Ion Alin Gheorghiu



Ion Alin Gheorghiu



Birth Date


Death Date



painter, sculptor

Biographical Text

Ion Alin Gheorghiu was a painter and sculptor. Born into a modest working class family, he studied at the Institute of Fine Arts under the famous professor and painter Camil Ressu. Gheorghiu finished his studies in 1954 without graduating; his final degree piece, “Creanga si Eminescu la Iasi”, was considered to be both nationalist and formalist, which was unacceptable during the period of Soviet–inspired Socialist Realism.

Until the withdrawal of the Red Army in 1958, his work was rejected in official exhibitions. He had to earn a living by unloading potato vans at train stations and had no studio to work in. However, after 1958, he was accepted into national and international shows, exhibiting widely in Memphis, London, Prague, Moscow, Paris, Warsaw and more. He was awarded many international prizes, including the Homage to Picasso Award in Italy in 1983. Gheorghiu chose to have very few solo exhibitions. Despite repeated invitations to receive his degree, he refused to do so, regarding his initial rejection as a badge of honour. He was elected a member of the Romanian Academy in 1999.

The themes of Hanging Gardens and Chimeras are two significant poles in Gheorghiu’s art and reveal his fascination with mythology and fantasy. Many of his abstract sculptures in cast metal are entitled “chimeras”. Although influenced by Dimitrie Paciurea’s elemental chimeras of earth, water and fire, they seem nevertheless to stem from Gheorghiu’s own imagination, reflecting his personal exploration in the use of chromatic rhythm and simplification of form.

Entry authored by Dr Alex Popescu, Dec 2016




“Ion Alin Gheorghiu,” Tyler Collection of Romanian and Modern Art: University of Tasmania, accessed December 4, 2022,