Between 1945 and 1950 he studied at the Institute of Fine Arts and at the Free Academy ‘Guguianu’ (1946-51) under professors such as Camil Ressu, Jean Al. Steriade, and Alexandru Ciucurencu. Pacea continued his studies in Perugia, Italy in 1963.
Ion Pacea built a solid career with several personal and collective exhibitions in the country and abroad; in Paris, Berlin, Prague, Dresden, Edimburg, Washington, Munich, Moscow, Sofia. He debuted at the Official Salon in Bucharest in 1947. Following successful solo and collective exhibitions in Romania and abroad, Ion Pacea was awarded various national and international awards. Occasionally he would act in Romanian films, even in leading roles such as Saracul Ioanide ("Poor Ioanide").
Initially his paintings were figurative, industrial landscapes and portraits of workers, but he evolved towards abstract painting after a period where he worked in both styles together. His works were painted in oil or gouache and were striking for their chromatic variety and formal simplification, drawn with a confident line and strong and vibrant accents. He was also known for designing tapestries and murals in both fresco and mosaic.
To a Western eye not tuned to the ideological sensitivities of Soviet-occupied Romania, when he first exhibited at the Official Salon in Bucharest, Pacea’s compositions might look ordinary. But at a time when other painters were confined to painting official portraits of Communist leaders or the great achievements of the motherland, Pacea had the rare freedom to explore purely aesthetic avenues towards an abstract use of colour. He was exempted from paying tribute to ideological doctrine because he was being pushed forward as a showcase of artists’ pseudo-freedom in Romania.
He died in 1999 in Bucharest. His son, Constantin, is also a painter, and his daughter, an interior designer, is married to the painter Zamfir Dumitrescu.
Still Life With Flowers, Fruit and Seashell
Țărm la 2 Mai
Natură statică cu smochine
Vas cu flori
Still Life With Seashell and Fruit
Still Life With Tazza and Seashell
Natură statică cu gips antic
Natură statică cu sticlă albastră
Composition with Evanescent Butterfly
White Flowers and Apples
Natură statică cu vas și fructe
Gueridon With Green Bottle
Boats at the Pontoon Dock
Nud in fotoliu
Peisaj de litoral
Natură statică cu paletă
Still Life With Pomegranates
Nature morte aux pommes
Still Life With Flowers and Apples
Natură statică cu mere
Casă la malul mării
Case la mare
Tree Coming Into Bud
Natură statică cu rodii
Marina with Yellow Boat
Composition en rouge
La tarmul marii
Marina With Red Sun
Faleză la Vama Veche
Still Life with Fruit Stand, Book and Fruit
2 Mai Beach
Still Life With Pineapple
Still Life With Tazza and Jar
Peisaj de litoral
Ţărm cu două bărci
Ion Pacea adhered to the artistic traditions of Post-Impressionism. Pacea was a follower of Fauvism, with its vivid expressionism and non-naturalistic use of colour, that flourished in Paris at the end of the Belle Époque.
Quotes from others about the person
“A full-grown artist, in full command of all his gifts, having reached the acme of a tenacious progression, maturely perfected by time: so, here is Ion Pacea himself, ablaze now with the inner light and warmth of a fresh and superbly generous freedom…”
Ion Pacea was married to Lucrezia Hagi. They had two common children, Liliana and Constantin.