Hauser & Wirth is pleased to announce representation of Geta Brătescu, in collaboration with her long-time dealer, Marian Ivan of Ivan Gallery, Bucharest. Renowned throughout her home country, 91 year-old Brătescu is credited as a pioneer in the field of Romanian Conceptualism. Living and working in Bucharest under the oppressive regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu for much of her career, Brătescu developed a practice concerned with themes of identity, gender, and dematerialisation. Her work focuses principally on the symbiotic relationship between art making and work spaces.
At Hauser & Wirth, Brătescu joins a programme that includes a major focus on women artists, for whom the physical act of making is inherent to their craft, including Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Maria Lassnig, Phyllida Barlow, Ida Applebroog and Lygia Pape. The Partners at Hauser & Wirth, particularly co-founder and President, Manuela Wirth, have long been admirers and personal collectors of Brătescu’s work. She was previously included in the 2014 exhibition ‘LINES’ at Hauser & Wirth Zürich, curated by Rodrigo Moura, former Director of Inhotim, Brazil.
In close partnership with Ivan Gallery, Hauser & Wirth will work to develop the Romanian artist’s legacy and international reputation through new exhibitions and publications, and through the commissioning of new scholarship and research. Hauser & Wirth will present its inaugural exhibition of Brătescu’s work at its 22nd Street space in November 2017, the first ever presentation by the artist in New York.
‘We are thrilled to announce our representation of Geta Brătescu and look forward to working with Ivan Gallery and Galerie Barbara Weiss in the advancement of this seminal artist’s reputation’, remarked Manuela Wirth. ‘Marian Ivan’s close relationship with Geta is inspiring, and parallels our own approach to working with the artists in our care. I have been collecting Brătescu’s work in-depth for many years and have closely followed her artistic journey, so am now particularly excited to become intimately involved in the artist’s story in a professional capacity. She joins a family of strong women artists at the gallery who share a dialogue grounded in bringing intense physicality into their art making processes.’
Marian Ivan, Director of the Ivan Gallery, says: ‘Manuela Wirth has been for a long time an important admirer and supporter of Geta Brătescu’s work. She has tirelessly followed and visited Geta’s recent shows, while always encouraging and congratulating us in our efforts – both ours and together with Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin – to provide the artist with the best visibility and context. In the continuation of this endeavour, it came naturally that Geta Brătescu should become part of the Hauser & Wirth family. Together we will be able to bring Geta’s works to a much wider audience, especially in New York and to the American public.’
Underlining her significance within the global art community, this year Brătescu will represent Romania at the 57th Venice Biennale. 2017 also sees her participating in documenta 14, which is taking place across venues in Kassel and Athens. Following a major retrospective at Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg in 2016 and a presentation at Tate Liverpool, Liverpool in 2015, Brătescu is currently the subject of a survey at Camden Arts Centre, London, focusing on the role of the artist’s studio in her work (which will travel to Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent, Belgium), as well as a focal point of the group exhibition, ‘Entangled: Threads & Making’, at Turner Contemporary, Margate.
About the Artist
Geta Brătescu was born in Ploieşti, Romania, in 1926. From 1945 to 1949, she studied at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Bucharest under renowned Romanian literary critics, George Călinescu and Tudor Vianu, and at the Bucharest Academy of Fine Arts with painter and academic, Camil Ressu. In 1950 her studies were interrupted by the Communist government, and she was unable to complete her art education until 1971. Following her exclusion from university, Brătescu worked principally as an illustrator and graphic designer, and in the early 1960s became the artistic director of prestigious literary magazine, Secolul 20.
Developing her practice in the isolated cultural landscape of Communist Romania, Brătescu’s studio became a site for restoration and self-analysis, and where she found solace in the stories of literary figures, from Aesop and Medea, to Bertolt Brecht and Samuel Beckett. Her studio holds a significant place in her work, a relationship documented in her 1978 film, ‘The Studio’, which addresses her approach to the dissolution of the frontier between spaces of art making and daily life. Brătescu’s oeuvre comprises drawing, collage, engraving, textiles, photography, as well as experimental film, video and performance. She has published a number of books documenting her daily studio activities and personal experiences of art and travel.
Geta Brătescu has been the subject of numerous solo major museum surveys both internationally and in her native Romania, including ‘Geta Brătescu. Restrospective’ at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (2016); ‘Geta Brătescu: Drawings with the Eyes Closed’ at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis MO (2015); ‘Geta Brătescu / MATRIX 254’ at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley CA (2014); and ‘Geta Brătescu: The Artist’s Studios’ at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León (2013). She has also been included in significant group exhibitions, such as ‘Construction to Transmission: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960 – 1980’ at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); ‘Straight to Camera: Performance for Film’ at Modern Art Oxford (2014); and ‘A Bigger Splash: Painting After Performance Art’ at Tate, London (2012).
In 2008 Brătescu was honoured with the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the National Arts University in Bucharest for her contribution to the landscape of contemporary Romanian art. Her work is included in prestigious public collections around the globe, including the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York NY, Tate, London, and the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna.