Maria Bartuszová (1936–1996)
Maria Bartuszová (1936-1996) is still a little-known Slovak sculptor, discovered by a wider audience in 2007 at documenta 12, the most important international art exhibition held every five years in Kassel, Germany. Since then her works began appearing at international exhibitions, some of them can be found in prestigious collections of contemporary art.
Originally from Prague, after graduating in 1961 she followed her husband, also an artist, to Košice, a city isolated from the art world. Few group exhibitions, loose affiliation to the then fashionable “Club of Concretists” and several commissions for public spaces is all that needs to be said about her official artistic life. Constraints of living in a totalitarian system, financial hardship and raising children (ultimately as a single mother) made artistic experiment a considerable challenge. Still, as if contrary to these, Bartuszová’s works exude strength and the will to transgress: her oeuvre consists of about 400 preserved (mostly very fragile) sculptures – traces of unusual struggles and formal experiments.