Rada Niță Josan

Rada Niță Josan

Rada Niță Josan

Romanian Folk Magic

Through my works I present Romanian magic practices and folk beliefs. I have been concerned with showing a Romania and especially a Transylvania complementary to the myth of Dracula. I am invested in presenting the authentic folklore of my country and how the origin of  things and the supernatural beings are perceived in the folk imagery – the demons are meant to hold the Sun up to the sky (each day requires 77 demons), the winter magic practices are “a form of favorable white magic, meant to bring a fruitful year, rich harvest” (Georgeta Roșu), the Somolonars are “masters of the winds and controllers of the clouds” (Traian Gherman), the charm practices using basil are used to predict your future love, the Forest Girl spell bounds the shepherds, the outcome of your journey is based on your magical practices and so on. My works are accompanied by short texts from the writings of important Romanian ethnologists, such as Simion Florea Marian, Tudor Pamfile, Elena Niculiță Voronca, Gh. Pavelescu, Ovidiu Bîrlea, Ion Taloș and Mihai Coman. Their books have been an important reference for my art over the years. Some of these ethnographic researches go back to the end of the 19th century – beginning of the 20th century.

Most of the exhibited etchings I have created in recent years during the residency at Visual Kontakt Gallery, Romania. The project contains a series of works that depict a fabulous Transylvania – imagistic narratives of certain characters inspired by Romanian mythology and folklore, on their journeys in medieval Transylvania, while highlighting the heritage of the Saxon villages, namely their fortified churches.

My art oscillates between a medieval and a peasant world, with a fantastic imaginary, in the intention of highlighting and recovering Romanian and Central/Eastern European heritage, beliefs and magic practices.


Rada Niţă Josan was born in December 1989 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She graduated from the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Department of Graphic Arts with a Bachelor Degree’s in 2011, and obtained a Master’s Degree in 2013 and PhD in 2017, with a thesis on the subject of “The contemporary intaglio in Slavic countries. Hypostases of the fantastic”. She has received scholarships and undertaken internships for specialising in intaglio printing at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław, Poland, at the Faculty of Fine Arts, St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria and at Roman Fecik Gallery in Bratislava, Slovakia. From 2019 until 2022 she had a recidency at Visual Kontakt Gallery, Oradea, Romania, with a drawing and printmaking project entitled “Imaginary Tales of Transylvanian Fortresses”. Solo exhibitions at The Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Bucharest, Romania (2015), at Steaua Art Galleries, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (2015), at the Romanian Institute of Culture and Humanistic Research, Venice, Italy (2017), at Eagle Gallery, Šumperk, Czech Republic (2019) and at the Transylvanian Museum of Ethnography, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (2023). Rada has participated in group exhibitions in Poland, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Belgium, USA, Ukraine, Lithuania, Russia, Bulgaria, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, Portugal and Serbia. Recent selected group exhibition: “Proof Print”, Concrete Gallery, Academy of Arts and Design,  Wrocław, Poland (2023); “Put it in other words – Lost in translation”, Art Museum of Cluj-Napoca, Romania (2023), “Summer Exhibition”, Chrysalid Gallery, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2022), “Gathering of the Bungalows”, Walter’s Gallery, New York, USA (2022), “Hagazussa”, Kruger Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden (2022).  Silver Corb prize at The First International Mini Print Triennial “Intaglio”, Kiev, Ukraine (2018) and Prize for graphic work done in intaglio printmaking at the 1st International Exhibition of Ex libris Subotica, Serbia (2015).