A sculptor who began working during the postwar period in a classical figurative style, Alina Szapocznikow radically reconceptualized sculpture as an imprint not only of memory but of her own body. Though her career effectively spanned less than two decades (cut short by the artist’s premature death in 1973 aged 47), Szapocznikow left behind a legacy of provocative objects that evoke Surrealism, Nouveau Realisme and Pop art. Her tinted polyester casts of body parts, often transformed into everyday objects like lamps or ashtrays; her poured polyurethane forms; and her elaborately constructed sculptures, which at times incorporated photographs, clothing or car parts, all remain as wonderfully idiosyncratic and culturally resonant today as when they were first made.
Well-known in Poland, where her work has been highly influential since early in her career, Szapocznikows compelling body of work is ripe for art-historical reexamination. “Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955-1972” offers a comprehensive overview of this important artists work at a moment when international interest is blossoming. Richly illustrated with over 150 colour plates, the catalogue features essays by the exhibition curators that touch on key aspects of her practice and historical reception, as well as an extensive annotated chronology that provides an in-depth exploration of the intersection of her life and art. Spanning one of the most rich and complex periods of the twentieth century, Szapocznikows oeuvre responds to many of the ideological and artistic developments of her time through artwork that is at once fragmented and transformative, sensual and reflective, playfully realized and politically charged.
- Alina Szapocznikow - Sculpture Undone 1955 - 1972
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