Traditional culture in the work of Ignác Bizmayer

Traditional culture in the work of Ignác Bizmayer

Marta Pastieriková

Ignác Bizmayer was born at a Habán yard in the village of Košolná in 1922. He became attached to ceramics and attended a ceramic school under the influence of the Moravian ceramist and expert on faience from the Habán region Heřman Landsfeld. With Landsfeld´s help, Bizmayer found a job in a painting department of Slovenská keramika (a state-owned ceramics enterprise) in the town of Modra and painted plates, bowls, jars as well as sculptures. The sculptures were designed by ceramists from Modra and professional visual artists. Sometimes, it was not what young Ignác would have liked to do. He was preparing own designs of small porcelain figures – small sculptures wearing traditional Slovak folk costumes. They had never been introduced into production, however, he did not abandon these creative ideas.

Bizmayer started to model statuettes in the 1940s getting inspiration from a Bible story of Adam and Eva. Later, he added the low ceramic relief into his creative portfolio and got absorbed with Jánošík (a Slovak national hero). In addition to relief, he added engraved and glazed pictures. A new element appeared with Jánošík – multifigural plastic composition.

Ignác Bizmayer added new themes into his work in the 1950s – vineyard works, traditional farming and household works, ceramics, other crafts and, very often, traditional clothes – and presented himself as a skilled master of signs and symbols.

Folk traditions, fairs and markets are a special chapter in Bizmayer´s work. His 1950s statuettes would have not been complete without children and musicians, too.

Firstly, Bizmayer presented his works at an exhibition in 1955. He was awarded a master of folk art production degree by the Centre for Folk Art Production in 1954. Two years later (1956), he was admitted to the Union of Slovak Visual Artists.

In the 1960s, he moved from animal-shaped toys to visual objects for which he was awarded an international award. Bizmayer created large reliefs in the late 1960s and reliefs in the centre of large hanging plates in the 1970s. He revived popular musicians and transformed them into sculptures and reliefs in the 1980s. Besides, He returned tinkers and Jánošík to life. The artist has engaged himself in large sculptures and relief plates in the new millennium.

The original master of unconventional forms Ignác Bizmayer is a unique artist, both in Slovakia and Europe.