The Estate of Stefan Bertalan : De Natura Rerum

27 April – 23 June 2012

Gallery 2

Network, 1975, 53 x 39 cm (gerahmt) - 21 x 15.5 in. (framed), coloured pencil on paper
Network, 1975, 53 x 39 cm (gerahmt) - 21 x 15.5 in. (framed), coloured pencil on paper
  • Network, 1975, 53 x 39 cm (gerahmt)- 21 x 15.5 in. (framed), colored pencil on paper
  • Untitled (Network, colored), 1978, 35,2 x 50,2 cm - 13.9 x 19.8 in., Buntstift auf Papier - colored crayon on paper
  • Untitled (Network), 1975, 35,2 x 50,2 cm - 13.9 x 19.8 in., Tusche auf Papier (Federzeichnung) - India ink on paper (pen drawing)
  • Untitled (Network, structural), 1975, 34,9 x 49 cm - 13.7 x 19.3 in., Tusche auf Papier (Federzeichnung) - India ink on paper (pen drawing)
  • Untitled (Network), 1978, 35,3 x 50,3 cm - 13.9 x 19.8 in., Tusche auf Papier (Federzeichnung) - India ink on paper (pen drawing)
  • Untitled (network, colored), 1978, 35,2 x 35,2 cm - 13.9 x 19.8 in., Buntstift auf Papier - colored crayon on paper
  • Untitled (Network), 1978, 35 x 49 cm - 13.8 x 19.3 in., Tusche auf Papier (Federzeichnung) - India in on paper (pen drawing)
  • Untitled (Network, colored), 1978, 34,6 x 49 cm - 13.6 x 19.3 in., Buntstift auf Papier - colored crayon on paper
  • Untitled (Network), 1978, 35,1 x 50,1 cm - 13.8 x 19.7 in., Tusche auf Papier (Federzeichnung) - India ink on paper
  • Untitled (Network with strong lines), 1978, 35,2 x 50,2 cm - 13.8 x 19.8 in., Tusche auf Papier (Federzeichnung) - India ink on paper (pen drawing)
  • Untitled (Network, unfinished), 1975, 35,2 x 50,2 cm - 13.8 x 19.8 in., Tusche auf Papier (Federzeichnung) - India ink on paper (pen drawing)
  • Snails and Spirals, 1972-78, Portfolio mit 22 Blättern - portfolio with 22 sheets, Bleistift, Filzstift, Röntgenaufnahme - pencil, felt-tip pen, x-ray
  • Sunflower, 1979, 50,2 x 32,6 cm - 19.8 x 12.9 in., Buntstift, Flizstift und Bleistift auf Papier - colored crayon, felt-tip pen and pencil on paper
  • Sunflower, 1980, 56,5 x 36,8 cm - 22.2 x 14.5 in., Kreidestift, Filzstift, Kugelschreiber und Bleistuft auf Papier - chalk, felt-tip pen, ball pen and pencil on paper
  • Sunflower, 1979, 50,1 x 32,6 cm - 19.7 x 12.8 in., Buntstift, Bleistift und Gouache auf Papier - colored crayon, pencil and gouache on paper
  • Sunflower, 50,1 x 32,6 cm x 19.7 x 12.8 in., Buntstift auf Papier - colored Crayon on Paper
  • Sunflower, 1980, Doppelseite, je 44 x 31,2 cm - double page, each 17.3 x 12.3 in., Filzstift, Buntstift und Bleistift auf Papier - felt-tip pen, colored crayon and pencil on paper
  • Sunflower, 1980, Doppelseite, je 46,2 x 32,4 cm x double page, each 18.2 x 12.8 in., Kreidestift, Filzstift und schwarze Tinte auf Papier - chalk, felt-tip pen and black ink on paper
  • Sunflower, 1980, Doppelseite, je 46 x 32,5 cm - double page, each 18.1 x 12.8 in., Kohlestift und Filzstift auf Papier - charcoal and felt-tip pen on paper
  • Sunflower; Sunflower Layout, 1980, Doppelseite, je 50,7 x 32,9 cm - double page, each 20 x 13 in., Filzstift, Tusche und Bleistift auf Papier - felt-tip pen, India ink and pencil on paper
  • Untitled (Tursilago-Farfara-Study from Casoaia), 1979, 59,4 x 42,5 cm - 23.4 x 16.7 in., Rötel, Buntstift und Aquarell auf Papier - red chalk, colored crayon and water color on paper
  • Sunflower, 1979, 47,9 x 66,2 cm - 18.9 x 26.1 in., Kohle, Filzstift, Tusche und Deckweiß auf Papier - charcoal, felt-tip pen, India ink and opaque white on paper
  • Sunflower, 1980, 54,5 x 69,5 cm - 21.5 x 27 in., Mischtechnik auf Papier - mixed media on paper, gerahmt - framed
  • Sunflower, 50,3 x 32,7 cm - 19.8 x 12.9 in., Mischtechnik auf Papier - mixed media on paper
  • Sunflowers, 69 x 54 cm - 27 x 21.3 in., rote Kreide, Bleistift, Filzstift auf Papier - red chalk, pencil, felt pen on paper, framed - gerahmt
  • Sunflower, 50,2 x 32,5 cm - 19.8 x 12.8 in., Mischtechnik auf Papier - mixed media on paper
  • Installationsansicht - installation view
  • Installationsansicht - installation view
  • Installationsansicht - installation view
  • Installationsansicht - installation view

„The general social state of poverty, complacency, degradation and disengagement, together with the material and the cultural decay is probably the most striking characteristic of the Romanian environment during the ’80s. [...]
Stefan Bertalan, thanks to his previous idealist, rationalist and constructivist attemps, is the best illustration of the trauma generated by the fall out of love with the depressed and depressing reality endlessly, propagating itself through the local society and civilization, in the last years before Communism. Bertalan migrates from the abstract clean-cut structures and assembles designed to mirror and echo the utopian aspirations for a society built up on ’pure relationships’, a former dream of the rationalist avantgarde, to the most regressive and mind-blowing type of irrational art, regarded as the last port of call where he can take cover against compensatory self-delusion, escapist and illusory ideals, shared still by all those artists caught up with the idea of creating spiritualist or technical and constructivist utopias. [...]
The moral approach of his perspective is blatant and very insightful. A far-fetched ethics of demoralisation and debunking, spans itself throughout the whole of this study. Surviving as a skeleton, as well as surviving as a potato, as a bean-stalk or a sunflower, is equivalent to existing within different relationships of dependency that unavoidably end up in disappearance.“ (p. 189-193)

„He withdraws in a vegetal Eden, where he can be away from the authoritarian pressure of a violent power that threatens his existence all the time, as he, in turn, refuses to recognise its authority, and confronts it by opposing it with the paradise of the plants, a space where protest, delight, understanding and happiness find a meeting point.“ (p. 212)

Stefan Bertalan (b. 1930)
attended the Institute of Fine Arts „I. Andreescu“ (Cluj, Romania) until 1962. Bertalan was co-founder of Group 111, the first community for experimental art in Romania.

De Natura Rerum is organized by Erwin Kessler and Victor Man.


Quoted from: Erwin Kessler (ed.): The Self-punishing One (...). The Art and Romania in the 80s and 90s. Romanian Cultural Institute, 2010.