warsaw

View of “Maria Bartuszová,” 2014.

Maria Bartuszová

Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw | Museum on Pańska 3

View of “Maria Bartuszová,” 2014.

Imagine a form that exudes vulnerability as well as resolve, pliancy as well as recalcitrance, that features geometric shapes and is nonetheless organic, that looks provisional and yet is timelessly self-contained, that is alive with tension but still imparts a sense of calm, that suggests the most intimate eroticism while attesting to the most refined purity. If this seems impossible to conjure, then look at the work of Maria Bartuszová. Such ambivalence is the defining characteristic of her art and probably accounts for the incomprehension with which these wonderful objects have often been met.

Born in Prague in 1936, Bartuszová moved to Košice, in what was then Czechoslovakia and is now Slovakia, in 1961 and launched her career as an artist there a few years later; she died in 1996. The era’s male-dominated Minimalism called for lucid form cleansed of all sentiment. Fascinated

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