Geta Brătescu

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Geta Brătescu, Traveller, 1970. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw

Geta Brătescu (born 4 May 1926, Ploiești) is a Romanian visual artist.

Her work includes drawing, collage, photography, performance, illustration and film.

In 2008 Geta Brătescu received the title of Doctor honoris causa from the National University of Arts Bucharest, awarded for her outstanding contribution to the development of contemporary Romanian art.[1] Brătescu is also artistic director of the magazine of literature and art Secolul 21.[2] A major retrospective of her work was held at the National Museum of Art of Romania in December 1999. In 2015 Brătescu's first UK solo exhibition was held at Tate Liverpool.[3] In 2017, she was selected to represent Romania at the 57th Venice Biennale.


Geta Brătescu studied at the Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest, between 1945 – 1949, under George Călinescu and Tudor Vianu, and at the Academy of Fine Arts under Camil Ressu. She was expelled from the latter before completing her degree due to the rise of the Communist party - since her parents owned property, she was deemed 'of bad origins'. In 1969 she was able to return to university, and studied at the Institute of Fine Arts "Nicolae Grigorescu", now Bucharest National University of Arts between 1969 – 1971. She also studied literature alongside her art studies, and a close relationship between art and writing is present in much of her work.

Early Work[edit]

Following exclusion from her fine art course, Brătescu worked as an arts editor, illustrator and animator, and also carried out documentation trips both in Romania and abroad for the Artist's Union.[4] Once she returned to university, as a fine art student she had access to a studio which became the subject of a series of works throughout the 1970s that looked at the studio as a place to redefine the self. In perhaps her most famous film, The Studio (1978), made with Ion Grigorescu in a new studio at the Artist's Union, she measures her size in the space, marking her place in the world.

Other works from this period raise questions of self-identity and dematerialisation such as the performance and photography work Towards White.[5] In the 1980s Brătescu began working with textiles, describing this practice as 'drawing with a sewing machine'.[6]

Brătescu has been interested in numerous literary figures, including Aesop, Faust and Medea. The latter, a somewhat anti-feminine figure who killed her children, was the subject of a series of textile works made using scraps of cloth given to Brătescu by her mother, reflecting Brătescu's complex relationship with feminism.[7] Throughout Brătescu's works the line is a dominant feature, functioning as a mode of definition, measurement and movement, from the classical draughtsmanship of Hands 1974–76 to the body performing in space in The Studio 1978. Creating lines through material has continued within Brătescu's practice to present day within the series of collages Jeu des Formes (Game of Forms) 2009 – ongoing.[8]

Current Work[edit]

In 2017, Romania's Culture Ministry selected the 90-year old Geta Brătescu to represent Romania at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. She will present a piece of work entitled Geta Brătescu — Appearances, although she has participated in the Biennale twice before – in 1960, as part of a group exhibition and again in 2013 at the Central Pavilion, alongside fellow Romanian artists Ștefan Bertalan and Andra Ursuta.

Selected solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2018 - Geta Brătescu. The Leaps of Aesop, Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles, Los Angeles CA [9]
  • 2017 - Geta Brătescu. The Leaps of Aesop, Hauser & Wirth, New York NY [9]
  • 2017 - Geta Brătescu – Apariţii (Geta Brătescu – Apparitions) , Venice Biennale Romanian Pavilion, Venice, Italy
  • 2017 – documenta 14 Athen, Kassel
  • 2017 – Geta Brǎtescu – The Studio: A Tireless, Ongoing Space, Camden Arts Centre, London, UK
  • 2016 - Geta Brătescu – Collages and Drawings, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin, Germany[9]
  • 2016 – Geta Brǎtescu, Retrospektive, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2015 – Geta Brătescu, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  • 2015 – Geta Bratescu: Drawings with the Eyes closed, CAMSTL – Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis, USA
  • 2014 – MATRIX 254 / Geta Bratescu, BAM/PFA – Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archiv, Berkeley, USA
  • 2014 – Atelier Continuu, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin, Germany
  • 2013 – Geta Brătescu: The Artist’s Studios, MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León, Spain
  • 2013 – Geta Brătescu and Paul Neagu, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin, Germany
  • 2012 – Geta Brătescu: the Artist’s Studios, Salonul de proiecte, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2012 – Geta Brătescu, Intense Proximity, La Triennale Paris 2012, Palais de Tokyo and other venues, Paris, France
  • 2011 – Geta Brătescu. The Work The Image The Sign, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2010 – Alteritate, Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna, Austria
  • 2009 – Spaces, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2009 – Capricio, Galerie Rüdiger Schoettle, Munich, Germany
  • 2008 – Geta Brătescu, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 2007 – Resources, MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2003 – CIAC – International Center for Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1999 – Retrospective Geta Brătescu, National Museum of Art, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1993 – The Garden, Simeza Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1992 – The Myths and Stories of Geta Brătescu, Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA
  • 1990 – Galerie Arnold-Jotzu, Bad Homburg, Germany
  • 1988 – Galerile de Arta Timișoara; Galeriile de Arta Arad, Muzeul Tarii Crisurilor, Oradea, Romania
  • 1987 – Caminul Artei Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1985 – Lyngby Kunstforening, Lyngby, Denmark
  • 1984 – I have drawn for Faust, Casa de Cultura RFG, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1983 – Vestigii, Simeza Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1981 – Medea’s Portraits, Simeza Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1976 – Studio 3 – Verso il bianco, Accademia di Romania, Rome, Italy
  • 1976 – Atelier III – Towards White, Galateea Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1973 – Magnets, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1972 – Sala Dalles, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1971 – Atelier II, Apollo Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1970 – Atelier, Orizont Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1967 – Sala Dalles, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1963 – Simeza Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1960 – Galateea Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1947 – Caminul Artei Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

Writings by Geta Brătescu[edit]

  • De la Veneția la Veneția. Jurnal de calatorie (Meridiane, Bucharest, 1970)
  • Atelier Continuu (Cartea Românească, Bucharest, 1985)
  • Atelier Vagabond (Cartea Românească, Bucharest, 1994)
  • A.R. Roman (Fundația Culturală Secolul 21, Bucharest, 2000)
  • Peisaj cu om, proză scurtă (Fundația Culturală Secolul 21, Bucharest, 2002)
  • Ziua și Noaptea (Fundația Culturală Secolul 21, Bucharest, 2004)
  • Copacul din curtea vecină (Fundația Culturală Secolul 21, Bucharest 2009)

Selected Illustrations[edit]


  1. ^ Geta Bratescu – Doctor Honoris Causa al Universitatii Nationale de Arte din Bucuresti, Educatie / Cultura, UNAgaleria "Geta Bratescu Doctor Honoris Causa" Check |url= value (help). Comunicated Press. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Secolul 20/21". Secolul 21. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Geta Brătescu". Tate Liverpool. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Şerban, Geta Brătescu. Ed. de Alina (2013). Atelierul = The studio. Berlin: Sternberg Press. p. 322. ISBN 978-3-956790-16-4. 
  5. ^ "Towards White". Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Medea's Hypostases II". MoMA Collection. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Oprea, Adriana. "Interview with Geta Brătescu". Art Margins Online. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  8. ^ Şerban, Geta Brătescu. Ed. de Alina (2013). Atelierul = The studio. Berlin: Sternberg Press. pp. 80, 140. ISBN 978-3-956790-16-4. 
  9. ^ a b c "Artists — Geta Brătescu — Biography — Hauser & Wirth". Retrieved 2018-03-24. 


  • Album Geta Brătescu, Muzeul de Artă al României- secția Artă Contemporană, București, Editat de Centrul Internațional Pentru Artă Contemporană, 1999
  • Geta Brătescu, Ateliere de artiști din București, 2 lea, p. 11–15,Editura Noimediaprint;
  • Catalogul Expoziției Geta Brătescu și Ion Grigorescu "Resurse", M.N.A.C.,București, curator Ruxandra Balaci, Magda Radu;
  • Catalogul Expoziției Geta Brătescu, Galeria Taxispalais, 2008;
  • Alexandra Titu, Experimentul în arta românească după 1960, Geta Brătescu p. 8,72,101,106,Editura Meridiane, 2003;
  • In search of Balkania /În căutarea Balcaniei,Geta Brătescu Neue Galeria Graz, autori:Roger Gonver, Cufer Peter, Peter Weibel;
  • Octavian Barbosa, Dicționarul Artistilor Români Contemporani, București, Ed. Meridiane, 1976;
  • Geta Brătescu, Dicționarul de Artă Modernă, p. 65–66 de Constantin Prut, Editura Albatros, 1982;
  • Ciuma de Albert Camus,Revista "Secolul 20",p. 75–165,Nr.6,Annul 1964;
  • Geta Brătescu, Catalogul Expoziției, "Economia darului", Galeria The Blade Factory Liverpool, 2010;
  • Geta Brătescu, Frieze Magazine, Published on 24/09/08 By Burkhard Meltzer;
  • Gatalogul Expoziției "Vestigii" 1982, Geta Brătescu, Zona Maco. Mexico Arte Contemporaneo, curator Adriano Pedrosa, Centro Banamex, Hall D, Mexico City, 2011

External links[edit]