12 Seated Figures by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Magdalena Abakanowicz expression of art saturated with history, deformed by modernity, diverging from the direction of art in the free world. Perhaps the experience of the crowd, waiting passively in line, but ready to trample, destroy or adore on command like a headless creature, became the core of my analysis. And maybe it was a fascination with the scale of the human body. Or a desire to determine the minimal amount necessary to express the whole.

Title: 12 Seated Figures
Creator: Magdalena Abakanowicz
Date: 1974
Physical Dimensions: 145 x 47 x 75 cm
Medium: jute, resin, metal foot
From the collection of Muzeum umění Olomouc

Magdalena Abakanowicz
June 20, 1930 – April 20, 2017

Magdalena Abakanowicz is a Polish sculptor and fiber artist She is notable for her use of textiles as a sculptural medium She was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, Poland from 1965 to 1990 and a visiting professor at University of California, Los Angeles in 1984 Abakanowicz currently lives and works in Warsaw

Under Soviet control, the Polish government officially adopted Socialist realism as the only acceptable art form which should be pursued by artists Originally conceived by Joseph Stalin in the 1930s, Socialist realism, in nature, had to be ‘national in form’ and ‘socialist in content’ Other art forms being practiced at the time in the West, such as Modernism.

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Abakanowicz completed part of her high school education in Tczew from 1945 to 1947, after which she went to Gdynia for two additional years of art school at the Liceum Sztuk Plastycznych in that city After her graduation from the Liceum in 1949, Abakanowicz attended the Academy of Fine Arts, then located in Sopot (now in Gdańsk) In 1950, Abakanowicz moved back to Warsaw to begin her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, the leading art school in Poland

A major freedom granted to Polish artists was the permission to travel to several Western cities, such as Paris, Venice, Munich, and New York City, to experience artistic developments outside the Eastern bloc This liberalization of the arts in Poland and injection of other art forms into the Polish art world greatly influenced Abakanowicz’s early works, as she began to consider much of her early work as being “ too flamboyant and lacking in structure” Constructivism began to influence her work in the late 1950s as she adopted more a more geometric and structured approach Never fully accepting Constructivism, she searched for her own “artistic language and for a way to make her art more tactile, intuitive, and personal” As a result, she soon adopted weaving as another avenue of artistic exploration

Muzeum umění, Olomouc, Czechia

(formerly the Gallery of Fine Art) was established on 5 April 1951 as a part of the Regional Museum in Olomouc. After the year 1989 it became an independent institution with its activities (exhibitions, performances, education) now being carried out in three different locations. The Museum is operated by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. The museum has more than 85,000 collection items (paintings, sculptures, drawings, graphic art, photographs, applied art and architectural designs) which makes it the third biggest institution of its kind in the Czech Republic.