Using the Catalogue
The project of gathering and cataloguing the works started in 2014. Invaluable here was the archive initiated by the artist himself (exhibition catalogues, list of collectors, autobiographic fragments, photographs of the works and newspaper clippings going back to the 1950s). His late wife, Viky, ordered and conserved the archive when she was re-locating the studio - we cherish her life-long dedication and commitment to Bitzan’s legacy.
The list of works is not exhaustive. We are still in the process of locating pieces, all of which will be uploaded after documentation.
In 2017 a major retrospective exhibition was organized by the Romanian National Museum of Contemporary Art - MNAC Bucharest. About 900 works were catalogued on this occasion. We thank the museum for all its dilligence in promoting the work of Ion Bitzan and are particularly grateful to Cristina Cojocaru, art historian, whom the museum entrusted with the research of the Ion Bitzan oeuvre in view of a printed Catalogue Raisonné. Our thanks are due to museums and auction houses for allowing us to use their photographic material. We owe our utmost gratitude to private collectors, to owners of works, to art historians, art critics and not least to our friends who each and all contributed to our research.
Each work is given a catalogue raisonné number, consisting of two parts. The first four digits represent the year of creation: this is followed by the consecutive number given to the work during our research. Editions have a number consisting of three parts; the third part shows how many editions were identified.
Whenever a work is unsigned/undated we opted for a year of production based on the year of first mention in the Archives (for example exhibition catalogues, photographs, correspondence with art galleries, accession numbers). If also that information was not available we used the dates recomended by the experts we consulted.
All main titles are in Romanian, except for the works which were publicly presented for the first time outside Romania – here we chose the language of the host country. If a newly presented work toured to different countries, all relevant titles are given. Alternate titles are also mentioned when the same work was published in different exhibition catalogues or photographs of the same work exist under a different title in a museum archive.
Photographs are by Marcel Almajanu, Barrie Barreto, Serioja Bocsok, Nelu Coltofeanu, Florin Dragu, Trevor Good, Iosif Kiraly, Achim Kuest, Giampaulo de Luca, Alexandru Marginean, Cornelia Soanca, Octavian Stacescu. Great efforts were made to provide high resolution images, but we also had to use a number of mobile telephone images taken by owners of the works. In other cases, we had to use images from whatever available sources such as exhibition catalogues, newspapers and various archives.
Images on the home page have the following credit line: Bogdan Moțoc/1975, Peter Jacobi/1992, Ion Bitzan Foundation Archives.
Un-located works/Present whereabouts unknown
These are works, known to exist, that could not yet be located. There are several reasons for this such as having been destroyed (e.g.Earthquake), recycled by the artist or not returned by exhibiting galleries to the artist/estate. Also as un-located count works not found in the storage (temporary custody and museum owned) of the National Museum of Contemporary Art and works transferred from the National Museum of Art of Romania to the Cluj Municipality, Bucharest Municipality and to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other museums tin Romania that had works by Bitzan and that cannot be found anymore are: Art Museum Medgidia (dissolved in 2009) and Muzeul Gravurii, Bistriţa, Bistriţa-Năsăud.