Natalia Dumitresco

Romanian/French, 1915-1997 Biography

Natalia Dumitresco, born in Bucharest, Romania in 1915, was a French-Romanian abstract painter associated with the Réalités Nouvelles salon of Paris after World War II, a movement influenced by the art of Wassily Kandinsky and Alberto Magnelli. Other abstract expressionist painters associated with the Réalités Nouvelles include Serge Poliakoff and Alexandre Istrati. 

Dumitresco received her diploma from the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1939, the same year she and Alexandre Istrati were married. From 1940 to 1947, she worked and exhibited in Romania. In 1946, she had her own dedicated exhibition at Sala Dalles in Bucharest.

Because of a French grant in 1947, Dumitresco and her husband Istrati moved to Paris. They soon befriended the legendary sculptor Constantin Brancusi, himself a displaced Romanian. At his request, the couple moved into a studio next door to his at 11 Impasse Ronsin in the XVth arrondisement of Paris. They worked for Brancusi for nine years until his death in 1957. Istrati and Dumitresco were named the legal executors of his will. Together with his wife, Istrati reorganized the “studio Brancusi” in the Pompidou Center in Paris, dedicated in 1977, as a wing of this illustrious museum. Istrati moved with Dumitresco in 1958 from l’Impasse Ronsin to 18 Rue Sauvageot, where they built their ateliers on a property left to them by Brancusi. They both became naturalized French citizens in 1965.

Dumitresco’s style of painting followed the movement of the post–war trends that evolved in the School of Paris circle. Beginning in 1952, Dumitresco won many prestigious awards, including one from the group Espace in 1952, the Kandinsky Award in 1955, the Prix des Amateurs et Collectionneurs d’Art in 1957, and the Carnegie Prize in Pittsburgh in 1959. This early period in the 1950s is the finest of Dumitresco’s and will further be explored by historians and collectors in the future as this school of painting is more critically reviewed.

Prix Kandinsky, 1955
Prix des Amateurs et Collectionneurs d'Art, 1957
Carnegie Prize, 1959

Galerie Breteau, Paris, France, 1950
Galerie Huit, Paris, France, 1951
Galerie Arnaud, Paris, France, 1952
Galerie Arnaud, Paris, France, 1954
Galerie Arnaud, Paris, France, 1956
Galerie Aujourdhui, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Belgium, 1956
Galerie Arnaud, Paris, France, 1957
Galerie la Roue, Paris, France, 1959
Saidenberg Gallery, New York, New York, 1959
Galleria del Naviglio, Milan, Italy, 1960
Galerie de la revue XXème siècle, Paris, France, 1960
Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany, 1960
Hanover Gallery, London, England, 1961

Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France
Centre National d'Art de de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Musée d'Art Contemporain de Dunkereque, France
Musée d'Art de d'industrie de Saint-Etienne, France
Musée des Beaux-Art de Nantes, France
Musée Despiau-Wlerick, Mont-de Marsan, France
Musée Picasso, Antibes, France
The Hirschorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
Kunst Museum, Basel, Switzerland
Städtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim, Germany
New York University Corporation, New York
The Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York
Rose Museum Brandheis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
Saint-Louis University, Missouri

Oil on canvas
36 ¼ x 28 ¾ inches
38 ¼ x 30 ¾ inches framed
Signed lower right: N. Dumitresco
Signed, titled, and dated on reverse
Executed 1964