A 64 meters long exhibition that allows to know the polish artist whole production
In the 1960s and 70s, the plastic art was reshaping its guidelines between minimalism, arte povera (poor art), earth art and the different body art tendencies. During the Cold War in Poland, Magdalena Abakanowicz (Falenty 1930-2017) gave life to innovative expressive forms. The abakan (so defined in her honor) are radical sculptures created with woven fibre, soft as the Claes Oldenburg soft sculpture and organic as the ones by some arte povera artists. These sculptures defined new and original installation’s parameters.
THE ABAKAN ARE RADICAL SCULPTURES MADE WITH WOVEN AND SOFT FIBRE
The sculptures came down from the ceiling, took a disturbing dimension and eluded the Socialist realism strict discipline in a country that was still affected by the Second World War trauma.
Across the UK the whole year is dedicated to the exploration of the polish contemporary art and the Tate Modern offers a complete exhibition of the artist, hosting in the 64 meters long Blavatnik Building a forest with the main abakan.
AT THE AGE OF FIFTEEN SHE WAS A NURSE AT WARSAW HOSPITAL WHERE SHE EXPERIENCED
THE WAR DISASTERS FROM WHICH SHE THEN GIVES A PLASTIC REINTERPRETATION
These are exhibited in their different evolutions and they are integrated with a collection of drawings (including the biomorphic and “fantastic” ones realized between 1956-1959) that, for the first time, offer a deep understanding of the artist’s creative process. The significant bio-bibliographic apparatus accompanying the exhibition allows the visitor to know the artist’s difficult biography. When she was only 15 years old she became a nurse’s aide at the Warsaw hospital where she experienced the disasters of war. Later, these became the main ingredient for her reinterpretations in a plastic way. After the academic studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, she continued her research also with travels in Venice, Paris, Munich and New York. Only after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 she will be recognized with awards and prizes; among them her many degrees honoris causa. The exhibition is open until May 21st and it gives completeness to the European contemporary art scene.