The history of Galerie Edition Raphael is inseparably linked to the history of its founder, Petru Petrov.
My father – born in 1932 in the northern-romanian city Bacau – immigrated along with my mother to Germany in 1970.
In his former and first professional life my father was an opera singer and part of the ensemble of the Darmstädter Opera. Music had affected him from early childhood on and surely influenced his aesthetic sensation also in regard to visual arts. But by the end of the 1970s, cigarettes had brought his singing career to an inevitable end…
It was a casual acquaintance with fellow Romanian painter Horia Damian who sparked the idea to face the adventure of running an art gallery. Damian gave my, at that time rather low-spirited father the following advice: “If you don’t know what you should do, now that you are not singing anymore, look for a nice retail space and organize an exhibition of my works.”
My father always had been a man of action and didn’t have to be asked twice. So in April 1981 he inaugurated his first gallery located in Frankfurt’s Westend (Feldbergstrasse 2) with an exhibition by Horia Damian. In 1983 the opening of our present gallery space in downtown Domstrasse 6 followed.
Due to a typical hesitation of first generation immigrants to “advertise” their roots with a foreign-sounding company name, he chose the more neutral name of his at that time two-year-old son Raphael to name his gallery. Later he would always say: “I chose the name of my son, hoping he would bring me luck…”
Matter of fact, it did.
Now, after 40 years we look back upon:
Over 220 themed and solo exhibitions with classical modern to contemporary prints and multiples from artists such as Francis Bacon, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Robert Longo, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Takashi Murakami, Pablo Picasso, Antoni Tapiès, Manolo Valdés and Zhang Xiaogang to name a few.
Exhibitions of unique works (painting, sculpture and photgraphy) by artists such as: James Coignard, Horia Damian, Giovanni Frangi, Vladimir Kazan, Peter Klasen, Bengt Lindström, Eric Liot, Max Papart, Andrej Pirrwitz and Bernard Pras.
The publishing of more than 100 sole prints or portfolios by the gallery artists, f.e. by Shoichi Hasegawa, Denis Jully, James Coignard, Max Papart or Pierre-Marie Brisson.
The publishing of an uncounted amount of exhibition catalogues, monographs and brochures about artists represented by the gallery.
The participation at international art fairs around the globe, such as Art Paris, St’Art (Strasbourg), LineArt (Gent), Art Karlsruhe, Arte Fiera Bologna, the Frankfurt Book Fair, Art Toronto, Art Miami, Palm Beach Modern and Contemporary, Art New York, Cologne Fine Art.
At last and most importantly we look back upon the delight and fulfillment to convey the idea of “dem Wahren, Schoenen, Guten” (“the true, the beautiful, the good”), to use Goethe’s famous words as a fellow Frankfurt-born.
My father had retired more and more from the operative business of the gallery over the last few years of his life and slowly handed down the leadership to me. He was nonetheless by my side at all times with his insight and advice and for that I am sincerely grateful.
Petru Petrov’s character stands symbolically for the first 30 years of the gallery:
Strong, ambitious, engaging and optimistic. I hope to leave a similar positive imprint on the coming 30 years. Unfortunately my father passed away on September, 15th 2011. My doings in the gallery are dedicated to him.
Marc ChagallLife after turmoil 17 November 2022 - 14 January 2023Coinciding with the exhibition "Chagall. World in turmoil" at the Schirn Kunsthalle, we are pleased to present a selection of exquisite graphic works, drawings and pastels as well as rare illustrated books by Marc Chagall. The exhibition will be on view in our gallery as of Thursday, 17 November. We look forward to your visit!