Alexandre Istrati was born in Romania in 1915. At the early age of nine he began to paint, but decided to study law at the University of Bucharest from 1932-1937. In 1938, Istrati received his diploma from the Art Academy of Bucharest, where he acted as professor until 1947. He married the Romanian painter Natalia Dumitresco in 1939. Istrati received many awards for his work in Bucharest. He obtained the Prize of the “Salon Officiel” and the Prize of the Musée Simu in Bucharest in 1941. He participated in painting exhibitions in Bucharest from 1941 through 1946.
Because of a French grant in 1947, Istrati and his wife were able to move to Paris where they definitively established themselves. Istrati studied at the atelier of French cubist André Lhote and at the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris.
Istrati and Dumitresco befriended the legendary sculptor Constantini 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.
Istrati’s pictures are colorful and romantic. They open a world of sounds and colors. What appears chaotic is a passionate growth of the colors. Sometimes the color swabs sit easily like powder on the canvas, other times they are sucked in with the movement of the composition.
He received the Kandinsky Prize in 1953. In 1955, he participated in the Prize Lissone in Milan, and in 1957 in the Carnegie Institute Exhibition in Pittsburg. He was Member of the Comité du Salon d’Octobre in Paris from 1952-53, Member of the Comité du Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Paris from 1955 to 1965, and Member of the Comité du Salon Comparaisons in Paris from 1965 onwards.
Prize of the Musée Simu, Bucharest, 1941
Prix Kandinsky, 1953
Comité du Salon d’Octobre, Paris, France
Comité du Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Paris, France
Comité du Salon Comparaisons, Paris, France
Galerie Craven, Paris, France, 1950
Galerie Colette Allendy, Paris, France, 1952
Gallery Circle and Square, New York, New York, 1953
Galerie Denise Réné, Paris, France, 1954
Premio Lissone, Milan, Italy, 1955
Galerie Craven, Paris, France, 1956
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1957
Galerie Europe, Brussels, Belgium, 1957
Galeria de Arte Contemporanea, Caracas, Venezuela, 1957
World House Galleries, New York, New York, 1958
Gres Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1959
Galleria del Naviglio, Milan, Italy, 1959
Galerie de la revue XXème siècle, Paris, 1960
Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany, 1960
Hanover Gallery, London, England, 1961
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pomidou, Paris
Foundation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Venice
Musée d'Art Contemporain, Dunkerque
Musée d'Art et d'Industrie, Saint-Étienne
Muséedes Beaux-Arts, Nantes
Musée Des-piau-Wlerick, Mont-de-Marsan
Musée Picasso, Antibes
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Madrid
Städtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim
Musée de l'État, Bucarest
Musée de l'État, Sofia
Forgham University, New York
The Hebrew University, New York
Saint-Louis University, Missouri
San Francisco Museum
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Smithsomian Institution, Washington D.C.