Delicate, evocative plaster sculptures inspired by the natural world
Bringing together many works rarely exhibited before in the UK, this survey exhibition will highlight the abstract sculptures of Prague-born Slovak artist Maria Bartuszová.
Bartuszová worked over three decades in Košice, the second-largest city in Slovakia. She created around 500 sculptures, from small organic forms to commissions for public spaces as well as works in the landscape, despite restrictions on her artistic life during this period.
The exhibition starts in the 1960s, when Bartuszová experimented using her own distinctive method of casting plaster by hand. Inspired by playing with her young daughter, she created abstract shapes by pouring plaster into rubber balloons – her signature material was white plaster, giving the sculptures a fragile quality.
She shaped the sculptures by pushing, pulling, or submerging them into water, creating unique and distinct shapes. Some suggest raindrops, seeds or eggs, others the human body. Later, she allowed the balloons to burst, creating delicate works similar to cocoons or nests.
In the 1980s, Bartuszová frequently photographed her works outdoors to emphasise their close ties to nature. The exhibition will also include a selection of these striking images.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)