PRESENCE, ESSENCE, IDENTITY: Magdalena Abakanowicz
30 September 2018 – 30 December, 2018
The Old Mine Center of Science and Art
Presence, Essence, Identity features a broad selection of works by Magdalena Abakanowicz, one the world’s most acclaimed Polish artists, who gained international notoriety in the 1960s for her experimental and distinctive fiber sculptures. Generically entitled Abakans, these fluid woven structures made of organic materials challenged traditional sculpture by transforming the flat surface of a tapestry into a spatial and dynamic form that triggers complex visual and tactile experiences.
Throughout her life, Magdalena Abakanowicz devoted her entire creative energy to the relentless exploration of the dialectical relationship between the human being and the wider natural world, translating her understanding of the essence of things into unique sculptural representations. Resisting all categories, Abakanowicz’s works are intelligent forms of physical thinking that challenge conventional ideas of art and raise questions that are essential and universal to human experience.
Proposing a comprehensive overview of the artist’s creative output, highlighting key works from all stages of her career revolving around crucial themes such as freedom and loss, resurrection and destruction, identity and difference. Featuring more than 100 sculptures, the exhibition aims to provide an understanding of the major recurrent issues in Abakanowicz’s works, presence, essence, identity, and to illustrate the ways in which the Polish artist revolutionized the history of sculpture through a lifelong commitment to constant reinvention. The unique, post-industrial setting of the former mine offers an ideal backdrop to experience the full impact of the work of Abakanowicz.
This presentation at Stara Kopalnia (The Old Mine Center for Science and Art) is a sequel to the exhibition Effigies of Life, A Tribute to Magdalena Abakanowicz (Wroclaw, 2017) curated by Mariusz Hermansdorfer and Maria Rus Bojan. This exhibition offers a new selection of works, celebrating the lifelong collaboration and friendship between Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017) and the visionary curator and art historian Mariusz Hermansdorfer (1940-2018).