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© Whitford Fine Art 2017

Natalia Dumitresco (Romanian 1915-1997)

Natalia Dumitresco was a French-Romanian abstract painter associated with the Réalités Nouvelles salon of Paris after the Second World War, a movement influenced by the art of Wassily Kandinsky and Alberto Magnelli. Other abstract expressionist painters associated with the Réalités Nouvelles include Serge and Alexandre Istrati whom Dumitresco later married.

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 her country including a solo exhibition at Sala Dalles in Bucharest in 1946.
Thanks to a French grant, Dumitresco and her husband Istrati moved to Paris the following year. 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 XV arrondisement of Paris and worked for him until his death in 1957. Istrati and Dumitresco were named the legal executors of his will and together reorganized the Studio Brancusi at the Pompidou Centre, subsequently dedicated in 1977 as a wing of the museum. The couple moved in 1958 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 and are buried in the same grave with Brancusi.
Dumitresco's style of painting followed the movement of the Post-War trends that evolved in the School of Paris circle. After a number of years working in black and white, she tackled the problem of colours, showing originality and a great freshness of colours in her compositions.

Dumitresco won many prestigious awards, including one from the group Espace in 1952, the 1955 Kandinsky Award, the 1957 Prix des Amateurs et Collectionneurs d'Art, and the Carnegie Prize in Pittsburgh in 1959.