#19 UAP Awards

The true value of certain awards


Let us tell the truth: the force and quality of contemporary visual arts in Romania do not have the visibility and recognition they deserve in the local public space. In a culture traditionally centered on literature, and recently more oriented towards the spectacular-performing arts which attract a large public, visual arts are a sort of Cinderella that has to demonstrate all the time its value and utility. Nevertheless, starting with Brâncuși in the past and up to Adrian Ghenie in the present, the most famous and expensive artists of Romanian origin were (and are) visual artists. Moreover, the vitality of the young visual scene in Bucharest and in other Romanian cities is astonishing and very promising, although little reflected in the mass-media.

That is why we are dedicating the thematic file of the issue no.19 of Revista ARTA to the 2015 Awards of the Union of Visual Artists of Romania (UAP). Resumed after eight years, with the help of the Ministry of Culture, these awards represent a sign of normality in a convulsive socio-political reality. These sixteen awards were conferred to well-established artists belonging to different visual domains, but also to several gifted young artists, and they all deserve our recognition.

We also wish to believe that these awards demonstrate a new interest of the authorities for an artistic field which was deprived of correct institutional support and funding so far. But, beyond recognition and respect, Romanian visual culture needs much more, in fact: a National Fund for contemporary art, created by annual acquisitions of art works, and a big International Biennial of visual arts in Bucharest, supported by the same Ministry of Culture, would be the two projects that could render to the visual arts their true importance.


Magda Cârneci, Editor-in-chief


Cristina Bogdan

Founder and editor-in-chief, between 2014-19, of the online edition of Revista ARTA. Co-founder of East Art Mags, a network of contemporary art magazines from eastern and Central Europe. Runs ODD, a s...