• Everything we see could also be otherwise (My sweet little lamb)
    20 September – 11 November 2017

    The Showroom (63 Penfold St, Marylebone, London NW8 8PQ, UK) Curated by: What, How & for Whom/WHW, in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg, co-curated by Emily Pethick Preview: Tuesday 19 September, 6.30–8.30pm Exhibition opening hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12–6pm The Showroom presents the epilogue of a long-term project which took place over several months in Zagreb (November 2016 to May 2017), which contextualised and rethought the Kontakt Art Collection. It was curated by What, How & for Whom/WHW in collaboration with Kathrin Rhomberg. This final exhibition is co-curated by The Showroom Director Emily Pethick. Taking selected works from the Vienna-based Kontakt Art Collection as its point of departure, including seminal pieces by some of the most prominent artists from Central, Eastern and South-East Europe since the 1960s, the exhibition stages an interplay between these and other historical, contemporary and newly produced works that interpret and critically examine the collection. The project unfolded in six episodes in Zagreb, each iteration influencing, contradicting and reinforcing each other. It took place in a number of smaller art spaces, artists' studios, private apartments and other locations related to artistic production and the broader cultural landscape of the city. This final stage of the project at The Showroom continues to reframe and expand the context of the collection. Interlacing geographically and poetically heterogeneous artist practices, the project attempts to punctuate standardized presentations and interpretations of works that have dominated international art circuits over the last few decades, with more disorderly and experimental arrangements. The project title is taken from a work by Croatian artist Mladen Stilinović (1947–2016), to whom the project is dedicated. Stilinović's life-long anti-systemic approach, his quiet but shrewd rebellion against social conventions and the conventions of art, and an artistic practice that trenchantly and humorously engages with complex themes of ideology, work, money, pain and poverty, inspired a generation of artists worldwide. The project is a cooperation with Kontakt Art Collection and is supported by Erste Group Bank AG and ERSTE Foundation.


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Mária Bartuszová

Mária Bartuszová developed organic sculpture, mastering biomorphic morphology, the principles of bionics, fundamental physical laws and their consequences. The “fluid” character of sculpting, “breathing” bio-architecture and the “repouring” of volumes were the essence of Bartuszová's visual thinking. As early as 1963, the casting of plaster in rubber (balloon-like) materials became her typical mode of working (the so-called “pneumatic shaping”). After 1962, Bartuszová concerned herself intensively with primary shapes and bioform “cells” (drop, rain, grain, sprouting). Later she created tactile sculptures, combining plaster with natural materials (branches, stones) and developing micro- and macro-structures with powerful inner tension. Beginning around 1984, she formed pure ovoid forms, whose perfect shapes were then visibly subjected to artistic interference, being squashed, deformed, bandaged. She molded open shell-like stigmatized forms with “negative volumes”, cavities and emptiness–“a small void full of a small endless universe.” Bartuszová’s organic, post-minimalist approach to sculpture brings to life a world of subtle, fragile and introverted sculptures, small shapes with strong psychological expression.



Born in Prague, Czech Republic, 1936. Died in Košice, Slovak Republic, 1996.

Bartuszová studied Sculpture in the class of Prof. Otto Eckerdt at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (Czech Republic). Between 1969 and 1970 the artist participated in the member exhibition of the Czechoslovak association “Concretist’s Club”. Since being exhibited at the documenta XII in 2007 Bartuszová’s work got international attention.

Solo Exhibitions (selected):

2014 “Maria Bartuszová. Provisional Forms." Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland 

2011 “Maria Bartuszová“, Rüdiger Schöttle Gallery, Munich, Germany

2008 “Negative Volumes“, Rüdiger Schöttle Gallery, Munich, Germany

2006 “Maria Bartuszová“, CC Centrum, Bratislava, Slovak Republic

2006 “The Path to Organic Sculpture“, Mestská Gallery, Rimavská Sobota, Slovak Republic

Group Exhibitions (selected):

2010 “Promises of the Past“, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

2009 “Awkward Objects“, Collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland                      

2009 “From plaster to chewing gum – Authors techniques“, Nitrianska Gallery, Nitra, Slovak Republic

2007 documenta XII, Kassel, Germany

2005 “Arta Slovaca 1960-2000“, National Museum of Art Romania, Bucharest, Romania

2003 “Exhibition of collection PSIS“, Východoslovenská Gallery, Košice, Slovak Republic

2002 “Slovak Visual Arts 1970-1985“, Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, Slovak Republic

This bibliography provides a list of books available in the
ERSTE Foundation Library

Books/Exhibition Catalogues


Marta Dziewańska, ed. 2015. Mária Bartuszová : Provisional Forms. Warsaw: Museum of Modern Art.


Beskid, Vladimír. 2006. Mária Bartuszová. Curated by Vladimír Beskid. Rimavská Sobota: Mestská galéria Rimavská Sobota [Exhib. Cat., Štátna galéria Banska Bystrica (Mar.-Apr., 2006), Východoslovenska galéria Košice (Jun.-Jul., 2006), Mestská galéria Rimavská Sobota (Oct., 2006)]

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