Abakanowicz, Magdalena

Abakanowicz, Magdalena, 1930–2017, Polish sculptor, studied Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw (1950–54). She won notice with her Abakan series, begun in 1967; these monumental woven abstract sculptures, made mainly of dyed ropes, are pierced with slits and marked with folds and huge protrusions. During the next two decades she turned to the human figure and smaller-scale textile sculptures, e.g. Backs, (1976–82), groups of burlap and resin hunched torsos, and Embryology (1978–80), some 700 variously sized rounded forms made of rough fabrics, stuffed, and shown in large groups. In the late 1980s she began using metal, creating larger-than-life armless, headless figures such as Bronze Crowd (1990–91) and Agora (2006), a group of 106 similar cast-iron figures in Grant Park, Chicago. Her artillerylike War Games series (1987–89, 1991–93) are made of stripped tree trunks, gouged and fitted with steel blades and casings. She also created works in stone, clay, and concrete.

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