Geta Brătescu

Geta Brătescu


b. 1926, Ploiești - d. 2018, Bucharest, Romania

Geta Brătescu has been a central figure of Romanian contemporary art since the 1960s. An artist with a rich and long career, Brătescu developed a complex body of work that comprises drawing, collage, engraving, tapestry, object, photography, experimental film, video, and performance. She studied at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy and concurrently at the Fine Arts Academy in Bucharest and worked as an artistic director for the magazine “Secolul 20 [20th Century]”, renamed “Secolul 21 [21st Century]” at the turn of the millennium.
Geta Brătescu took part in some of the most important contemporary art exhibitions, such as Documenta 14, Athens and Kassel (2017), La Biennale di Venezia (2013), La Triennale, Paris, Palais de Tokyo (2012) and the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011), to name just a few. In 2017, Geta Brătescu represented Romania in the Venice Biennale with the project “Apparitions”, the first solo show of a woman artist in the Romanian Pavilion.
Among her recent solo shows are the ones at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2018), Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles (2018) and New York (2017), Camden Arts Center, London and MSK Gent (2018), Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (2016), Tate Liverpool (2015), Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (2014).

Geta Brătescu solo show, exhibition view Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2018 © Neuer Berliner Kunstverein / Jens Ziehe
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Extensive biography

1926, May 4 Geta Comănescu (Brătescu’s maiden name) is born in Ploiești, Romania, as the only child in a family of pharmacists.

1937-1943 She attends high school in Ploiești and Bucharest. She develops a strong interest in drawing, literature, and theatre. 

1944 One drawing by Comănescu is exhibited in an exhibition hosted by The School of Architecture in Bucharest. Petru Comarnescu (1905–1970) writes about this drawing (in “Cronica plastică”, Revista Fundațiilor Regale, year XII, no. 8, August 1945). 

1945-1949 The artist enrols in the Bucharest Faculty of Letters and Philosophy (from 1948 called Faculty of Philology) and in the Bucharest School of Fine Arts. Her professors are George Călinescu (1899– 1965), a central personality of the interwar literary criticism, and painter Camil Ressu (1880–1962). Both Călinescu and Ressu left their marks on Brătescu’s intellectual development, cultivating her taste for the literary scenario, for theatrical sequentialism, and for her focus on the line and its relation to space. 

1946 The artist debuts at Salonul Oficial de Alb-Negru [White-Black Official Salon], Dalles Hall, Bucharest, with a coal drawing. 

1947 Her first solo show is presented at the Căminul Artei Gallery, Bucharest, a space coordinated by art critic Ionel Jianu. 

1948-1949 The artist is expelled from the Bucharest School of Fine Arts, due to what was considered “unhealthy social origins.”

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