Juraj Bartusz

Juraj Bartusz

Born October 23 1933, Kamenín
Lived in Košice (1963)

An important Slovak representative who used many methods and techniques in his artistic expression. In addition to sculpture, which he originally studied, he was closely inspired by minimalism and concretism. Over the years he also used action art, through which, as a performer, he commented on current social issues.
(Beata Rakowská)

sculpture, action art, performance


Juraj Bartusz was the son of stonemason Július Bartusz (1898–1959). His mother Júlia Bartuszová, née Némethová (1904–1989), dealt with naive painting from 1974.


He married Mária Bartuszová and had a daughter called Anna, who later graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.
Is spouse of Mária Bartuszová


Having completed his studies in Prague, Bartusz moved to Kosice where he worked in the art-promotion department of the East-Slovak Ironworks (18 months).


After he left the East-Slovak Ironworks he decided to fully devote himself to art as a freelancer. He and his family permanently settled in Kosice.
He cooperated with architect Pavol Merjavý (*1935) on the Pamätník Krompašské vzbury / Krompachy Uprising Memorial (Krompachy, SK). The final sculpture was attached to a wall of large travertine blocks and the pedestal was removed.


Juraj Bartusz created the Brána kosmonautov / Astronauts' Gate sculpture (Pohradová housing estate, Košice). The work synthesized and symbolically demonstrated Bartusz's sculptural roots, extending the boundaries towards action, and working with the body itself. The Gate also reflected his use of anthropomorphous shapes and his interest in the universe and its conquest in the spirit of the then topical desire to "reach for the stars". This was also reflected in his later works. The topic of astronautics was so distant from the reality of socialism that it represented the asylum of freedom for many artists. The Gate was also related to his action Building of the Gate (1973) in an open space near Kosice Airport. However, it was removed by the authorities as early as the following day.


Over the years Bartusz also followed other artistic directions. He continued the constructivism tradition through his series of reliefs of bent aluminium (Hliníkové obrazy / Aluminium Paintings, 1967
With František Patočka (1927–2002) he established the International Sculpture Symposium in Metal in Košice (SK).
International Sculpture Symposium in Metal (public program, Košice)
Sculptures and Drawings (solo exhibition, Košice)


In cooperation with architect Pavol Merjavý he made a sculpture on the facade of the TANAP Museum (previously Trnava Muzeum, in Tatranská Lomnica, SK).


International Sculpture Symposium in Wood (public program, Moravany nad Váhom)
Concretists´Club and Guest local and foreign (group exhibition, Karlovy Vary)


works with photographer Alexander Jirouška


The overlapping of Bartusz's work with action art was demonstrated in his Úradné potvrdenie / Official Certificate action. The original title of Faktografická próza / Factual Prose fully demonstrated the artist's detached point of view of normalization politics, his instinct for a well-placed practical joke, and his civilian attitude (which brought him close to Egon Bondy later). The Úradné potvrdenie / Official Certificate became a documentary of "dry" expressiveness, which brought back the atmosphere of the year normalization started.


He made the sculpture Fight for the campus of the veterinary clinic of the P. J. Štefánik University.


works with photographer Gabriel Kladek
works with photographer Zdeněk Smieško
International Sculpture Symposium - calc tuff (public program, Vyšné Ružbachy)
Statuary (solo exhibition, Košice)


Bartusz and Gabriel Kladko's Light Ceremony I project was a response to progressive artistic trends of the 20th century which were related to land-art and action art. The one-day action was an official contribution to the 30th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising. Some of Bartusz's sculptures which were created during the symposium were removed during the 1970's. The official reason was that they were not in accord with the normative aesthetics of socialist art and had to be removed from the public area.
Received award from Cena Cypriána Majerníka
Statuary (solo exhibition, Bratislava)



Sculpture (solo exhibition, Warsaw)


In the 1980's he experimented with bricks and their weight. In the beginning he pressed them into plaster and this completely captivated him. His visions of "conserving" the energy generated by the impact of a thrown brick represented another strong expression for him. This resulted in a number of series and alternatives to the "sculptural gesture."
Bartusz. Dobos (solo exhibition, Miskolc )


As part of his work with the body, which repeatedly appeared in his works, he performed the action Súkromné cvičenie civilnej obrany / Private exercise of the civil defence. He engaged the members of his family, including the dog, in the action. He dressed them in plastic and had them take up defensive poses. The photographs from the action showed the resulting figures and, at the same time, criticised the existing political regime.
The four-metre sculpture Anatomický modul podľa Leonarda da Vinciho so čtvrtou dimenziou / Anatomical module according to Leonardo da Vinci with the fourth dimension (Medical Faculty of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice) documented Bartusz's contemplation of space.
Socha piešťanských parků (exhibition, Piešťany)


Bartusz's works relating to astronautics and the like had a strong charge. More specifically, Bartusz tried to reveal the magic of the universe through his typical parody of a frozen astronaut on our planet. He used a number of statues and statuettes. The unveiling of the statue of J. A. Gagarin (Secondary Vocational School of East-Slovakia Iron Works, Košice) was a monumental expression. In the same year he produced the Bednění tanku / Encasing of a Tank action. The encased tank from World War II looked like a package. He intended to include the address
Received award from Cena mesta Piešťany


In his studio, he made 18 simultánných časovolimitovaných malieb / 18 Simultaneous Time-Limited Paintings which started the period of his own painting expression. By combining painting, action, and gesture, he captured the energy of a given period of time.


Bartusz (solo exhibition, Brno)
The Current Czechoslovak Chamber Sculpture (group exhibition, Trenčín)


Juraj Bartusz. Action – Drawings (solo exhibition, Brno)
A4 (group exhibition, )


The unveiled sculpture of Halleyho kométa / Halley's Comet (Vranov, CZ) was another of his works which followed the astronautic theme.
Guests of the Gallery H (group exhibition, )


Diagonals (painting)
Private CO exercises
Private CO exercises (photography)

Juraj Bartusz. Drawings, paintings (solo exhibition, Prague)
Bartusz (solo exhibition, Nové Zámky)
Paintings, projects (solo exhibition, Trebišov)
New Slovak Painting (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Prešparty '88. Meeting of Czechoslovak Artists (group exhibition, Prešov)



After the political change, he primarily dealt with action art. In 1990 he performed at concerts of the Trasmusic Comp. He created a series of action paintings by striking paper with a piece of rubber covered with wet paint
90 Authors in the Year 1990 (group exhibition, Prague)


He performed the Ekosendvič / Eco-Sandwich action on three occasions. He poured sand on the concrete bottom of a large rectangular shape and covered it with a layer of freshly picked wildflowers and grass. Then he gradually covered it with stones, wood, and bark. The next eco-layer consisted of a metal sheet, glass, polystyrene, and other communal waste. This represented the historical layer of human civilization. Bartusz covered it all with a black asphalt sheet on which he "sowed" wheat. During the action he recited a poem by J. Bodnárová and, at the same time he placed the poem in written form on pieces of cardboard at the top of the work.
Art of Action (group exhibition, Prague)
Dream about Museum (group exhibition, Žilina)
Probes. Bartusz (solo exhibition, Bratislava)


Received award from Academy of Fine Arts in Prague
Juraj Bartusz (solo exhibition, Banská Bystrica )
Czech and Slovak Contemporary Art 1950 - 1992 (group exhibition, Novara)
Minisalon (group exhibition, Prague)
Grey Brick 35/1992 (group exhibition, )


Juraj Bartusz. Flashback (solo exhibition, Žilina)


International Sculpture Symposium in Wood (public program, Moravany nad Váhom)
Ecological and Sociological Installation (solo exhibition, Žilina)



During the Holení starého filozofa / Shaving of an old philosopher action Bartusz shot a short movie in which he asked questions of the philosopher Egon Bondy, while Bondy was cutting his hair and shaving his chin. He answered questions and freely debated philosophical topics and contemporary art. His performance on the opening day of the Cestou / Úton / On the Road exhibition in Šamorín (with Ilona Németh) was based on sounds which the performers made through their expressive opening of suitcases scattered on the floor of a synagogue.
International Symposium of light in Eger (public program, Eger)
Sources of light (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Juraj Bartusz / Ex aequo (solo exhibition, Banská Bystrica )


In the Prázdné prostory / Empty Spaces action he wrote fragments from a book about "extraterrestrials" on the floor. Magdalena Jetelová also took part in the action which was part of the Učitel a žák / Teacher and Student event in the U Bílého jednorožce gallery, Klatovy-Klenová.
International Workshop Teacher and pupil (public program, )
Cassovia Sculpture Garden, Symposium wood-stone (public program, Košice)
Cestou l Úton l On the Road (solo exhibition, Šamorín)
Hommage à Kassák (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Sculpture and Object II. (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Concretists´Club (after 30 years) (group exhibition, Zlín)


International Sculpture Symposium in Wood (public program, Moravany nad Váhom)
(Anti) communication (solo exhibition, )


International Symposium of light in Eger (public program, Eger)
Bleskosvetlo Bleskotma (solo exhibition, Łódź)
Juraj Bartusz. Trans-forms (solo exhibition, Košice)


In 2000 he produced the Ufoni v nás / Extraterrestrials in Us action, during which he tried to convince visitors to the Tatra Gallery of the existence of extraterrestrials. In the same year, he performed the Monolog / Monologue action at a workshop in the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, during which the artist threw bricks into fastening plaster and made a loud noise.
International workshop (public program, Budapest)
Quasi Spaces (solo exhibition, Bratislava)
Communication (solo exhibition, Rimavská Sobota)


At the 49th International Biennale in Venice, Bartusz wore a white jacket and encouraged the passers-by in St. Mark square to write their signatures on it. He repeated the Hvězdy se mi podepisují na sako / Celebrities are signing my jacket action with some modifications a few more times.
Received grant from Villa Waldberta
International Workshop (public program, )
Űres terek l Empty Spaces (solo exhibition, Miskolc )
From Aquisitions 1990 – 2001 (group exhibition, Banská Bystrica )
Contacts: International Open-air Symposium (public program, Klatovy)



Received award from Sándor Márai Foundation


Received award from The Munkacsy Foundation


Draughty in Contemporary Slovak Painting 2000–2005 (group exhibition, Banská Bystrica )


On the opening day of his solo Živá socha / Living Statue exhibition in the Jan Koniarek Gallery in Trnava, he wore a black coat and a gas mask, and repeatedly threw a doll as big as a newborn baby high into the air. In the background, the Holení starého filozofa / Shaving of an Old Philosopher (1996) movie was projected and he played Beethoven's Ode to Joy, after which he named the action. In the same year, he performed an action in which he covered damaged asphalt pavement in front of the entrance to the Faculty of Art of the Technical University in Košice with computer keyboards. He called it Ani beton ani asfalt / Neither Concrete, Nor Asphalt. After some time the keyboards almost prevented access to the building due to weathering. Thanks to Bartusz's appeal the school management decided to repair the pavement.


International Sculpture Symposium in stone (public program, Vyšné Ružbachy)
Out of the City. Land Art (group exhibition, Košice)


Ludwig Goes Pop + The East Side Story (group exhibition, Budapest)

Muzeum umění Olomouc 2011-2016