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Work of the week: Ovidiu Maitec, Bird, 1969

About Maitec

Ovidiu Maitec was born in Arad, Romania, in 1925. After training at the Academy of Arts in Bucharest (1945-50), he gained a considerable reputation in his home country for his official monumental works. However, interest outside Romania was mainly stimulated by his small-scale woodcarvings. Their combination of mechanistic forms and native folk-art technique has invited parallels with the sculptor Constantin Brancusi.

About this work

Like Brancusi’s, Maitec’s work was based on the painstaking refinement of a number of recurrent motifs: among these are flight, birds, gates and thrones. The use of semi-abstract forms, negative space and the play of light and shadow were characteristic of Maitec’s work from the 1960s. Kettle’s Yard founder Jim Ede encountered Maitec’s sculpture in the late 1960s, at the time when it was beginning to arouse collectors’ and scholars’ interest in western Europe. He offered the sculptor a one-man show at Kettle’s Yard in 1973, which was instrumental in establishing Maitec’s reputation in Britain. Ede also acquired several pieces between 1969 and 1971, two staying in the house and one later given to the Tate Gallery.

Where can I see it?

This work is currently on display at the Hepworth Wakefield, find out more.