Q Contemporary and Mira Brtka Foundation is thrilled to organize an exhibition entitled The World of Mira Brtka: A Retrospective as a partner event of Art Market Budapest and one of the main events of the MOST.SERBIA, a Serbian contemporary art festival in Budapest.
Mira Brtka was born in 1930, in Novi Banovci (Yugoslavia). She received her secondary school diploma in Belgrade in 1949, she then graduated from the faculty of film directing of Belgrade’s Academy of Theatre and Film in 1955. After that, she spent one year in Prague working as an assistant director she then lived in Rome from 1959 onwards. In the same year she applied to the department of painting in the Accademia di Belle Arti, where she studied in the class of Franco Gentilini and Professor Mino Maccari. During her painting studies, she took part in the making of a great number of animated films, documentaries, advertisements, and feature films. Her first paintings were shown in Rome in 1965. Between 1966 and 1971, still living in Rome, she maintained relations with Belgrade: she translated, and wrote articles; and interviewed some of the most prominent critics, directors, and artists of her time. She also had several shows in Yugoslavia during this time. She left Rome in 1971 and started a family with film director Dragan Kresoja but kept her workshop in Rome until 2003, making a name for herself in the pages of fashion history with her film costumes.
In 1967, she joined alive-member international art collective founded in Rome by Japanese painter Nobuya Abe. The name (“Illumination”) and aims of the group were inspired by Arthur Rimbaud’s book, Les Illuminations, as well as by haiku poetry and Zen philosophy. Its members were Marcia Hafif, Aldo Schmid, Milena Cubrakovic, Paolo Patelli and Mira Brtka. It was during these years that Brtka made her white paintings and geometric compositions sprawling over large monochrome surfaces. Towards the late 1960s, her painting shifted away from ethereal, meditative compositions towards hard-edge painting. After returning to her home country from Italy, Mira Brtka started to experiment and expand her practice as a painter towards a multidisciplinary form of art.
She began using other mediums, including embroidery. Brtka’s technique of filled embroidery on canvas was based on a main sketch made by the artist which was then handed over to the skilled embroiderers. It was then their choice, how to arrange the colours and palette within a given area.
In the early 2000’s Mira Brtka started to experiment with sculptural forms which were three dimensional extensions of her previous works. Over the years sculpture became a medium Mira Brtka masterfully practiced creating important works such as the chair shaped Untitled (painted iron, 170 x 100 x 100 cm).
The artist passed away in 2014. This will be the first retrospective exhibition of Mira Brtka outside of her country with the aim of giving her greater international recognition.
Eszter Csillag, Q Contemporary
Miroslav Rodić, Mira Brtka Foundation
Jerko Denegri PHD, freelance curator