Ion Bitzan

1924

Ion Bitzan is born on the 23rd of August in Limanu, Constanța, the son of Maria and Diogene Bițan. Has a younger brother by the name of Niculae;

1937-1940

Enrolls and studies at the school in Târgu-Mureș;

1939

The start of WWII;

1940

Transylvania region is surrendered to Hungary;

He is transferred to the school in Focșani, followed by the school in Târgu-Jiu where he graduates;

1944

Is drafted in Regiment 36 Infantry Cernavodă, transferred to Sub-Officers School in Botoșani, instruction field Giarmata. Was not active on the war front;

1945

End of WWII;

1945-1950

Attends courses at the Fine Arts Institute "Nicolae Grigorescu" (at present Bucharest National University of arts), the class of Jean Alexandru Steriadi;

1947

December 30, following the abdication of King Michael, Romania becomes Romanian People's Republic;

He becomes a member of The Romanian Communist Party;

1950

The Romanian Artists Union is established;

1951

Becomes a member of The Romanian Plastic Artists Union;

1963

Graduates The Fine Arts Institute "Nicolae Grigorescu" and starts working as an assistant professor at the stage design department

1964

Is selected to represent Romania at the Biennale di Venezia together with Ion Gheorghiu, Ion Pacea, Boris Caragea. Kristine Stiles writes that Robert Rauschenberg’s exhibition made a lasting impression on the Romanian artist, prompting him to investigate object art, collage, assemblage and other neo-avant-garde modes of production over the course of the 1960s.

Robert Rauschenberg receives first prize at the Biennale di Venezia;

Attends the summer classes at Accademia di Belle Arti "Pietro Vannuci" Peruggia, Italia;

Divorces Neti Haimovici, she emmigrates to the USA;

1965

Marries Viky Tantas, becomes the father of an only child, Irina (n. 1966);

1969

Together with architect Paul Bortnowski, painter Vladimir Șetran and art historian Hainoroc Constantinescu, Ion Bitzan establishes the Industrial Forms Design Section at The Fine Arts Institute "Nicolae Grigorescu" in Bucharest, where he teaches design and coordinates workshops and diploma works. Activates as Director of Teaching between 1977-1990, is then named Dean of Design and Decorative Arts Faculty, 1990-1997. Ion Bitzan’s methods of teaching have influenced numerous generations of design graduates;

1970, 1971

Is a resident at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, he lives with his wife in Amsterdam, Prinseneiland 25 for 3 months each year;

1977

A powerful earthquake strikes Romania, with 90% of the fatalities in Bucharest; he breaks his foot, his studio gets destroyed and a vast part of his works are lost and/or stolen. In the morning after the earthquake he tries to rescue his works together with his father-in-law and a close student, Paul Turtureanu;

1977

Starts teaching at the Design Department at the Fine Arts Institute “Nicolae Grigorescu” in Bucharest;

1981

Exhibits at MoMA P.S.1, New York, and is visiting professor at the universities of New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington; meets Milton Glaser in his studio; visits Saul Steinberg

1989

The Romanian revolution starts and students of The Fine Arts Institute rebel against the teachers influenced by communist politics and aesthetics;

1993

His mother dies;

1994

Is diagnosed with chronic leukaemia, refuses to undergo medical treatment; His daughter moves to the Netherlands.

1997

His second participation at the Romanian pavilion at the Biennale di Venezia, attends the construction of the Romanian Pavilion and the opening of the exhibition;

1997

September 15, Bucharest, passes away at Colțea Hospital, his wife Vicky is by his side.