These works were made decades ago but those peppered with holes look like they could collapse at any moment, while others bound by string appear ready to burst forth from their confines and cause an unsuspecting audience to jump back in surprise. Using the simple materials of balloons and liquid plaster she was able to create delicate and evocative pieces.
Maria Bartuszová installation view at Tate Modern 2022, Photo © Tate (Joe Humphrys)
The most moving works are photographs that show how her work was shared with blind and partially sighted children so they could ‘see’ the works with their hands and experience their fragility first hand. It’s a beautiful use of sculpture inspiring young minds and it will make visitors want to get hands on with these pieces themselves, though sadly there aren’t any replicas for them to interact with.
Tate has neatly carved a square hole in a temporary wall so that we can view works suspended on string, as if they are hovering in mid-air, which further adds to the delicate and ethereal nature of her works. Maria Batuszova was a twentieth century Slovakian female sculptor that most won’t have heard of and it’s great to see Tate Modern take an overlooked artist and bring her to the attention of a local audience.
The downside of the show is that due to the small scale of most of the works, the exhibition is housed in a five gallery space that’s usually home to one of Tate Modern’s temporary and free displays. Charging full price does feel like too much and it’s unlikely to draw in visitors given the price and lack of instant visual appeal of the works. This is a shame as Bartuszova’s work really shines when you spend time with these delicate pieces. While this small show does shine a light on her work, it’s not quite bright enough.
|What||Maria Bartuszová, Tate Modern review|
|Where||Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||London Bridge (underground)|
21 Sep 22 – 16 Apr 23, 12:00 AM
|Price||£16 / FREE for members|
|Website||Click here for more information|