April 6, 2022

Magdalena Abakanowicz and her world of nature

The year 2022 will belong to Magdalena Abakanowicz, one of the most original and famous sculptors in the world. In November, the prestigious Tate Modern in London will hold a six-month exhibition devoted exclusively to the iconic Abakans created by this Polish artist. It was the "woven sculptures" that brought her international fame, which started in the mid-1960s.

Our auction Modern and Contemporary Sculpture presents you with as many as six works by Magdalena Abakanowicz. The offer includes small works (for instance "Hand"), standing figures (made of jute and concrete), "Anonymous Portrait", and a sculpture of a bird. All works will be available at our auction on 7 April. 


One of the most impressive sculptures is the "Bird: Calcik" made in 1996. It was exhibited in the United States on many occasions. It comes from the series that appear very rarely on the art market. The artist has undertaken this theme in a number of projects, which can be admired in the public space both in Poland and abroad. Standing on a metal pole, the sculptures are graceful representations of birds in flight, with their wings wide open.


The motif of a bird reoccurs in the works of Magdalena Abakanowicz. Curiously, she dealt with painting at the beginning of her artistic journey, creating large, monumental compositions painted with gouache on cardboard or linen. The works presented stylized birds, water plants, and fish. Abakanowicz often recalled childhood memories during her speeches at the exhibitions - already as a young child, she was fascinated by the surrounding nature. The amazing and complex world of fauna inspired her art from the earliest years. Abdomen bloated by tadpoles, a swarm of mosquitoes – the behaviors of living organisms were reflected in inanimate fabrics and three-dimensional sculptures. 


The sculptor created her bird projects using wires, aluminum, and concrete. Abakanowicz also made a considerable number of sketches for her projects, which were works on paper having the same title as the artist's sculptures. The artist sketched circular outlines of her representations with the use of paints or pencils and later she transformed them into forms made of more durable materials. Both her sculptures and sketches display how the artist analyzed movements of birds in order to render the dynamics and forms.