
as well as the exterior fresco of a former Steinberg supermarket in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district from 1955.
Note also the large mosaic which decorates the facade of the Waterloo town hall.
In 1973, Eugène Ionesco wrote an essay entitled "The Canadian Walls of Joseph Iliu".
It underlines how the Romanian artist has been able to use his aptitudes to compose with space, architecture and light.
Some of his works are kept at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Bibliography: Romanian artists in the West, American Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences, Los Angeles, 1986.