Geta Brătescu: Drawing As a Dance, Kunstmuseum Ravensburg [March 25–June 25, 2023]Marilena Pateraki
Today the Rumanian artist Geta Brătescu (1926–2018) is considered to be one of the most outstanding avant-gardists of Eastern Europe. During her lifetime, she used a wide variety of media to investigate the narrative potential of abstract forms by means of serial variations. Drawings constitute the pivot-point of her oeuvre. Brătescu considered drawing to be a physical act, a gesture of the body, in resemblance to a dance through which she explored the world such as it appeared in her surroundings. The solo exhibition extends an arc from 1967 to 2018 and, with nearly fifty works including numerous serial works, is the first presentation of Brătescu’s multifaceted oeuvre in southern Germany.
She first created her playful, experimental art there where it did not seem possible: namely behind the Iron Curtain, in Communist Romania, where Social Realism was the state doctrine. In contrast to painting as “official state art,” Brătescu’s artistic output is determined not by the individual picture, but by the processual works, the principle of series and variation. In spite of state repression, Geta Brătescu insists right from the start on the role of the artist as a representative of free thought and delight in playful experimentation. She repeatedly gives thematic expression, also through the appropriation from world literature of figures embodying resistance, to the significance of the artist in society and of the studio as a production space and a center of mental energy. The point of departure for Brătescu’s collages, as well as for her installational and performative works in photography and film, consists of found everyday materials and her own body. Coming to light in these works is Brătescu’s expanded concept of the drawing as a form of conceptual expression. In her late oeuvre, she replaced the drawing pen with scissors and focused her intensely colored paper-collages on the free “play of forms.”
Curated by Ute Stuffer
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