Geta Brătescu

Geta Brătescu was a fine artist who studied literature and philosophy. She began her work as an artist, which continues to this day, in the heterogeneous and provocative intellectual milieu of 1940s and 1950s Romania. She experienced the political upheavals in her home country brought about by socialism and its eventual collapse in late 1989.

Beginning in the 1970s, she developed a cross-media concept for space-referential, performative works in which she examines the relationship between the body and the surrounding space. Brătescu turned to film and photography, taking advantage of the possibilities they offered. This implied an expansion of her process into the realm of the spatial—usually embodied by her studio. She thus transformed her accustomed media of painting and/or drawing into performative scenarios, overcoming the material and aesthetic boundaries to which such media are usually subject. Within the logic of her experimental modus operandi, Brătescu deals in a highly reflective and self-referential manner with both the body and the self-portrait; she examines the conventions of portraying the body, as well as the conceptual possibilities of photography, film, and ultimately the “institutional” context of the artist, who—in her situation in a socialist country—was restricted primarily to her studio and other non-public spaces. Brătescu is concerned with ambivalence, with an obvious, inherent contradiction that is remains unresolved. In order to generate this status of ambivalence, she generates opposite figures—such as “black” to oppose “white,” or “real” and “materiality” to oppose “abstract.” She sets a chronological process in motion that runs both forwards and backwards, deliberately leaving open the issues of subject and object, of real and abstract space.



1926, Ploiești / RO - 2018,  București / RO


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