Stefan Bertalan and the experimental art!

Author: Adriana Ciotau


In the series of articles with the subject interdisciplinary dialogue,

I intend to present the work of the Romanian artist Ștefan Bertalan.His entire life was based on a dialogue on the transfer of concepts and methodologies between two or more subjects.

The appearance and development of this dialogue. The society of Timișoara (Romania) had enrolled, in the history of the city, to a cosmopolitan orientation brought from Illuminist period. This think meant a cultural emancipation of bourgeois class through rationality and experience that brought to a progress of rational knowledge. Timișoara in 1960 – 1980, kept these guidelines and freedom of thoughts brought to the emergence of art groups, groups of intellectuals and so on.
The art of Ștefan Bertalan. The artistic life of Ștefan Bertalan is defined by searches and discoveries resulting from concerns related to: plastic language, technology, cybernetics and bionics. The artist used two ways of representing his art, a rational way (Cartesian) and an intuitive way; at some point in creating a work that intertwine these two modes.

Bertalan's Favorite Plants Bertalan's Favorite Birds

Bertalan’s Favourite Plants
Bertalan’s Favourite Birds

The four senses that define our human existence! We don’t need to look far away in another galaxy to understand the world. To understand nature we must use the senses: hearing, sight, taste and smell! Ștefan Bertalan said: “I haven’t seen a real galaxy,like nobody of us did- just a probable one, the way the astrologists- idiots- specialists present it to us. On a hole- place- ozone in the stratosphere, see F.C.K.W. of the sky, I descend- conjure- beg the vital forces, the universal forces of the elderflower – like taste, smell and hearing, my eyes being shut, to permeate me.” ¹ (” Timisoara and the avant-garde of European art”,Ștefan Bertalan,2015, pg 40)
Like the historical civilizations, Ștefan Bertalan came to understand the Nature as an artist and also to understand the transcendental relationship between man and nature. The condition of the artist in the Romanian society at the beginning of the 60s to 80s it is shown through art groups and intellectual groups.

I, the author. For me it was a true joy to see the artist`s work as it was left to be discovered while going through the exhibition space; the entire exhibition space encompassed the entire work of the artist Ștefan Bertalan. I believe that the entire work of the artist Ștefan Bertalan remained in the memory of the society through the role that it had in the society – a new perspective for future generations.
Plastic art is not important but the music! Ștefan Bertalan expressed this idea through his own works: “Memories tree” (1966-1967); “The space of field”(1985); “Memories (Look) with new meaning” (1966-1967). In all these works, the artist used a specific technique in achieving a final presentation of his work: white ink and cardboard primed.

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“The space of field”(1985) white ink on cardboard, cm 100X70

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“Memories tree” (1966-1967) white ink on cardboard, cm 100X70

The connection of different personalities. Each artist played his own role in 111 Group and Sigma Group. The philosophy of 111 Group influenced some of his works. Timișoara became an ideal place where the groups developed their projects. Sigma group illustrates the pedagogic programm, the interest for nature reflects through the study of natural form.
Teaching period. Ștefan Bertalan began his teaching career in 1962 at the Art School in Timișoara; between 1970-1981,he became the lecturer at the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Timișoara. Ștefan Bertalan has brought his own principles in school at Faculty of Civil Engineering in Timișoara, Romania. Ștefan Bertalan presence to an architectural school has influenced future architects and I think he still does it! His model of education has become relevant today, Ștefan Bertalan becoming a mentor for architects.

ELBA-the B letter drawing from The Street Aesthetics - Light-dynamic Structure series (1970-1971)

ELBA-the B letter drawing from
The Street Aesthetics – Light-dynamic Structure series (1970-1971)

ELBA-the A letter drawing from The Street Aesthetics - Light-dynamic Structure series (1970-1971)

ELBA-the A letter drawing from
The Street Aesthetics – Light-dynamic Structure series (1970-1971)

In October 2015, a workshop was held in Timișoara and it was organised by a group of foreign designers (Space Caviar) ; Betha Alpha Sigma workshop had as a model the art of Ștefan Bertalan. The fact that this art with all its learnings practised 50 years ago had become once again a model today, show the quality of this education.
The ones who met the artist: The architect Vlad Gaivoronschi. Within Stefan Bertalan classes, the architect develops several projects based on a triadic model -” a city with three centres.”

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” A city with three centres” project -architect Vlad Gaivoronschi

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The architect presents his project: A model city – ” a city with three centres” comes from the study of a city with two centres and the interpretation of the equilateral triangle which represents the triad. This module requires undifferentiated replacement growth with an organic increase- integration of man in nature. In this case, the three centres polarize equally and the core may be composed of social-cultural facilities in the city and the nature that enters from outside intuitive. It is possible that in reality these three centres have different size and weighting pattern to remain the same. ”


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