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Geta Brătescu, Mrs. Oliver in her traveling costume, 1985, gelatin silver print, 15 1/2 × 15 1/2".

Geta Brătescu

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)

Geta Brătescu, Mrs. Oliver in her traveling costume, 1985, gelatin silver print, 15 1/2 × 15 1/2".

Geta Brătescu,” the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States, gave a pithy introduction to this pioneering figure of Romanian Conceptual art. Organized by Apsara DiQuinzio as part of the MATRIX program at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, this succinct survey, which spanned the years 1974–2000, included two films, a collage series, a photograph, a drawing, a sculpture, and a textile wall piece, all of which cumulatively managed to convey the crux of Brătescu’s artistic concerns. Poetic transformations of objects and materials pervade the artist’s investigations of self-portraiture, the studio, female gender, and memory tropes particularized by the social and political conditions of Communist and post-Communist Eastern Europe.

Many of these themes were evident in Brătescu’s Atelierul (The Studio), 1978, an eighteen-minute film for which artist Ion Grigorescu

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