Her paintings have grim backgrounds
Claudia Cotrutza French once produced propaganda posters for Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
Now the walls of her L.A. gallery use the despot’s own words to paint a bleak picture of his rule.
August 30, 2010|By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times
The Wende Museum, Culver City, California
April 15, 2011
The Spring Salon presents a discussion about the Politics of Memory between the Romanian-born, LA-based artist Claudia “Cotrutza” French and Gail Kligman, professor of Sociology at UCLA. The discussion will be preceded by a Museum tour and reception at 6:00 PM.
Gail Kligman is professor of Sociology at UCLA and director of the UCLA Center for European and Eurasian Studies (CEES). She has written widely on culture, politics, and gender in East Central Europe, and done extensive field research in Romania both during the socialist and post-socialist periods. She has written a number of books on Romania including The Wedding of the Dead: Ritual, Poetics, and Popular Culture in Transylvania; The Politics of Duplicity: Controlling Reproduction in Ceausescu’s Romania, and forthcoming with Katherine Verdery, Peasants Under Siege: Collectivization in Romania, 1949-1962.
Claudia “Cotrutza” French is a Romanian-born artist, educated at the Arts Academy in Brasov, (Transylvania) Romania. Not long after her brief professional beginnings in Romania Cotrutza’s parents were granted visas to leave Romania for the United States. Three years later, in 1984, Cotrutza followed her parents to the Los Angeles area. All of Cotrutza’s artworks were seized when she left Romania. In California, she became involved in the fashion world, representing major designers for the Spanish-owned Harris Department Stores. After some years, Cotrutza left the world of runways and fashion shows to study computer-aided design. Cotrutza embarked upon a series of paintings, portraits, collages, and icons while supporting herself as a designer for architects and engineers.
The opening of Cotrutza Gallery in downtown Los Angeles in 2010 provided a great venue for the artist’s exhibit “Memories From My Youth in Communist Romania” and is bringing to public view the story of her life under the unforgettable oppressive regime of Communist Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
Cotrutza’s works can be seen in many private collections. She has shown with the Studio Gallery in Irvine, Bistango Galleries and Restaurant in Irvine and La Jolla, St Paul Episcopal Church in Pomona and at the LA Art Walk.