June 20th – Birthday of the Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017)
On June 20, 2020, the famous Polish sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017) would celebrate her 90th birthday. Abakanowicz was born near Warsaw where, later, she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. She recalled this period as a major disappointment. ”I was a very bad student” she admitted many years later. Even before completing her studies she managed to create a number of colorful and impressive works. However, she very quickly abandoned painting and started creating works representing multidimensional human figures. In the mid-60s she created huge works inspired by traditional weaving techniques and combined sculpting with architectonic work. Her works were always perceived as full of spontaneity, inspired by free an borderless thinking and as such stirring all the senses of the spectator.
She was awarded the Grand Prix at the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1965. Her international stnding as an artist became even more prominent in the 70s and her works were lauded at the Venice Biennale in 1980. In the 80s she started using metals such as bronze, stone and wood for her sculptures. Her works were erected on the outskirts of a number of cities in Italy, Germany, the United States, the Far East and even in Israel. In the 90s she continued enjoying wide international recognition, she won several awards and since 1979 she has held art professorships in Poland and other countries in the world. She holds a honoris causa doctorate from the London Royal Academy of Art and the Pratt Institute in New York.
Currently, Abakonowicz’s works make up part of the collections of more than 70 museums and public collections all over the world including the Warsaw National Museum and the Wroclaw and Poznan Museums, the George Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Modern Art Museum in Kyoto. Magdalena Abakonowicz passed away on April 21, 2017.