Max Hermann Maxy and the Romanian avant-garde - screener

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Max Hermann Maxy and the Romanian avant-garde

Year: 2017, 31.9 mins
Code: LDR-Maxy

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The film follows the footsteps of Romanian artist M.H. Maxy (1895-1971)

Maxy played a tremendous role in the history of modern painting in Romania. His body of work spans a large part of the twentieth century.

While many of his contemporaries emigrated to the West from Romania and some became internationally known, Maxy did not leave his home country. The documentary aims to raise the curtain that kept him unknown outside Romania, with an exhilarating presentation of some of the works of the artist and encouraging research and academic discourse on the subject.

In 1922 and 1923, Maxy studied in Berlin, Germany, along with another Romanian artist named Arthur Segal. During this time, he was exhibited at the “Der Strum” gallery in Berlin and joined the November Group, a Socialist German cultural organization which promoted expressionist art. Constructivism dominated Maxy's early works, but he later began painting in a moderate modernist style (noted for its realism and narrative mode). Throughout the 1920s and the 1930s, Maxy also displayed his art in Bucharest, often together with other artists.
He became a scenographer with the Yiddish theater in Bucharest in 1939. In 1941, when anti-Jewish legislation was passed in Romania by the fascist regime, Maxy became the director of the Jewish Theater. During this time, Maxy also taught students excluded from the Romanian public education system at the private Jewish School of Arts. He became the director of the National Museum of Art of Romania and, in 1949, a university professor at the Nicolae Grigorescu Institute of Arts, as the School of Fine Arts was now called. Maxy died in Bucharest in 1971, at the age of 75.

Art Institute of Chicago owns an artwork from Maxy and his works are shown in many Romanian art exhibits in Bucharest, as well as Prague, Moscow, Berlin, Warsaw, Budapest, Sofia, Belgrade, Athens, Cairo, Damascus, Istanbul. (Wikipedia Max_Hermann_Maxy)

Director/Cinematographer/Editor: Lee Dragu,

Lee Dragu is the great-nephew of M.H. Maxy. He emigrated to the United States as a child and grew up in Chicago. A graduate of the film program at the University of Iowa, he has worked in the film industry in Los Angeles for 35 years. He has also been a filmmaker in residence at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Historical Consultant: Irina Livezeanu
Composer: Matthias Weber, Vera Weber


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