RENATE BERTLMANN: Verwandlungen [Transformations]

2 - 25 October 2013
Overview

On the occasion of Frieze 2013, Richard Saltoun Gallery announces a presentation of works by the Viennese feminist artist Renate BERTLMANN.

 

Since the early '70s Renate Bertlmann has been making art within a radical feminist perspective that dared to represent and to interconnect subjects as varied as childhood, gender, violence, love, pornography, sexual pleasure and trauma. In her performances, as well as in photographic series such as Rénée ou René (1977), she transgresses gender categories by appropriating images and roles usually attributed to the male sex, including acts of seduction, violence and masturbation. In Tender Touches (1976) she utilises condoms and teats to simulate a love-making act, which brings apparently separated spheres together: tenderness and sexual desire, childhood and contraception, motherhood and penetration. Renate Bertlmann's work disrupts and desecrates representation in a sensual and provocative way, by re-appropriating objects (like condoms, dolls and phallic sculptures) and images that belong to religious iconography, such as in her Self-portrait as Santa Teresa, 1974.

 

Installation Views
Press release

On the occasion of Frieze 2013, Richard Saltoun Gallery announces a presentation of works by the Viennese feminist artist Renate Bertlmann.

 

Since the early '70s Renate Bertlmann has been making art within a radical feminist perspective that dared to represent and to interconnect subjects as varied as childhood, gender, violence, love, pornography, sexual pleasure and trauma. In her performances, as well as in photographic series such as Rénée ou René (1977), she transgresses gender categories by appropriating images and roles usually attributed to the male sex, including acts of seduction, violence and masturbation. In Tender Touches (1976) she utilises condoms and teats to simulate a love-making act, which brings apparently separated spheres together: tenderness and sexual desire, childhood and contraception, motherhood and penetration. Renate Bertlmann's work disrupts and desecrates representation in a sensual and provocative way, by re-appropriating objects (like condoms, dolls and phallic sculptures) and images that belong to religious iconography, such as in her Self-portrait as Santa Teresa, 1974.

 

Renate Bertlmann (b. 1943 Vienna, Austria) is one of the pioneering feminist artists, whose art practice focuses on representations of sex, love and male-female relationships. Belonging to the same generation as VALIE EXPORT and Birgit Jürgenssen, she was included in the radical feminist exhibition MAGNA. Feminismus: Kunst und Kreativität (1975), which represented a major political statement at the time, curated by VALIE EXPORT.

  

Bertlmann has recently been included in Rebelle: Art & Feminism, MMKA, Arnhem, Netherlands (2009), Donna: avanguardia femminista negli anni '70, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy (2010) and Centro Cultural de Bellas Artes, Madrid (2013), Me Myself & Them, Kunstlerhaus, Vienna, Austria (2012) and re.act.feminism #2: A Performing Archive (travelling 2011-2013). A major monograph on the artist will be published in 2014 by Sammlung Verbund.