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Mária Balážová: Women´s Tread

Retrospective exhibition of a distinctive Slovak author, a representative of the regional art scene, with the following introducing of a new monograph publication.

Author, title of the exhibition: Mária Balážová: Women´s Tread
Venue: Jan Koniarek Gallery in Trnava, Koppelova vila, Zelený kríček 3, Trnava
Curated by: Roman Gajdoš
Opening of the exhibition: 12th September 2019 (Thursday) at 6.00 pm
Duration of the exhibition: 12th September – 27th October 2019


The solo exhibition called “Mária Balážová: Women´s Tread” presents a selection of works by this Trnava´s author over the last nine years. The concept lays emphasis on her works of the recent years articulating the personal, introspective topics through the language of geometric abstraction. Balážová uses her means of expression as a tool for criticism of the gender inequality and so she departs more and more from the previous position of her painting programme in which it was important to look for new forms and meanings hidden in them, towards the more distinct feminist and personal representation. As a prime motive, feminism and associated social criticism were shown in her works on one-person exhibition called Female Geometry (Gallery Z, Bratislava, 2016) and later on exhibitions Geo-Femina (Central Slovakian Gallery, Banská Bystrica, 2017) and Under the Skirt (Považská Gallery of Arts, Žilina, 2017).

In the cycle of Unpaid Housework, Balážová thematises present-day problems describing the value of women´s work associated with precarisation or work stereotyping. However, the collocation of “women´s work“(similarly, the word “women´s “in the title of the exhibition) does not play in the first place a role of an opposite pole of men´s, but it wants to refer ironically to how the naturalized social design gets in our common thinking. In her paintings and drawings, she describes this phenomenon also on the basis of her own real-life experience (one-year study at the industrial school focused on textile in Trenčín). Balážová visualizes the relationships between hegemony and disciplining while everything is occurring on the background of her personal mythology, her own pictogrammatic language, where the women´s principle (presented as a snake with a rhombic head and an empty rectangle in the middle) is continually confronted with the men´s principle (rhomb with two openings symbolizing testes, but also a fixed man´s stare) – a drawing from this cycle having the same name, was given a prize at the International Drawing Biennale in New Delhi, India.

In her latest works, fear of violence, power and hegemony are projected in the intimate family background, where the dominant men´s element is systematically planned in the painting area and it culminates in the series of drawings and paintings called Domestic Violence. A distinctly expressive handwriting used in some places refers very straightforwardly to Balážová´s personal story and moves the general criticism of an androcentric society to a more intimate position. Here, the key role is played by the figure of a despotic father who permanently and demonically comes back in acrylic canvases and large-format drawings – destructively and aggressively.

In the latest works, Mária Balážová bet on a straightforward expression of her personal story associated with a therapeutic character. This approach in her works represents a new dimension not only for her herself, but also for geometric painting in general.

Roman Gajdoš

Assoc. Prof., Mgr. Art Mária Balážová born in Trnava in 1956, completed the Secondary SUPŠ School in Bratislava (1972 – 76) and graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (1978 – 1984). At the beginning of her artisic activities, she was taken up especially with the medium of drawing, object, and author´s clothing design, later with painting and graphic arts. She is a characteristic representative of post-geometric and feminist art in Slovakia. For her drawings she received the award of Honorable Mention in the USA (Provo) in the year 1990, and in the year 2019, Honorary Mention Award, International Drawing Biennale 2018 – 19, New Delhi (India). She exhibited at the 5th International Triennale of Drawing, Wroclaw (1992), the Club of Concretists, Bratislava, the Slovak National Gallery (1999), Eine kurze Geschichte zur Malerei, Leverkusen (2001), Contemporary Slovak Art 1960 – 2000, Ljubljana, City Art Museum (2007), Here and Now, Budapest, Kunsthalle (2015), Hommage à Peter Vajda, Prague, Museum Kampa – Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation (2018). She is represented in the collections: the Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, National Gallery, Prague (CZ), Jan Koniarek Gallery, Trnava, the Central Slovakian Gallery, Banská Bystrica, Gallery of Miloš Alexander Bazovský, Trenčín, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, the Collection of PSIS (the First Slovak Investment Group´s Collection), Bratislava, Tama Art University Museum, Tokyo (J), the City Museum and Gallery, Břeclav (CZ), and Richard Adam Gallery, Brno (CZ). She works as a university teacher at the Faculty of Education, Trnava University, she lives in Trnava.




Slovak Arts Council is the main sponsor of the project.

Supported using public funding by 


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Press release
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