Magdalena Abakanowicz
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Ucello X, XI, XII

Es gibt einen Magnetismus zwischen allem Fliegenden und der Erde. Einen Vektor von Auftrieb, Kraft und beständiger Bewegung. Eine sinnliche Resultante, die man selbst – da man nicht zum Fliegen geschaffen ist – sich nur schwer vorstellen kann.

Aber Flieger schon. Und Vögel immer.

Diese drei seltsam geflügelten Vogel-Wesen von Magdalena Abakanowicz verstehen es zu fliegen. Jeder anders, jeder für sich, jeder fliegt, wie er kann. Und dank der plastischen Formensprache, die das Wesentliche hervorhebt und weniger Wichtiges unterschlägt, sammelt sich alle gestalterische Energie in Flügeln und Leib. Ähnlichkeiten, Differenzen, Paradoxien sogar, das alles lässt sich beim Umkreisen des Schwarmes entdecken. Denn wir müssen uns bewegen. Das fliegende Trio hält ja still.

Es ist ein Anhalten voller Spannung, kunstvoll als Loch in der Zeit zelebriert. Denn gäbe es den Moment wirklich, würde die Schwerkraft der Horizontale zu wirken beginnen, und die Flugbahn hätte ein Ende.

ca. 2,55 m – 3 m x 1,5 m x 1,3 m


* 1930 in Falenty, Polen

1950–54 Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts,Warsaw, Poland
1954–60 Paints large scale imaginary landscapes on papers and canvases
1960s Creates monumental three-dimensional soft sculptures made out of materials,woven by herself in her own technique, called after her name ABAKANS
1970s Changes scale and material. Casts the first human figure in burlap. Followed by huge cycles of figurative and nonfigurative sculptures made out of burlap and resin, called ALTERATIONS. Among them groups of 80 BACKS, 18 SEATED FIGURES, 800 pieces of EMBRYOLOGY, the 16 SCHIZOID HEADS and others.
1980 Represents Poland at the Venice Bienniale with a solo exhibition in the Polish Pavilion showing works from the ALTERATION cycle.
1981–82 One person exhibition at the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. The tour of her retrospective in eight USA museums starts. In Japan the Abakano-Kai Association is being created. First trip to Japan with lectures.
1982–83 Travels to America to arrange each of her exhibitions as a separate statement: Retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois; traveled to Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal, Canada; National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.; De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas, Texas; Portland Art Museum and Portland Center for the Visual Arts, Portland, Oregon; Visual Arts Center of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska; Frederick S. Wright Art Gallery of the University of California, Los Angeles, Californi, With students in America makes the first cast of human figure in aluminium, then in bronze.
1985–88 She creates on commission permanent outdoor installations–SPACES TO CONTEMPLATE, SPACES TO EXPERIENCE, using bronze or stone. She changes the meaning of sculpture from object to look at into space to experience – for instance: in Italy (Katarsis, 33 bronze monumental figures at the Gori Collection), Israel (Negev, 7 stone disks, Israel Museum, Jerusalem), Korea (Space of Dragon, 10 metaphoric animal heads, Seoul Olympic Park)
1988–89 In Poland creates a huge cycle of WAR GAMES - tree trunks armed with steel, her new statement about reality. Creates a group of 50 standing headless figures in burlap, a group of 36 standing figures in bronze and several metaphoric huge animal heads called SAGACIOUS HEADS. Produces the cycle of 150 self-portraits deriving from imprints of her own face followed by animal heads called HOOFED MAMMAL HEADS.
1990–91 Upon the invitation of the Paris authorities concerning the enlargement of the Great Axis of Paris, she designs ARBOREAL ARCHITECTURE, her concept of an ecological city, buildings organic in shape, vertical gardens. Retrospective in Japanese museums, and commission on the demand of 6241 Hiroshima inhabitants, 40 backward seated figures, BECALMED
BEINGS, for the Hiroshima City Museum. She crates HAND-LIKE TREES, bronze, vertical sculptures. Animals and birds in bronze and welded stainless steel. Birds out of iron wire, other birds cast in bronze, also in aluminium, finally welded in stainless steel. Designs and choreographs dances performed by Japanese and Polish young people in Hiroshima and Warsaw. CROWD of 95 FIGURES, as a statement, as a warning, walking and standing, adults and children, bronze cast.
1999 In Lithuania, near Vilnius, creates a new SPACE TO EXPERIENCE, 22 huge concrete forms.
2002 In Poland the UNRECOGNISED, 112 iron cast figures over human size are installed as a permanent display in the Citadel Park in Poznan.
2003 Inauguration of SPACE OF STONE, 22 monumental granite blocks installed in GROUNDS FOR SCULPTURE, Hamilton, New Jersey.At the river front in Philadelphia creates
OPEN AIR AQUARIUM, 30 stainless steel welded fish.
2003–04 Creates COEXISTENCE, a new cycle of human figures with metaphoric animal heads.

2003–06 She creates AGORA, group of 106 iron cast, headless and shell like figures, each about 9’ (3metres) tall, permanently installed in Chicago Grant Park, along Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road. It is her most important statement about humanity. Each figure is created by the artist as single individuality.

Her works can be found in many museums throughout the world. She has over 100 solo exhibitions in museums, among them: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée National d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Australian National Gallery of Art, Canberra; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Moderner Kunst,Vienna, Austria; Museum Narodowe,Warsaw, Poland; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain.

She has been distinguished with honorary doctorates of the Royal College of Art in London (1974), the Rhode Island School of Design, USA (1992), the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, Poland (1998), the Pratt Institute, NY (2000), the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston (2001), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2002) and the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland (2002). She has been elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1996), a member of the Akademie der Kunste in Berlin (1994), a member of the Sachsische Akademie der Kunste in Dresden (1998) and the Orden Pour le merite für Wissenschaften und Künste, Berlin (2000). She has received numerous prizes and awards, among them: Grand Prix of the Sao Paolo Biennale, Brazil, (1965);Award for Distinction in Sculpture, granted by the Sculpture Center, New York, (1993). Distinctions: Commander Cross with Star of the
Order of Polonia Restituta, (1998); Cavaliere nell Ordine Al Merito della Republica Italiana (2000);Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Paris, (2004).

Magdalena Abakanowicz lives and works in Warsaw, Poland.

Ucello X, XI, XII

There is magnetism between everything that flies and the earth. A vector of drive, power, and constant movement. A sensuous resultant which – because we were not made to fly – is difficult for us to imagine.

But flyers can. And birds in any case.

These three extraordinary winged bird creatures by Magdalena Abakanowicz comprehend flight. Each one differently, each one for itself, each one flies as best as it can. And thanks to the sculptural language of form that underscores the essentials and dismisses the less important, all design energies are collected in the wings and the body. Similarities, differences, even paradoxes; all of this can be discovered while encircling the flock. Because we must move. And the flying trio keeps still.

It is a tension-filled stoppage, artfully celebrated as a hole in time. If the gravitational pull of the horizontal came into effect then this moment really would exist, and the flight path would have an end.

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