Female Sculptors – Selection of Personalities of Czechoslovak Sculpture

opening: 28. 1. 2016, 5 p.m.
duration: 29. 1. – 21. 5. 2016
curator: Vladimíra Büngerová
exhibition architecture : Patrik Kovačovský
graphic : Boris Meluš
dramaturgy of sound recordings : Barbora Jurinová a Magdaléna Kuchtová
East Slovak Gallery, Hlavná 27

The exhibition and publication project presents a selection of female personalities of Czechoslovak sculpture, their contribution and specifics for the history of fine arts in thematic areas, which clarify the entry of women into sculptural art, their position and artistic results in sculpture, considered a distinctly male territory. However, the female authors found in it and had a space, the dimensions of which need to be recalled and "dusted". The exhibition and catalog focus on sculptors who have completed classical sculpture studies and many of them are unknown, forgotten, lost, neglected by history, art theory and museum collections or presented in the context of applied and decorative art. Emphasis is placed on authors creating in Slovakia with the addition of a selection of works by sculptors from the Czech environment, some of them not yet presented in our country and almost unknown.

The re-installation of the exhibition in Košice is innovated with works from the collection of the East Slovak Gallery in Košice and presents to a greater extent authors from the East Slovak region or those who worked here in the past (Jolana Kirczová, Alina Ferdinandy, Erna Masarovičová, Mária Bartuszová). The transfer of the exhibition to the Košice gallery and its addition is important from several aspects - Košice was an extremely fruitful and active sculptural region in the 20th century, as well as collections of galleries and museums in Košice contain works by these artists a specific "women's" chapter in the history of fine arts in the former Czechoslovakia.

The beginnings of the establishment of female authors in the 1930s are connected with the applied art and with the ambition to create sculptural works and assert oneself in the field of chamber sculpture. Therefore, their sculptural activity is based on applied and decorative art, and they devoted themselves to sculpture only episodically. Nevertheless, these are works that deserve attention and are an equal contribution in the chamber form. The years after the Second World War and especially the end of the 1950s are connected with the development of art education and also with monumental realizations in public space. Sculptors were and are significant individuals who found their space outside the mainstream, not hiding behind decorative values, at that time in modern art understood as non-progressive to decadent. Research in the issue is based on preserved works, photo documentation, oral history and published materials.

The exhibition cannot be perceived as small monographs by selected authors, but rather points to the specifics of the feminine aspect in sculptural art - small sculpture (jewelry, decorative forms of sculpture, garden sculpture), the material used - ceramics, further on topics such as woman, mother, motherhood, fertility and also to the specifics of sculptural techniques. In addition to three-dimensional works of sculptural and utilitarian character, drawings, photographs, collages, graphics, models and other documentation mediating the phenomenon of sculptors in 20th century art are exhibited. To understand the sculpture going through a crisis in the past and present centuries, the exhibition project is an addition to unknown territories and a focus on works and personalities that have remained outside the main play.

The exhibition is thematically divided into several units: Woman - head - portrait, Sculptor and ceramicist, From miniatures to "monuments", Woman - mother - family, "Iron" ladies, Nature = Woman. The exhibition includes sound recordings of texts from authentic documents of selected sculptors. The spoken word complements the atmosphere of their work with life stories, circumstances and creative thinking. The texts were dramaturgically selected not as biographical medallions of individual authors, but in such a way as to supplement the exhibition intention and themes of the individual exhibition rooms. Thanks to civilian female voices, we will look into intimate reflections, poetry and professional evaluations. They tell about authors as personalities, artists, women.

Excerpts: an article from the periodical press on the (posthumous) exhibition of Jolana Kircz (1936); evaluation of Julie Horová's work in the words of Ester Šimerová (1946); notes of Alina Ferdinandy from the hospital (1962, 1967); a selection from Eva Kmentová's personal correspondence (1977, 1980) and memories of Věra Janoušková's "dump beginnings" (2006). Helena Čertíková, Adriana Geričová, Anna Grusková and Paulína Böhmerová lent the voices to the sculptors.

List of exhibiting authors:

Alžbeta Čereyová (1906 -?), Jolana Kirczová (1909 - 1936), Julie Horová-Kováčiková (1906 - 1978), Marie Bartoňková-Drábková (1908 - 1993), Dagmar Rosůlková (1909 - 1998), Věra Janoušková (1922 - 2010) ), Eugénia Lugsová (1923 - 2013), Alina Ferdinandy (1926 - 1974), Erna Masarovičová (1926 - 2008), Eva Kmentová (1928 - 1980), Jarmila Podzimková-Mráčková (1928 - 1981), Vlasta Prachatická (1929), Klára Pataki (1930), Anna Drobná (1931 - 2007), Mária Bartuszová (1936 - 1996).

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