Peter Bartoš

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Born April 29, 1938(1938-04-29)
Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic)
Lives in Bratislava, Slovakia
Web Artyčok TV, Wikipedia-SK
Collections Art museums in Slovakia (Web umenia), Nitra Gallery, Artandconcept Gallery (Prague)

Peter Bartoš (1938) is an early exponent of conceptual and action art in Slovakia.

He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava (1957-65, prof. J. Želibský, prof. J. Mudroch, prof. P. Matejka).

Coming from an exploration of painting as a process, Bartoš realized actions in the late 1960s in which he poured paint on various support media or scattered grids of materials like cinder, dust, chalk powder, or peat over the streets and squares of Bratislava. His primary interest in these projects concerned the physical properties of the materials, the temporary nature of works existing only as processes, and the ways in which materials might be transformed by way of accumulation or dispersal.

Nature has long been an important source of inspiration for Bartoš. He has worked with live animals on several occasions, thus in the 1971 action Vypúšťanie holubov na slobodu [Releasing the Pigeons], which must be read in the context of the isolation of his country at the time. He was also a successful pigeon breeder for many years, and between 1979 and 1990 he worked as a conceptual artist at the Bratislava Zoo, developing models for the spatial layout of the grounds and designing various living environments for the animals. As the artist wrote about this work:

"... I was also interested in the immediate 'zoomedium' or in 'animal art' as a biological and psychological prototype of the relationship between the living forms on earth as well as the formation or creation of an ecological culture."

Many of Bartoš's works, which often evolve and grow more complex over the course of decades, intertwine questions of ecological planning and the shaping of natural settings with issues of liberty and privacy in connection with (national and political) boundaries. In 1993, he launched the project Nomadart, in which he discovers his homeland on foot and explores it in drawings and photographs. He settled on a predetermined circular route that passes through five Central European countries: Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Austria. Its center is the village of Uhrovec, where Ľudovít Štúr (a prominent representative of the Slovak national revival movement in the 19th century) and Alexander Dubček (the leading figure of the Prague Spring in 1968) were born. Nation states are irrelevant to Bartoš's idea of where he is at home: his peregrinations took the artist—who, after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, long hesitated which citizenship to adopt—over several unmarked international borders. (Source)


Solo exhibitions
  • Peter Bartoš, Michal Studený, Galéria mladých, Bratislava, 1967.
  • with Július Koller, Permanentná antigaléria [The Permanent Anti-gallery], the display window of the Komunálna opravovňa pančúch [Hosiery Express Repair] shop, Bratislava, 1968-1969.
  • Peter Bartoš – Z tvorby, Nitrianska galéria, Nitra 7 Nov – 6 Dec 2000. Curated by Lucia Stachová and Richard Gregor.
  • Artoteam od A po Ž, conceptual reading room, Galéria Jána Koniarka, Trnava, 2000-2001.
  • Situations 1945–2014, Secession, Vienna, 21 Nov 2014 - 25 Jan 2015. Curated by Annette Südbeck, researcher: Mira Keratová. [1]
  • Homeland, amt_project, Bratislava, 2 Oct - 27 Nov 2015. With Peter Andráši, Petra Feriancová, Květa Fulierová, Július Koller.
  • Celok je menší ako súčet jeho častí, Mirbachov palác (Galéria mesta Bratislavy), Bratislava, 25 Nov 2021-29 May 2022. Curated by Mira Keratová. Participating artists: Petra Feriancová, Andreas Fogarasi, Martin Hrvol, Anna Jermolaewa, Ingeborg Strobl, Lois Weinberger.
Group exhibitions


  • "Z autorských programov a akcií", Výtvarný život 15:8, 1970, pp 40-41. (Slovak)
  • "Peter Bartoš", in Bartoš, Situations 1945–2014, Vienna: Secession, 2014. (Slovak)

Catalogues, artist books[edit]

  • Peter Bartoš. Z tvorby, Nitra: Nitrianska galéria, 2001. [3] (Slovak)
  • Peter Bartoš. Situations 1945–2014, eds. Mira Keratová, Tina Lipsky, and Annette Südbeck, Vienna: Secession, and Berlin: Revolver, 2014, 64 pp + [82] leaves. With texts by Peter Bartoš and Mira Keratová. (German)/(English)
  • Peter Bartoš. Bratislava ZOO 1979-1991, ed. Mira Keratová, intro. Perta Feriancová, Bratislava: Archiving Air Press, 2019, 72 pp. With texts by Peter Bartoš, Mira Keratová, Borbála Soós. (English)
  • Celok je menší ako súčet jeho častí / The Whole Is Less Than the Sum of Its Parts, ed. Mira Keratová, Bratislava: Galéria mesta Bratislavy, 2023, 96 pp. Exhibition. (Slovak)/(English)


  • "Peter Bartoš", in Aktuelle Kunst in Osteuropa, ed. Klaus Groh, Cologne: DuMont, 1972, pp [19-21]. (German)
  • Zora Rusinová, "Peter Bartoš", in Umenie akcie 1965-1989, ed. Zora Rusinová, Bratislava: Slovenská národná galéria, 2001, pp 53-62. (Slovak)
  • Omar Mirza, "Peter Bartoš", in Mirza, Aktionskunst in der Slowakei (1965-1989), Vienna: Universität Wien, 2008, pp 40-44. Master's thesis. (German)
  • Mira Keratová, "Každá cesta ukrýva počiatočné tajomstvo: ako sa pútnik dostal do východzieho bodu?", in Peter Bartoš, Situations 1945–2014, Vienna: Secession, 2014. (Slovak)
  • Mira Keratová, "Peter Bartoš", Flash Art Czech & Slovak Edition 37, Dec 2015, pp 43-44. (Slovak)
  • Petra Feriancová (ed.), Peter Bartoš: Grazing a Lamb. An Attempt to Reconstruct an Afternoon, Bratislava: Sputnik, 2016, 52 pp. [4] (English)
  • Boris Kršňák, et al., Ume? Nie! Príbeh zbierky Artandconcept, Bratislava: Petrus, 2020. (Slovak)

See also[edit]