Doina Botez

Doina Botez was born in Bucharest, Romania. She obtained her MFA in 1975 from the “Nicolae Grigorescu” School of Fine Arts in Bucharest, where she had been awarded the “Ion Andreescu” prestigious merit scholarship. While still in school, Doina Botez, began showing her works as a painter and graphic artist and started taking an interest in book illustration, especially children’s books. After graduation, her works are selected for participation in most major group shows of the Romanian Visual Artists Association and she becomes a prolific children’s books illustrator. In 1984 she is awarded a scholarship to study in Italy. The time spent studying and making art in Italy would prove very influential for her future. At about the same time, as an outgrowth of her interest in children books illustration, Doina starts doing animation and scenography for the largest Animation Film Studio in Romania. The illustrations she made for a book of poems by a dissident poet, well-known and much loved by the public, but criticized and censored by the communist dictatorship, brought unwanted attention to her art, the ideological message of which was considered hostile to the political regime. She is forbidden to do any work as a book illustrator and becomes a kind of persona non grata. This was a critical juncture in her personal and artistic life: she decided to leave her native country, painful as this decision was. In November 1989, barely a month before the fall of the communist regime, she leaves the country, travels to Italy and settles in Rome. Since then she has dedicated herself exclusively to painting, and graphic art and has been an active participant in the artistic landscape of Italy and elsewhere in Europe, including Romania, her native country. In 2004 she obtained the Italian citizenship, while renewing her ties to the country of her birth.
Doina Botez solo shows in prestigious public spaces and private galleries in Italy and abroad, as well as the positive critical attention given to her work, attest to her success as a noted contemporary Italian-Romanian artist. In 1996, this time at the invitation of the Romanian Government, she participates in the “Monumenta Romaniae Vaticana” exhibit, and her painting, an interpretation of a old miniature work, “Madonna Romena”, is donated by the Romanian Government to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. In 2000 she is commissioned to do a monumental fresco for a cupola in the old wine cellar of the famous wine producer Mastroberardino, in the Campania town of Atripalda. The work is a Bacchanalia, with characters typical of this mystical festival, central to the cult of Bacchus. In 2009 the Italian National Museum, Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome, hosted Doina Botez’s solo show, “Nosce Te Ipsum”, in one of its most prestigious spaces, Sala delle Colonne. The show was jointly sponsored by the Italian and Romanian cultural government organizations. In 2013, Skira, one of the world’s most renowned publishers of fine art books, published a monography album, “Doina Botez, Il Corpo Dell’Immagine, Works 1989 – 2013”, under the cure of noted art critic and historian Flaminio Gualdoni. 

Solo Shows

2014 Galeria Romana, Bucharest, Romania
2012 Galleria Mediterranea, Napoli, Italy
Galleria Spazio 120, Rome, Italy
2009 Italian National Museum, Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome, Italy
2007 Galleria Arena, Reggio Calabria
2006 Palazzo Rospigliosi, Zagarolo, province of Rome
2003 Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, San Marino
2002 Palazzo Ducale di Santo Stefano, the Mazzullo Foundation, Taormina, Sicily
2001 Caruso Gallery, Milazzo, Sicily
Zeitart Gallery, Wuelfrath, Germany
2000 Mastroberardino Winery, Atripalda, Italy; monumental work: Bacchanalia fresco 
1999 Galleria Borghese, Mentana, Province of Rome, Italy
Galleria L’Approdo, Avellino, Province of Campania, Italy
1998 Casa Del Popolo, Genazzano, Province of Rome, Italy
1996 Palazzo dei Capitani, Ascoli Piceno, Italy
Wilhelm 94 Gallery, Wuelfrath, Germany
1995 La Rinascente, Rome, Italy
Romanian Embassy in Vatican City, Rome, Italy
1994 San Francesco Monastery, Ravello, Italy
1993 Galleria dei Greci, Roma, Italy
Du Simplon Gallery, Vevey, Switzerland
1992 Galleria Lombardi, Rome, Italy
Galleria L’Approdo, Avellino, Province of Campania, Italy
1990 Galleria La Seggioal, Marina di Camerota, Salerno, Italy
1989 Home of Art Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
1986 Galleria Il Canovaccio, Rome, Italy
1985 Romanian Academy, Rome, Italy 
1983 Home of Art Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
1980 Vrije Gallery, Utrecht, the Netherlands
1978 Orizont Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

Selected Group Shows

2014 International Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Sulmona, Italy
(participation every year 1998 – 2014)
2014 4th Romanian Graphic Arts Exhibit, Bucharest, Romania
2013 3rd Romanian Graphic Arts Exhibit, Bucharest, Romania
2012 2nd Romanian Graphic Arts Exhibit, Bucharest, Romania
Salon of Contemporary Romanian Painting, Cite des Arts, Paris, France
2010 Galleria Spazio 120, Rome, Italy
Galleria Arena, Reggio Calabria, Italy
2007 “Il De Nittis” International Biennial Exhibition, Trani and Barletta, Italy
2004 Archaeological Museum, Villa Genovesi, Sant’Alessio Siculo, Italy
Galleria Pan, Genazzano, Province of Rome, Italy
2003 G. Bargellini Art Museum, Pieve di Cento, Province of Bologna, Italy
2002 Galleria Il Gianicolo, Perugia, Italy 
2001 Pulcheria Arte, San Pietro Palazzo, Comune di Piacenza, Italy
2000 Galleria Il Gianicolo, Perugia, Italy
1998 Helga Wicher Gallery, Wuppertal, Germany
Galleria Molducci, Bologna, Italy
Galleria dei Greci, Roma, Italy
1997 City Exhibition Hall, Santa Croce di Magliano, Province of Campobasso, Italy
Casina Vanvitelliana, Bacoli, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
Galleria La Rochetta, Capo d’Orlando, Province of Messina, Italy
Galleria Quadrum, Imola, Province of Bologna, Italy
1996 The Templars’ Hall, Molfetta, Province of Bari, Italy
1995 Arts Fair, Bologna, Italy
Artists’ Cultural Circle, Rome, Italy
Galleria dei Greci, Rome, Italy
1994 Galleria Il Gianicolo, Perugia, Italy
The Commune Palazzo, Avellino, Province of Campania, Italy
Suzzara Prize Exhibit, Suzzara, Province of Mantua, Italy
Galleria L’Approdo, Avellino, Province of Campania, Italy
1993 Haus Martfelt Museum, Schwelm, Germany
1992 Haus Martfelt Museum, Schwelm, Germany
1991 Galleria Il Faro Centro D’Arte, Belvedere Marittimo, Region of Calabria, Italy
1990 Bologna’s Annual Children’s Book Fair, Bologna, Italy
1989 International Biennial of Books, Bratislava, Slovakia
(participation also in 1981, 1983, 1985)
1988 Barcelona International Biennial of Books, Barcelona, Spain
(participation also in 1984, 1986)
1987 Mail Art, Francavilla la Mare, Province of Chieti, Italy
1986 “Juan Miro” Art Competition, Barcelona, Spain
(participation yearly from 1978 to 1986)
1985 Romanian Art Exhibit Moscow, Soviet Union
1984 Romanian Art Exhibit, Czechoslovakia and Poland
1983 Romanian Art Exhibit, Detroit, USA

Prizes and Awards

2014 Prize of Excellence awarded by Zonta Club, Bucharest, Romania
2006 “Beato Angelico” International Prize, Rome, Italy
2002 “Emotions in Harmony” Prize, Messina Regional Prize
2004 “Il Quadrivio” Prize, International Exhibit of Contemporary Art, Sulmona, Italy
(prize also awarded 1999 and 2000)
1998 Silver Medal, International Exhibit of Contemporary Art, Sulmona, Italy
1990 First Prize ex aequo, 4th Edition of Borgo Festival, Rome, Italy
1985 Commune Prize, Pescorocchiano, Province of Rieti, Italy
1984 Silver Medal at exhibit, “Arts, Science, Letters”, Paris, France
1984 Children’s Books Illustration Award, National Council for Children, Bucharest, Romania
1984 “Trophy of the Young Reader”, awarded by the Bucharest Municipality
1982 “Achievement in Animation” Award, the Romanian Association of Movie Makers, Romania
1981 Children’s Books Illustration Award, National Council for Children, Bucharest, Romania
1980 “Trophy of the Young Reader”, awarded by the Bucharest Municipality
1979 Second Prize at the exhibit “Humor in Visual Arts”, Bucharest, Romania. 

In the Press

Commentaries on Doina Botez’s art and exhibits in the Italian and Romanian art history and criticism publications are multiple and her contributions to contemporary visual arts are favorably evaluated. 
List of commentators: Grigore Arbore Popescu, Wanda Albanese De Leo, Ion Andreiţă, George Băjenaru, Berenice-Iolena Baldini, Anna Barricelli, Alina Breje, Franca Calzavacca, Carlo Fabrizio Carli, Domenico Cipriano, Renato Civello, Daniela Crăsnaru, Wanda Albanese De Leo, Virginia De Simoni, Jenny Gatta, Giorgio Di Genova, Paolo Gorietti, Flaminio Gualdoni, Dan Grigorescu, Domenico Guzzi, Alois Huning, Isabella Hurezan, Adrian-Silvan Ionescu, Luigi La Rosa, Giovanni Lauricella, Paolo Levi, Cleopatra Lorinţiu, Mario Lunetta, Susanna Misiano, Aurelia Mocanu, Virgil Mocanu, Ugo Moretti, Luigi Morgione, Stefan Nicolae, Cesare Panepuccia, Stefania Peccerillo, Plinio Perilli, Loreta Popa, Cristian Porretta, Maria Teresa Prestigiacomo, Marina Preutu, Isabela Pulpan, Theodor Redlow, Paula Romanescu, Mireille Schnorf, Adriana Settimi, Riccardo Sica, Adina Stefan, Claudio Strinati, Leo Strozzieri, Simona Vărzaru, Maurizio Vitiello. 
“The artist has drawn the sap of her creativity from the enthralling testimonies of millennia-old narrations. And thus, in front of us, there unfold experiences ripened in the process of intellectual evolution, in the form of a series of paintings where the artist has been able to describe the impulses which animated the rich mythical past in which gods and half gods mixed in with popular imagery, among a fervid swarming of satyrs and fawns, of bacchants and nymphs, generated by a new form of composition, where fantastic expressionism plays an indicative part. In a passage which one might define as natural and, in a certain way, foreseen, Botez amplified the visionary facets of the theme by the erotic, terrifying or grotesque portrayal of a face, of more faces, of a body, of more bodies, whether human or animal, thus cancelling the traditionally implied meaning and rendering the metamorphosis with passionate attention to reconstituting it differently and charging it with other expressive capacities, other powers, which reveal the secret and obscure energy of fantasy and dreams”. (Franca Calzavacca, Rome)
Doina Botez’  works exist in museums and private collections in Romania, Italy, Vatican City, France, United Kingdom, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, The Republic of San Marino, Hungary and USA.