Geta Brătescu
The Leaps of Aesop

February 17 - May 20, 2018

Los Angeles

Geta Brătescu. The Leaps of Aesop’ is the first Los Angeles solo presentation devoted to the 92-year-old forerunner in the field of Romanian Conceptualism. Her diverse oeuvre – comprising drawing, collage, engraving, textiles, and photography, as well as experimental film, video, and performance – mines themes of identity, gender, and dematerialization, often drawing from the stories of literary figures and addressing the symbiotic relationship between art making and working environments. Aesop, the ancient Greek fabulist, serves as a point of departure for this exhibition, which features more than fifty works that span Brătescu’s career. In many ways a fitting avatar for Brătescu, Aesop manifests in the works on view as a symbol of antic irreverence, mocking authority and status. A spirited believer in the role of the artist as that of a disruptor, Brătescu has championed ideas of play and disorder throughout her vibrant practice, remarking, ‘there is much economy and at the same time rebellion in the creation of expression.’

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Events

Staged Reading: Eugene Ionesco’s ‘Rhinoceros’ performed by The Actors’ Gang

On the occasion of ‘Geta Brătescu. The Leaps of Aesop,’ join us for a staged reading of Eugene Ionesco’s masterpiece ‘Rhinoceros’ by the celebrated LA theater company The Actors’ Gang. Currently on view within the exhibition of Brătescu’s work is ‘Ionesco – The Clown’ (1971), a portrait of Eugene Ionesco, the legendary Romanian-French playwright, which the artist adorned with a red clown nose, a sly commentary on identity, disguise, and the theatrical nature of the artist. Drawing from Brătescu’s rich genealogy of jesters or fools telling uncomfortable truths, the reading of Ionesco’s critically acclaimed play will examine the dangers of mob mentality, ultimately resulting in a commentary of the human condition that seeks to further our understanding of the artist’s powerful body of work. ‘Rhinoceros’ by Eugene Ionesco Directed by Jason Lovett 7.30 pm Approximate running time 2 hrs 15 min This event is free, however, due to extremely limited capacity reservations are required. Please note that if the event is fully booked, names will be taken and added to a first come first served waitlist starting at 6.45 pm the night of the reading. Make a reservation for dinner at Manuela before the performance. About The Actors’ Gang Over the past 37 years, The Actors’ Gang has produced over 200 plays in Los Angeles, in forty-five US states, and on five continents. The company was founded in 1981 by a group of young artists looking to build a theatre that would present relevant and vibrantly entertaining plays. Guided by Founding Artistic Director, Tim Robbins, the company provides a supportive environment for a diverse ensemble of artists and the development of their groundbreaking work. The theater company has presented the work of innovative theater artists including Georges Bigot, Simon Abkarian, Charles Mee, David Schweizer, Bill Rauch and the Cornerstone Theatre Company, Tracy Young, Roger Guenver Smith, Eric Bogosian, Oskar Eustis, Danny Hoch, Beth Milles, Brian Kulick, Stefan Haves, Namaste Theater Company, Culture Clash, Jason Reed, Michael Schlitt and Tenacious D. The Actors’ Gang ensemble has included accomplished actors such as Jack Black, John Cusack, John C. Reilly, Helen Hunt, Kate Walsh, Fisher Stevens, Jeremy Piven, Ebbe Roe Smith, Jon Favreau, Brent Hinkley, Kate Mulligan, Lee Arenberg, Kyle Gass and Tim Robbins. Guest artists that have appeared on The Actors’ Gang stage include: Jackson Browne, Sarah Silverman, Ben Gibbard, John Doe, Tom Morello, Jenny Lewis, Wayne Kramer, Paul Provenza, Zooey Deschanel, Serj Tankian, David Crosby, Pink, Felicity Huffman, Jill Sobule, William H. Macy, Phillip Baker Hall, Jeanne Tripplehorn, T.C. Boyle. and the late, beloved, Gore Vidal. Over the last thirty years The Actors’ Gang has toured the U.S. in forty-five states and on five continents, performing across the world from London to Milan, Bucharest, Athens, Madrid, Barcelona, Bogota, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Buenos Aires.

Guest Lecture & Conversation: Geta Brătescu’s Aesop Romance: Stitching the Image’ with Sven Spieker

On the occasion of ‘Geta Brătescu. The Leaps of Aesop,’ join us for a guest lecture and conversation on Geta Brătescu, the 92-year-old forerunner of Romanian Conceptualism. Brătescu’s diverse oeuvre – comprising drawing, collage, engraving, textiles, and photography, as well as experimental film, video, and performance – mines themes of identity, gender, and dematerialization, often drawing from the stories of literary figures and addressing the symbiotic relationship between art making and working environments. The lecture, ‘Geta Bratescu’s Aesop Romance: Stitching the Image,’ will be led by Sven Spieker and will be followed by a conversation about the artist’s work. This event is free to attend and open to the public, however, due to limited seating, reservations are recommended. Click here to register.

Family Studio Workshop: Geta Brătescu

Join us for a hands-on Family Studio Workshop that will explore themes of our exhibition ‘Geta Brătescu. The Leaps of Aesop.About the Studio Brătescu’s animated film ‘Aesop’s Walk’ (1967) on view in North B gallery will serve as inspiration for families to create their own ‘Animation Cell’ by using felt tip markers, colored transparencies, and glue. Families will be encouraged to construct a character from their imagination and build a simple story around their character. One moment from that story will be immortalized as the aforementioned ‘Animation cell.’ The workshop will be led by Matt MacFarland. Educators will be available every half hour, beginning at 12.00 pm, to guide children and parents on walkthroughs of ‘Geta Brătescu. The Leaps of Aesop’ to view the work that inspired the project as they arrive for the workshop. About Geta BrătescuGeta Brătescu. The Leaps of Aesop’ is the first Los Angeles solo presentation devoted to the 92-year-old Romanian Conceptualist. Her diverse body of work – comprising drawing, collage, engraving, textiles, and photography, as well as experimental film, video, and performance – contains themes of identity, gender, and dematerialization, often drawing from the stories of literary characters and addressing the relationship between art making and working environments. This drop-in activity is free, however, reservations are recommended. Click here to register.

Public Opening: Louise Bourgeois, Mark Bradford and Geta Brătescu

On Saturday 17 February from 6 – 9 pm, join us for the public opening of three exhibitions – ‘Louise Bourgeois. The Red Sky’, ‘Mark Bradford. New Works’, and ‘Geta Brătescu. The Leaps of Aesop’. Celebrate with food and drinks provided by Manuela and music in the Courtyard courtesy of MOON UTERUS – DJ duo Mel Shimkovitz and Amy von Harrington. Plan your trip By Public Transport Ten-minute walk from Little Tokyo / Arts District Metro Station. Plan your trip using Metro Planner. Parking Street parking is available. The following lots are suggested for their proximity to the gallery. Hours and rates may vary. For a map of parking lots and public transportation stops, please click here. This event is open to the public and free to attend.

Exhibition Walkthrough with Curator Magda Radu

Join us for a walkthrough of ‘Geta Brătescu. The Leaps of Aesop’, the first solo presentation in Los Angeles devoted to the 92-year-old forerunner in the field of Romanian Conceptualism, led by Romanian based curator and art historian, Magda Radu. This drop-in event is not ticketed, however space is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Check-in begins at 12.15 pm at the Information Desk in the Courtyard. About Magda Radu Magda Radu is a curator and art historian based in Bucharest. She is one of the founders and co-curator of the program Salonul de proiecte, which functioned between 2011 and 2015 at MNAC Anexa and is now an independent initiative located in the Universul Palace in Bucharest. She edited (or co-edited) several exhibitions catalogues and books, among which: ‘Art in Romania Between 1945-2000. An Analysis from Today’s Perspective’ (2016), subREAL (2015), ‘Dear Money’ (2014) and ‘André Cadere / Andrei Cădere’ (2011). In the last few years she also curated exhibitions at institutions including MUSAC, Leon; Spinnerei, Leipzig; and Photo España, Madrid. At the National University of Arts in Bucharest, she taught a course about the history and theory of conceptual art in Eastern Europe, as well as a Curatorial Studies course.

About the artist

One of the first representatives of conceptualist approaches in Romania, Geta Brătescu’s oeuvre comprises drawing, collage, textiles, photography, experimental film and performance. In her seven-decade career, she has published a number of books documenting her daily studio activities and personal experiences of art and travel.

Current Exhibitions