Magdalena abakanowicz interview

Posted By: Maria Rosaria Roseo. Italiano Italian. Gjertrud Hals is a well-known and esteemed Norwegian textile artist who began as a weaver of tapestries and then, driven by the need to experiment, specialized in the creation of two-dimensional textile panels, sculptural works of fiber art in which she uses cotton pulp, paper, a wise interweaving of threads of various kinds with the intrusion of unusual materials such as copper wire.

Her Lava series, which dates back to and is absolutely innovative in the international panorama of the textile art of the time, has earned her important awards and recognitions and marks the turning point of her artistic career. Can you tell us something about yourself and your history as an artist? How did you start? How did your passion for textile art come about? In my generation,girls were expected to weave, knit, crochet and other basic craft techniques as a part of our daily life, and we were supposed to start making our own clothes from about the age of twelve.

But my mother often complained, and she used to say: What is to become of you? You are just playing! However, most of the time I was playing with things outdoors: collecting shells and insects, making nets and other equipment to catch small fish and crabs and keep them in ponds. Later, as a teenager, I was very eager to get an education. I did not want, as many girls in my area, to end up as a worker in the confection industry.

magdalena abakanowicz interview

So, by the age of 22 I was already educated a teacher, and got a job in a school. But I did not feel content, and realized that I had to go on and try to become what I really wanted to be; an artist.

After one year studying drawing, I trained in tapestry weaving for two years. When I grew up every winterfishery for herring was common practice. The herrings came along the coast to spawn, and were followed by seals, birds and whales.

Fishermen took their boats out in to the open seas, located a shoal of herrings, threw out large nets and hauled up the catch. At the same time others were hunting the whales; whale vessels looked quite small compared to the enormous creatures they brought to land.

We lived in the middle of these events: from our kitchen window we could see the boat lanterns in the winter night, like if there was a big city out in the ocean. My father, as well as my grandfather, were mechanics; they made and installed engines for the fishing boats. We were living close to the factory, and could watch how the men were working, for example how they cast bronze and iron.

Magdalena Abakanowicz: Presence, Essence, Identity

My mother, like most women, cared for the house and mde many things that we needed, like clothes, rugs etc. What are your sources of inspiration? How do you choose the subjects of your works?The dates for this exhibition will be announced.

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This is due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus. For more information go to our FAQs. In the s and 70s, the Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz created radical sculptures from woven fibre.

They were soft not hard; ambiguous and organic; towering works that hung from the ceiling and pioneered a new form of installation. They became known as the Abakans. This exhibition presents a rare opportunity to explore this extraordinary body of work. Many of the most significant Abakans will be brought together in a forest-like display in the metre long gallery space of the Blavatnik Building at Tate Modern. With these works she brought soft, fibrous forms into a new relationship with sculpture.

A selection of early textile pieces and her little-known drawings are also on show. Living in Poland under the Communist regime, she established a career as an international artist and her work is included in many public and private collections around the world. In this interview four Polish art professionals discuss why art from their country is not better known abroad.

Main menu additional Become a Member Shop. This exhibition has been postponed The dates for this exhibition will be announced. Dates Timed tickets must be booked before visiting All visitors including Members need to book a ticket. Pricing Free with ticket Dates and booking will be announced.


Share Email Twitter Facebook. Find out more. Magdalena Abakanowicz — Tate Etc. The real exchange between east and west: Polish art Anda RottenbergLukasz GorczycaJaroslaw Suchan and Michael Wolinski In this interview four Polish art professionals discuss why art from their country is not better known abroad.Jump to navigation.

Video story #3: Magdalena Abakanowicz

Skip to main content. Hazen Foundation Purchase Fund Born to a family of landed gentry, Magdalena Abakanowicz was profoundly affected both by her solitary childhood and by the devastation of World War II.

She learned to escape from loneliness and cruelty by taking refuge in imagination, but her imaginings inevitably reflected her world. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland, from towhen socialist realism was the official mode, yet she preferred to paint huge gouaches of abstract plants and natural forms. Encouraged by the master weaver Maria Laszkiewicz, Abakanowicz soon began working with natural fibers. In the s, she created weavings of flax, hemp, horsehair, sisal, and wool.

Her use of natural materials and organic forms was an expression of her resistance to the totalitarian regime and the strictures of socialist realism. Unlike many women weavers of that time and place, Abakanowicz rejected utilitarian concerns to create large reliefs and freestanding forms called Abakans : bulbous, flowing, organic, abstract forms hanging from a wall or ceiling.

These works, with their densely textured surfaces that do not invite touch, are haunting and ominous rather than domestic. After the popular revolution sparked by the labor-union movement Solidarity, socialist realism was no longer the dominant mode of expression. As other artists in Poland turned to abstraction, Abakanowicz became interested in the evocative power of human imagery, but implicit rather than explicit, as in her series of Garments that suggest standing figures by means of their empty clothes.

Although she worked for many years outside the official art system in Poland, Abakanowicz attained international renown. Her fiber works were exhibited widely in museums throughout Europe during the s. Since then, her works have been exhibited and acquired by many museums and collectors around the world. From the s through the s, Abakanowicz created many series of figure sculptures, all meditating on aspects of collective life and conformity. Starting with Alterationsshe glued burlap sacking and other rough fabrics over metal frames and plaster casts of nude bodies.

As demand for her sculptures increased, Abakanowicz had her burlap figures cast into bronze editions. In some figures, the artist eliminated heads and necks; in others, the hands or feet and even the entire front or rear of the body, as in the monumental Backs of — The largest works consist of regimented figures, from as few as four to more than ninety identical figures.

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Their repetition in rows evokes the dehumanization and anonymity of totalitarian societies. In contrast, Figure on a Trunk features a lone human form, presented on a stage of sorts, as if for our approval, judgment, or condemnation.

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The anonymous personage appears to be a dried-up, hollowed-out husk—a mere shell or remnant of flesh, emptied of life and energy. Headless, the figure evokes an effigy, passively waiting for change and completion. The bench on which he stands seems stable, yet it rests on two logs that could roll out from underneath, suggesting a precarious balance.

Abakanowicz, Magdalena.In the mids, Magdalena Abakanowicz starts making her first series of figurative sculptures: The Seated Figures and Backs At this time, she is already an artist of international renown. Her mysterious, abstract Abakans have brought her first international awards and provided opportunities for extensive and distant travels. Today, it takes pride of place in our Museum.

magdalena abakanowicz interview

I enter the gallery featuring the works of Abakanowicz and I am awestruck. Breathless and shaken, I can hardly move. It is the first time in my life that an encounter with contemporary art makes such a powerful impression. I know nothing about the artist but I feel the unique energy and totality of her work. At this time, I am not yet aware that this experience will have such an impact upon my future. Several years later I will write my MA thesis on Abakanowicz.

The Backs series is open to multifarious interpretations but its appeal and meaning is universal. The Space of Becalmed Beings features forty figures cast in bronze. For them, I created a group of figures of great personal importance to me : larger-then-life partial figures, simplified trunks, reduced to hollowed backs, headless and armless. They form a permanent installation on the terrace of the Contemporary Art Museum of the City of Hiroshima, located on the mount hovering over the metropolis spreading at its foot.

The figures look at the city below. I have been told that people would try to shelter there while fleeing from the hell raised by the dropping of theatomic bomb.

And they died there. I have been told that sometimes, during the night, the air seems to reverberate with their cries and moaning. Iwona D.She is notable for her use of textiles as a sculptural medium and her outdoor installations. She is widely regarded as one of Poland's most internationally acclaimed artists.

Magdalena Abakanowicz was born to a noble landowner family in Falenty. Her father came from a Polonized Tatar family, which traced its origins to Abaqa Khan a 13th-century Mongol chieftain. When she was nine Nazi Germany invaded and occupied Poland.

Her family endured the war years living on the outskirts of Warsaw and became part of the resistance. 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 s, Socialist realism, in nature, had to be 'national in form' and 'socialist in content'.

magdalena abakanowicz interview

Lack of official sanction did nothing to reduce her enthusiasm or alter the revolutionary course of her work. Abakanowicz completed part of her high school education in Tczew from toafter which she went to Gdynia for two additional years of art school at the Liceum Sztuk Plastycznych in that city.

Magdalena Abakanowicz Interview

Her years at the university, —, coincided with some of the harshest assaults made on art by the Soviet leadership. By utilizing the doctrine of 'Socialist realism', all art forms in Soviet occupied nations were forced to adhere to strict guidelines and limitations that subordinated the arts to the needs and demands of the State.

Realist artistic depictions based on the national 19th-century academic tradition were the only form of artistic expression taught in Poland at the time. Abakanowicz found the climate at the Academy to be highly "rigid" and overly "conservative". She recalled:.

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I liked to draw, seeking the form by placing lines, one next to the other. The professor would come with an eraser in his hand and rub out every unnecessary line on my drawing, leaving a thin, dry contour. I hated him for it.

While studying at the University she was required to take several textile design classes, learning the art of weaving, screen printingand fiber design from instructors such as Anna Sledziewska, Eleonora Plutymska, and Maria Urbanowicz. These instructors and skills would greatly influence Abakanowicz's work, as well as that of other prominent Polish artists of the time. Following her education at the Academy, Abakanowicz began to produce her first artistic works. Due to the fact that she spent most of her academic life moving from place to place, much of her earlier artwork was lost or damaged, with only a few, delicate plant drawings surviving.

Between andshe produced some of her earliest known works; a series of large gouaches and watercolors on paper and sewn-together linen sheets. These works, described as being 'biomorphic" in composition, depicted imaginary plants, birds, exotic fish, and seashells, among other biomorphic shapes and forms.

They seem to capture the very energy of life, a quality that would become a constant feature of her art. My gouaches were as large as the wall permitted.

Depressed by years of study, I was fighting back by making my gouaches for myself. For so long it had been repeated that I could not do it; my response had to be on a big scale.

I wanted to take a walk among imaginary plants. It was also during this time that Poland began to lift some of the heavy political pressures imposed by the Soviet Union, mainly due to the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in The shift resulted in the liberalization of the forms and content of art, with the Stalinistic methods of art form being openly criticized by the Gomulka government.

A major freedom granted to Polish artists was the permission to travel to several Western cities, such as ParisVeniceMunichand New York Cityto 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.

Never fully accepting Constructivism, she searched for her own "artistic language and for a way to make her art more tactile, intuitive, and personal.

In her first one-person exhibit at the Kordegarda Gallery in Warsaw in the spring ofshe included a series of four weavings along with a collection of gouaches and watercolors.Josef Herman: Journey.

Patrick Staff: The Prince of Homburg. The early life of Magdalena Abakanowicz was shaped by the politics of her time. She was born into a noble family — her father had been a tsarist general, purportedly descended from Genghis Khan, who fled to Poland after the outbreak of the Russian Revolution. Intragedy struck when drunken German soldiers broke into the family home and shot her mother, severing her arm below the shoulder.

Helena survived, but this single event was to leave a lasting impact on the young artist-in-making. Magdalena Abakanowicz.

Following the war, when Poland was placed under communist rule, Abakanowicz assumed a new identity to disguise her privileged background. Rejected from the sculpture course at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts — her work was considered too formalist — the young artist focused instead on painting. Socialist realism was the only state-approved artistic style and anything else was considered inflammatory, even dangerous.

Still, Abakanowicz pushed the boundaries, choosing to paint with gouache on enormous stitched-together bed sheets. Despite these challenges, and perhaps because of them, Abakanowicz would develop her own visual language, addressing the human condition as she saw it, and building an international reputation with exhibitions abroad. Her works have such universal appeal that they are permanent fixtures in public spaces in Jerusalem and across the United States.

In Japan, her Space of Becalmed Beings, a work consisting of 40 bronze, hollow backs, forms part of a memorial in Hiroshima, where her visual language has particular resonance.

Photo: Linda Parys. She worked with fabric, stone and bronze, nearly always on a large scale. Her mutilated human forms are life-size and often form eerie groups that have an ominous sense of waiting about them, and an anonymity that speaks to shared experience.

Her Abakans, so named, perhaps, because they represented something more personal, are enormous structures made of sisal and steel and seem at once earthy and otherworldly. She imbued everything she made with a kind of quiet strangeness — an unease both familiar and surreal. Click on the pictures below to enlarge. Cybernetic Serendipity. Contact us.To an extent, this is probably because of the organic way that relationships often develop.

magdalena abakanowicz interview

This is particularly the case when brands use influencers to amplify their own material. Often this relationship has been built up gradually, perhaps with a few comments on a blog or sharing an influencer's social media posts. Some brands try to speed the process up by providing incentives to influencers to help them out. This has traditionally been through some form of barter. For instance, brands often provide free products to influencers who review their products.

Influencers have become savvier of late, however. Many have signed up to influencer platforms and actively work with brands. As brands can see the worth in this process, they are beginning to pay influencers - with real money, not barter. We believe that this process will accelerate this year. Micro-influencers will always be much cheaper than celebrity influencers, and because they identify so well with their target audience, they will often be more effective for a brand.

Although agencies have started to add influencer marketing to their mix, they have been comparatively slow to endorse it. This is probably because of the relatively organic way that influencer marketing has evolved. It is often small businesses or teams working company social media accounts in-house who experiment with using influencers to promote their products.

Of course, agencies have always had involvement with celebrity endorsements, so many have dipped into influencer marketing involving celebrity influencers. A few specialist influencer marketing agencies, such as IMA and Mediakix have lead the way, though, and as influencer marketing evolves more mainstream agencies will include influencer marketing in their full-service offerings. This will continue through 2017, with agencies working more with platforms to have a roster of influencer talent available for brands to work with.

This is another reason why we expect there to be a movement towards standard pay rates over the coming year rather than simple barter transactions. There seem to be new social media networks built every year. Some thrive, some like Tsu shrink away and eventually die. As bandwidths have improved, more and more social media users have had the opportunity to share visual media. Older networks, like Facebook and Twitter, have had to adapt to become more visual. Source: mediakixOther social media networks that specialize in sharing images and videos have thrived.

In the case of video, YouTube remains dominant (although Facebook has greatly pushed its video content). There has been more of a battle when it comes to static images and photographs.

Two of the largest success stories have been Instagram and Snapchat. Both networks have been successful locations for influencer marketing, and this will probably continue this year. However, there is some degree of overlap between the target audiences of both of these platforms. Snapchat targets younger followers than Instagram, but that does not mean that Generation Z is not avid Instagram followers too.

We see more celebrities and influencers on Instagram than Snapchat, though, and this trend is likely to continue. While the disappearing photos of Snapchat offer some intriguing, innovative possibilities for influencer marketing, there is probably more mileage available from Instagram images that continue to remain visible.

B2B is often the ugly ducking of online marketing, but it is a very important sector, and it is rapidly expanding. You do not very often see celebrities participating in B2B marketing, but B2B is actually quite geared towards traditional organic influencer marketing.

Quite a few companies participate in content marketing - providing blogs and other articles educating and informing other firms interested in their products.

They are beginning to learn that by working with microinfluencers in their niche they can widen the outreach of their content. As long as they fine tune their target audience and select their influencers well, B2B firms regularly use influencer marketing to attract more visitors to their websites and convert these to increased sales.

In some ways, B2B businesses find influencer meeting to be a new form of networking - just this time they do not get to stand around a bar, telling their stories to anyone who will listen.

One change that may happen in 2017 is there being an increase in influencer-created content. Brands may not have as much control over such content as they do with their own posts, but they are beginning to recognize that influencers know their audience best, and have gained their reputations with these audiences for a good reason. As with much in business, many firms now realize that is often best to stand back from micromanaging and let the experts get on with what you are paying them to do.