PANAITE, Aurel Virgil




         In the first ten years after graduation, Aurel Virgil Panaite became known especially as a teacher with special qualities, dedicated to training young talents and through the accomplishments of his students from "Dimitrie Cuclin" Art High School, Galati, which they gained at national specialized contests. His 2000 personal exhibition can be considered a turning point in the sculptor’s work, primarily by its sustained concentration on his own creation, but also by a series of motives and themes that he would subsequently develop. Folklore and the ancient Biblical wisdom represent milestones of his plastic investigations whose significations are inventively transposed in the forms and in the techniques approached by the artist. The good-bad duality carries ancestral connotations and it finds direct artistic expressions in Panaite’s sculpture. The moral evolution, the steps of spirituality are concepts usually configured in synthetic volumes from which the richness of texturality is not missing, no matter the material used (wood, marble, metal, unconventional materials or mixt techniques). The inclination to serious meditation often mingles with an inclination to humor, a shift made nonchalantly with expressionist accents or with compositional structures reminding one of archaic 
motifs. The impression of life and coherence prevails in the way his sculpture is received. A vital component of Panaite’s creation represents the importance given to the correlation between his sculpture and the environment, a fact visible both in the ensembles of works created and also in the urban projects conceived in the last few years.

Mariana Tomozei Cocoș (2014)



    (Galati, 1960) 

    Academic studies: 
    1992 - Faculty of Decorative Arts and Design, specializing in sculpture, "George Enescu" Academy of Arts, under the guidance of the following professors Vasile Condurache and Ion Antonica, Iasi, Romania.

    Professional activity: 
    1992 - 2002 - Professor at the "Dimitrie Cuclin" School of Art, specialized in Sculpture and Fine Art, Galati, Romania. 
    2010 - Urban planning, "Mihai Eminescu" Park, Galati, Romania; 
    2013 - 2014 - Architectural project with fountains for the urban planning of Green Square Braila Boulevard, Galati, Romania. 

    since 1960 - Member of the Romanian Fine Arts Union (Galati Branch)


    Solo exhibitions:
    2000 - Between Heaven and Earth, "Nicolae Mantu" Art Gallery, Galati, Romania.
    Group exhibitions:
    1991 – Young Artist’s Workshop, Iasi, Romania;
    1994 - Museum of Visual Art, Galati, Romania;
    1995, 1996, 1998 - Group exhibition held by the Romanian Fine Arts Union, Galati Branch, Romania.
    1991 – Dumbrava Sculpture Camp, participating with the work The Gate (oak wood), Iasi, Romania;
    1998, 2001 - Romanian Contemporary Sculpture, Visual Art Museum Galati, Romania;
    2006 - Creative Camp Art like life, participating with the work Toaca (wood and metal), Galati Visual Arts Museum, Romania.
    - Personal Toys (double portrait);
    - Vicious circle series (works The Jay, The Liters, The Beak, The Liars)
    - The First Sin;
    - Adam and Eve;
    - Altar;
    - Wedding in Heaven;
    - Altar (ronde-bosse);
    - Toaca (a complex structural ensemble, consisting of a central ronde-bosse, of about 2 m, surrounded by 12 other ronnde-bosse's, in a hourglass shape. On the central shaft, the artist raised up human faces with hieratic expressions - 12 hourglass carved in walnut, treated in a complicated way after carving - electroplating).
    Monumental works:
    1992 – The Nation’s Column, a monument dedicated to the heroes of the 1989 Revolution, Dorohoi, Romania.


    Artist’s Archive


    Stoica, Corneliu, The Dictionary of Fine Arts Artists of Galati , second edition, revised and whole, Axis Libri Publishing, Galaţi, 2013, p. 65-66.
    Critical References:
    Ciuca, Valentin, Illustrated Dictionary of Fine Arts in Moldova 1800 - 2010, Art XXI Publishing, Iasi, 2011.
    Ciuca, Valentin, A Century of Fine Arts in Moldova, Art XXI Publishing, Iasi, 2009.