* 18. 7. 1951, Ostrava (Ostrava-město), Česká republika (Czech Republic)
Was born and grew up in former Czechoslovakia in a family of artists Antonia Laník-Gabanek and Jozef Gabanek.
Following the Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 Maria's family left for Austria and later immigrated to Canada. She now lives with her husband Ales Brezina in Toronto.
In addition to apprenticing with her parents Maria Gabankova studied drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking at University of British Columbia, the Vancouver School of Art, Montreal School of Art and Design, and the Art Students League of New York.
Since 1978 the artist has exhibited extensively in Canada, U.S.A and internationally. Recent shows include
Not Leaving in Ostrava, Czech Republic (2014), in Loop Gallery Toronto (2012, 2008, 2005, 2003 and 2002), Parable of the Body in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic (2011), Art Canada 5 in Prague, Czech Republic (2005),
6981 km from Toronto in Bratislava, Slovakia (2001). In 2007, under the title body broken - body redeemed a selection of more than 50 artist's works (reproduced in color) was published by British publisher Piquant Editions.
Gabankova has received several awards and her work is represented in private and public art collections in North America and Europe. Realist figurative representation with conceptual emphasis on the spiritual and Biblical has been the central theme of the artist's work.
Portraiture holds a special focus in the artist’s practice with an impressive record of commissioned portraits.
Among her subjects are many distinguished Canadians and Americans as well as a number of well known
figures of the Czech and Slovak cultural scene (writer Josef Škvorecky, composer Oscar Morawetz, Professor Gordon H. Skilling, poet Karel Kryl, musician Ashley McIsaac, Dean Douglas Stoute, world champion figure skater Aja Vrzáňová, NHL player Miroslav Fryčer among others).
In recent years Maria has been commissioned to paint official portraits for the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame (former Canadian Minister of Agriculture Ch. Mayer, Mr. P. Hannam, Mr. P. Eckstein and Mr. J. Walker).
The artist‘s portrait commissions were succesfully auctioned several times at a Ontario College of Art and Design Fundraiser Mystery Who done it.
Since 1991 till 2015 Maria Gabankova was an associate professor at the Ontario College of Art & Design University in Toronto (teaching figure drawing, painting and portraiture).
She is a member of several artists organizations and initiatives. Maria is a founding member of the Loop Gallery in Toronto and also has been invited to serve on juries, panel discussions, conferences and work in film and theatre.
Gabánková, Maria, 1951-
dcera Antonie Gabánkové-Laníkové (nar. 1924) a Jozefa Gabánka (nar. 1923)