The work of Slovak sculptor Maria Bartuszová (1936–96) was first presented to international audiences in Kassel in 2007. Although her art has appeared in influential exhibitions and been included in prestigious contemporary art collections, up until now, she has yet to receive the widespread recognition she deserves. Dziewanska’s book offers distinct perspectives on Bartuszová’s work from renowned international critics in an effort to increase our awareness of her sculptures.Working alone behind the Iron Curtain, Bartuszová was one of a number of female artists who not only experimented formally and embarked intuitively on new themes, but who, because they were at odds with mainstream modernist trends, remained in isolation or in a marginalized position.
Revealing her dynamic treatment of plaster—a material that, from a sculptor’s point of view, is both primitive and common—the book deftly reveals how Bartuszová experimented with materials, never hesitating to treat tradition, accepted norms, and trusted techniques as simply transitory and provisional.
Offering a much-needed history of a vibrant body of work, Maria Bartuszová: Provisional Forms is an important contribution to the literature on great female artists.