Zorka Ságlová, Kladení plín u Sudomere, 1970
Zorka Ságlová
Kladení plín u Sudomere

Zorka Ságlová (*1942 †2003, Czech Republic) was one of the most important Czech artists. She heavily influenced Czech art in the 1960s with her Constructivist paintings and abstract objects. In the 1980s, she returned to serial structures in her painting. Between 1969 and 1972, she was one of the leading protagonists of Czech performance art, staging many happenings and land art works. Through her artistic interventions, Ságlová challenged the dominant male canon of modern art.

“On this former battlefield, we put approximately 700 squares of white fabric on the grass in the form of a big triangle and left them there.” (Zorka Ságlová)
In Kladení plín u Sudomere (Laying out Nappies near Sudomere) – an intervention in the landscape – the artist uses the pictorial language of her paintings based on geometric forms and uniform colour fields. She also chose a location for her land art that has historical significance for the Czech national consciousness. During the Hussite Wars in the 15th century, a decisive battle took place in the vicinity of Sudomere, in southern Bohemia. According to legend, the Hussites’ victory was primarily due to their women. They put their head scarves on the wet meadows, and these entangled the enemy. This landscape, symbolically monopolised by historiography as male, violent and military, is marked in a radically different way by Zorka Ságlová and other women through their personal traces. By using cloth diapers – an object that is close to the body and intimate – she refers to the growing life worth protecting as well as to a domestic, mostly feminine activity that she transfers to a public place steeped in history. She also draws attention to what was still a blind spot in art: the woman as artist and mother.

Courtesy Jan Ságl (Zorka Ságlová Estate)

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To be seen in
Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, 7 October 2011 – 15 January 2012

his/herstory, housework/carework, private/public, nature