Nowadays, Yvonne Hasan is usually remembered as a professor of art history at the Institute of Fine Arts in Bucharest. She may also be referred to as: the Jewish teenager arrested under Antonescu’s laws; the student attending the courses of the Maxy Art School; the young artist sent to the construction sites of our Socialist homeland; the painter developing a “synoptic” vision – manifested in her works through a collage of various elements: wooden pieces, soap packaging, used mail envelopes, time fabrics broken by time; the creator of tapestries in which tradition meets expressionist forms; the art theorist, teaching at the Institute from 1956 to 1982; the author of a remarkable book entitled “Paul Klee and Modern Painting”. All these facets unite to define the nature of an artist who deserves special attention and whose personality and cultural profile are minimized if they are not viewed as a whole.
Yvonne Hasan is, through her theoretical choices, but also through her strenuous practice, close to the historical avant-garde. Her colored reliefs provide her with an exclusive status in our contemporary art. Her collages, made with apparently poor, although not cheap materials, are filled with memories, like the colored reliefs that embed all sorts of ciphered fragments: personal handbags, gloves, strips of cloth or canvas, pieces of furniture, all recovered from the artist’s universe and forming true works of confession for those interested.
In one of her university lectures, Yvonne Hasan wrote a paragraph that mirrors very well her life and work: Apollinaire spoke of collage as the “inner wound” of the painting, because by this process the outer reality, which until then had been held at the border of the picture, was now incorporated in the picture. Thus, her thinking displays both the criteria of artistic clarity and the distinction between theoretical ideas. Here, the aesthetics of ugliness is merged into the concept described by the German word Weltanschauung, revealing a clear, unified image of her world.
During her last months, confined in the austere modernity of her place, one could sense a vulnerable artist, who was content to be so. Talking at that point about a retrospective, she said: With each exhibition I experience the stage fright of the debut. This is the mood that dominates me now, when I request from you, my visitors, your gaze and understanding.