Tangram-Blatt-Kopf, 1985

Miami Beach 2016
Esther Schipper
Work on Paper
Gouache and oil crayon on paper
69.7 x 57.7 (cm)
27.4 x 22.7 (inch)
A driving force of the Romanian neo-Constructivist movement in the 1950s, Stefan Bertalan began research into cybernetics and system theory which would later inform his search for overarching patterns and systems in natural forms. Close observation of organic processes and systematic studies of shapes found in organic, vegetal and mineral forms eventually led to the artist’s development of an interconnected cosmology of all things. In 1981, the artist moved from Timișoara – where he had originally developed his art and engaged with other artists while teaching at the university – to the much smaller town of Sibiu, initiating what Erwin Kessler has called an ‘inner emigration’ that began long before the actual departure from Romania to Germany in 1986. The loss of his artistic context and the isolation of the new environment intensified the artist’s retreat: His close observations of the natural world would lead, in the end, to a direct identification with nature. Initiated by a series of intense dreams, which the artist referred to as apparitions, Bertalan began a series of emotionally charged drawings that insert the artist’s body into those of plants, creating hybrid formations.