Interpretations and Self-interpretations of Brauner


(Mihaela Petrov, Victor Brauner pictopoet, Fundația Gellu Naum, București, 2013)

I concluded my review of Mihaela Petrov’s previous book on Victor Brauner with the phrase: “The interpretative effort seems to be still ahead of us.” Petrov’s essential contribution to the scolarship on Brauner was to insist and develop on the idea of the connection between Brauner’s self-interpretative texts and his painted work. The title of the new book (Victor Brauner pictopoet) suggests the same logic of interpretation (establishing links between text and image), and indeed, one will find in the volume several references to Brauner’s letters, notebooks and interviews that tried to explain to himself and to others how elements of his art were interconnected from his specific point of view.

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The Network of Artists around Victor Brauner


(Emil Nicolae, Victor Brauner și însoțitorii [Victor Brauner and His Fellow-travelers], Ed. Hasefer, Bucharest, 2013.)

The volume consists of twenty shorter texts that explore Victor Brauner’s universe in terms of biography, spiritual kinship and artistic analogy. The author succeeds in retracing elements of biography that go beyond the simple factual level, and finding the instants where “facts” often result in works of art, anecdotes worth remembering, and germs of stories that have never been written. The strategy of the book is to present Brauner in his relation to others: how they saw him, how Brauner saw them, how they interacted, how they “met”, often in spiritual ways only, through their shared interests and aspirations.

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Keywords in the Works of Victor Brauner

brauner borito jpg

(Mihaela Petrov, Victor Brauner: Cuvântul scris și opera plastică 1934–1965, Humanitas, București, 2012)

Although the art school in his native town (Piatra Neamț, Romania) is named after Victor Brauner, the best works of the surrealist painter were not printed until 2012 in Romania in a representative album of good quality. Mihaela Petrov’s book is therefore an important milestone of Brauner’s reception in Romania, after some major monographical essays published in Romanian language by Emil Nicolae (2004, with several texts and early paintings of the author), Sarane Alexandrian (2005, a translation of the book originally printed in Paris, at Ed. Oxus in 2004) and Cristian-Robert Velescu (2007). The author of the recent book, Mihaela Petrov obtained a PhD degree in Bucharest in 2011, after researching intensively the Brauner archives in Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, creating a full inventory of the notebooks and manuscripts of Brauner, trying to establish interpretative connections between them and Brauner’s paintings.

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Szürrealista hieroglifák

Emil Nicolae: Victor Brauner. La izvoarele operei. Hasefer, Buc., 2004.

Olyan kezdőmondat nem igazán van, hogy „az egyik legérdekesebb szürrealista festő”, vagy ha van, akkor ásításba fullad.

Kezdjük máshonnan: Brauner merész és radikális mítoszokat építő festő, értelmezői szerint „szürrealista hieroglifákat” fest, képei egyfajta szintaktikus gondolkodást hordoznak, erőteljesen nyelvi jellegűek.

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Virágszörnyek, gombaemberek

Rozsda. Szerk.: David Rosenberg. Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest, 2001.

Hatalmas képzőművészeti anyag, százhetven reprodukció 414 oldalon, első látásra Miró színeit és formáit, a negyvenes évekbeli képeken pedig Victor Brauner motívumait vélem felismerni.

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