Magdalena Abakanowicz



Magdalena Abakanowicz (Poland, 1930) is one of the most authoritative exponents of contemporary sculpture at an international level. Winner of the gold medal at the 7th International São Paulo Art Biennial in 1956 she managed to change the significance of sculpture from an object to look at to a “space to experience”.

On the outbreak of war she was forced to move to Warsaw, where she embarked on her artistic career and where she still lives and works today. In the early days she was treated with suspicion by the Polish regime and was obliged to work in secret and without adequate spaces.What chiefly worried the authorities was the antiheroic, yielding nature of her work, decidedly in conflict with the dominant political values.

Each of her figures is an individuality, with its own expression, with specific details of skin. Organic, with the imprint of the artist’s fingers. Their surface is natural like tree bark or animal fur or wrinkled skin. First came the “Abakans” (1966-75), so-called after her own name.  Then “Embryology” is a sequence of some 800 stuffed potato-shaped forms of varying sizes, covered with sacking and occasionally spilling their innards.

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