Magdalena Abakanowicz (b. June 20, 1930, Falenty, Poland) is a Polish sculptor. Events 451 - Battle of Chalons: Flavius Aetius ' defeats Attila the Hun. Year 1930 ( MCMXXX) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland She is notable for her use of textiles as a sculptural medium and is regarded as being one of the most important and influential female artists of the 20th century. A textile is a flexible material comprised of a network of natural or artificial Fibres often referred to as thread or Yarn. She has been a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, Poland from 1965 to 1990 and a visiting professor at UCLA in 1984. Poznań Lublin Voivodeship This article is about the city in Poland Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland Year 1965 ( MCMLXV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. Year 1990 ( MCMXC) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar) The University of California Los Angeles (generally known as UCLA) is a public research university located in Westwood Los Angeles, California, United Year 1984 ( MCMLXXXIV) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1984 Gregorian calendar) Magdalena Abakanowicz currently lives and works in Warsaw. Warsaw (Warszawa; also known by other names) is the Capital and Largest city of Poland.
Magdalena Abakanowicz was born into an aristocratic Polish-Russian family. The Polish people, or Poles, (Polacy) are a Western Slavic Ethnic group of Central Europe, living predominantly in Poland. The Russian people (Русские— Russkie) are an East Slavic Ethnic group, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries Her mother, who was Polish, had roots connected to the Polish nobility of ages past. Magdalena's father, who was of Polish, Russian, and Tatar ancestry which dated back to the great leader of the Mongolian tribe Abaka-Khan, fled Russia at the time of the October revolution. Tatars ( Tatar: Tatarlar/Татарлар sometimes spelled Tartars, are a Turkic -speaking ethnic group or multiple ethnic groups The October Revolution (Октябрьская революция Oktyabrskaya revolyutsiya) also known as the Soviet Revolution The Russian invasion of 1920 forced her family to flee their home, after which they moved to the city of Gdańsk. Gdańsk ( Polish pronunciation; 'Danzig', Gduńsk Gedania Dantiscum is the City at the centre of the fourth-largest Metropolitan area in Poland When she was nine Nazi Germany invaded and occupied Poland. Nazi Germany and the Third Reich are the common English names for Germany under the regime of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including Her family endured the war years living on the outskirts of Warsaw.
After the war and resulting Soviet occupation, the family moved to small city of Tczew near Gdańsk, in northern Poland, where they hoped to start a new life. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Tczew ( Dërszewò is a Town on the Vistula River in Eastern Pomerania, Kociewie, northern Poland with 60128 inhabitants ( Under Soviet control, the Polish government officially adopted Socialist realism as the only acceptable art form which should be pursued by artists. Socialist realism is a teleologically -oriented style of realistic art which has as its purpose the furtherance of the goals of Socialism and Communism Originally conceived by Joseph Stalin in the 1930s, Socialist realism, in nature, had to be 'national in form' and 'socialist in content'. Joseph Stalin ( ნამდვილი გვარი ჯუღაშვილი|Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili; March 5 1953 was General Secretary of the Communist Party  Other art forms being practiced at the time in the West, such as Modernism, were culturally outlawed and heavily censored in all Eastern bloc nations, including Poland. Modernism describes an array of Cultural movements rooted in the changes in Western society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century
Abakanowicz completed part of her high school education in Tczew from 1945 to 1947, after which she went to Gdynia for two additional years of art school at the Liceum Sztuk Plastycznych w Gdyni. Gdynia (Gdingen (until 1939 Gotenhafen (1939-1945 Gdiniô is a city in the Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland and an important Seaport After her graduation from the Liceum in 1949, Abakanowicz attended the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts, then located in the town of Sopot. Sopot (Zoppot Kashubian: Sopòt) is a seaside town in Eastern Pomerania on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea in northern Poland In 1950, Abakanowicz moved back to Warsaw to begin her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, the leading art school in Poland.
Her years at the university, 1950-1954, coincided with some of the harshest assault 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 nineteenth-century academic tradition was the only the form of artistic expression advocated by in Poland at the time.  The Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, being the most important artistic institution in Poland, came under special scrutiny from the Ministry of Art and Culture, which administered all major decisions in the field at the time. 
Abakanowicz found the climate at the Academy to be highly “rigid” and overly “conservative”.  She recalled:
|“||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 printing, and fiber design from instructors such as Anna Sledziewska, Eleonora Plutymska, and Maria Urbanowicz. A textile is a flexible material comprised of a network of natural or artificial Fibres often referred to as thread or Yarn. Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink blocking stencil These instructors and skills would greatly influence Abakanowicz's work, as well as other prominent Polish artists at 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 1956 to 1959, she produced some of her earliest known works; a series of large gouaches and watercolors on paper and sewn-together linen sheets. Gouache, Pronounced "Gouash" (from the Italian guazzo, "water paint splash" or bodycolor (the term preferred by art historians Watercolor ( US) or Watercolour ( UK) (and "aquarelle" in French is a Painting method Linen is a Textile made from the Fibers of the Flax plant Linum usitatissimum. These works, described as being 'biomorphic” in composition, depicted imaginary plants, birds, exotic fish, and seashells,among other biomorphic shapes and forms.  Joanna Inglot wrote in the The Figurative Sculpture of Magdalena Abakanowicz about these early works: “[they] pointed to Abakanowicz’s early fascination with the natural world and its processes of germination, growth, blooming, and sprouting. They seem to capture the very energy of life, a quality that would become a constant feature of her art. ” Abakanowicz said:
|“||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 1953. In 1956, under the new party leadership of Władysław Gomułka, Poland experienced a dramatic social and cultural shift. Władysław Gomułka ( February 6, 1905, Krosno - September 1, 1982) was a Polish Communist leader 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 Paris, Venice, Munich, and New York, to experience artistic developments outside the Eastern bloc. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city Venice ( Italian: Venezia, Venetian: Venesia or Venexia) is a city in Northern Italy, the capital of the Munich (München; Minga is the capital city of Bavaria, Germany. New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous 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. " Constructivism began to influence her work in the late 1950s as she adopted more a more geometric and structured approach. Constructivism was an Artistic and architectural movement in Russia from 1919 onward which rejected the idea of " Art for art's sake " Never fully accepting Constructivism, she searched for her own “artistic language and for a way to make her art more tactile, intuitive, and personal. ” As a result, she soon adopted weaving as another avenue of artistic exploration.
In her first one-person exhibit at the Kordegarda Gallery in Warsaw in the spring of 1960, she included a series of four weavings along with a collection of gouaches and watercolors. Though her first exhibit received minimal critical notice, it helped advance her position within the Polish textile and fiber design movement and resulted in her inclusion into the first Biennale Internationale de le Tapisserie in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1962. Lausanne ( pronounced, Losanna is a city in Romandy, the French -speaking part of Switzerland, situated on the shores of Lake Geneva Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation The event opened the way to her international success. 
The 1960s saw some of the most important works produced during Abakanowicz's career. In 1967, she began procuring gigantic three-dimensional fiber works called Abakans. Year 1967 ( MCMLXVII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. These works would secure her place in the art world as one of the great artists of the time and influence all of her work she has produced since. 
Each Abakan is made out of woven material using Abakanowicz's own technique. The material used for many of these pieces was found, often collecting sisal ropes from harbors, untwining them into threads and dying them. Sisal or sisal hemp is an Agave Agave sisalana that yields a stiff Fiber used in making Rope.  Hung from the ceiling, Abakans reach sizes as large as thirteen feet with sometimes only a few inch clearance from the ground.
During the 1970s, and into the 1980s, Abakanowicz changed medium and scale; she began a series of figurative and non-figurative sculptures made out of pieces of coarse sackcloth which she sewed and pieced together and bonded with synthetic resins. Resin, not to be confused with Rosin, is a Hydrocarbon Secretion of many Plants particularly coniferous trees. These works became more representation than previous sculptures but still retain a degree of abstraction and ambiguity. In 1974-1975 she produced sculptures called Alterations, which were twelve hollowed-out headless human figures sitting in a row. From 1973–1975 she produced a series of enormous, solid forms reminiscent of human heads without faces called Heads. From 1976-1980 she produced a piece call Backs, which was a series of eighty slightly differing sculptures of the human trunk.
In 1986-87 she created a series of fifty standing figures called The Crowd I. She also began to once again work around organic structures, such as her Embriology series, which consisted of several dozen soft egg-like lumps varying in size. These were dispersed round an exhibition room at the Vienna Biennial in 1980.
These humanoid works of the 1970s and 1980s were centered around human society and nature as a whole and its condition and position in modern world. The multiplicity of the human forms represents confusion and anonymity, analyzing an individual's presence in a mass of humanity.  These works have close connections to Abakanowicz's life living in a Communist regime which repressed individually creativity and intellect in favor of the collective interest. These works also contrast her earlier Abakan series, which were individually powerful pieces where as the figurative sculptures lost their individuality in favor of multiplicity.
In the late 1980s to 1990s Abakanowicz began to use metals, such as bronze, for her sculptures, as well as wood, stone, and clay. Bronze is any of a broad range of Copper alloys, usually with Tin as the main additive but sometimes with other elements such as Phosphorus She continue the subject matter of human condition but changed her medium; her berlap and resin human figure sculptures were now being made out of bronze, such as Bronze Crowd (1990-91) and Puellae (1992). She stated in a speech given at the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź:
|“||“In consequence, the expression of art saturated with history, deformed by modernity, diverging from the direction of art in the free world. Poznań Lublin Voivodeship This article is about the city in Poland Perhaps the experience of the crowd, waiting passively in line, but ready to trample, destroy or adore on command like a headless creature, became the core of my analysis. And maybe it was a fascination with the scale of the human body. Or a desire to determine the minimal amount necessary to express the whole. ”||”|
One of Abakanowicz's most unusual works is titled War Games, which is a cycle of monumental structures comprised of huge trunks of old trees, with their branches and bark removed. Partly bandaged with rags and hugged with steel hoops, these sculptures are placed on lattice metal stands. Like the name of the cycle implies, these sculptures have a very militaristic feel to them, as they have been compared to artillery vehicles. Artillery (from French artillerie) is a military Combat Arm which employs any apparātus machine  Also during the 1990s Abakanowicz was commissioned to design a model of an ecologically-oriented city. She has also choreographed dances.
Abakanowicz's most recent work included a project called Agora, which is a permanent project located at the southern end of Chicago's Grant Park, next to the Roosevelt Road Metra station. Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States. Grant Park (originally named Lake Park is a large Park (319 acres or 1 Roosevelt Road (originally named 12th Street) is a major east-west thoroughfare in the city of Chicago, Illinois, and its western suburbs Metra (officially known as the Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation) is a Regional rail system that serves the city of Chicago Illinois The Roosevelt Road Station is a Commuter rail station in downtown Chicago that serves the Metra Electric Line north to Millennium Station and It consists of 106 iron cast figures, each about nine feet tall. All the figures are similar in shape, but different in details. The artist and her three assistants created models for each figure by hand, and the casting took place from 2004 to 2006. The surface of each figure resembles a tree bark or wrinkled skin. The work creates a feeling of crowdedness, hence the name "agora". Furthermore, all the bodies end at the torso, giving them an eerie, anonymous look.
“My work comes from the experience of crowds, injustice, and aggression… I feel an affinity for art when it was made a form of existence, like when shamans worked in the territory between men and unknown powers… I try to bewitch the crowd. Majorca ( Spanish and Mallorca is the largest island of Spain. Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Madrid (pronounced in English in Spanish and colloquially in Spain) is the Capital and largest city of Spain. Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Warsaw (Warszawa; also known by other names) is the Capital and Largest city of Poland. Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland Poznań Lublin Voivodeship This article is about the city in Poland Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. São Paulo ( is the largest city in Brazil, with its metropolitan area ranking among the largest urban areas in the world |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld Vienna ( in Wien; see also other names) is the Capital of Austria, and is also one of the nine States of Austria. Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci ( April 15 1452 – May 2 1519 was an Italian Polymath, having been a scientist Mathematician, Engineer London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland The Akademie der Künste Berlin ( Academy of the Arts Berlin) is an arts institution in Berlin, Germany. The City of New York Dresden (etymologically from Old Sorbian Drežďany, meaning people of the riverside forest, Drježdźany is the Capital city of the German Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Łódź is Poland 's third largest city with population of 753192 in 2007 (lost its second rank to Krakow in 2007 Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland The Pour le Mérite, known informally during World War I as the Blue Max (Blauer Max was the Kingdom of Prussia 's highest military order until Berlin is the capital city and one of sixteen states of Germany. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Poznań Lublin Voivodeship This article is about the city in Poland Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States. The State of Illinois ( roughly ill-i-NOY is a state of the United States of America, the 21st to be admitted to the Union. ”
“I feel overawed by quantity where counting no longer makes sense. By unrepeatability within such a quantity. By creatures of nature gathered in herds, droves, species, in which each individual, while subservient to the mass, retains some distinguishing features. A crowd of people, birds, insects, or leaves is a mysterious assemblage of variants of certain prototype. A riddle of nature's abhorrence of exact repetition or inability to produce it. Just as the human hand cannot repeat its own gesture, I invoke this disturbing law, switching my own immobile herds into that rhythm. ”
Schools:The following is a list of some important Polish artists and groups of artists Socialist realism is a teleologically -oriented style of realistic art which has as its purpose the furtherance of the goals of Socialism and Communism Events 350 - Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, proclaims himself Roman Emperor, entering Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar.