Tuesday, January 29, 2013

abakanowicz in istanbul

I first heard the hypnotic name Magdalena Abakanowicz in college. I was creating life-size human figures out of wire mesh, paper and beeswax, and during a critique, my professor asked me if I had ever seen an Abakanowicz. "Abawhat?" I replied.

It took one look at a book in the library (remember those?) for me to fall in love. Abakanowicz is a Polish sculptor, who is known for creating what I can only call eerie and beautiful impressions of human existence in hardened textiles and sometimes bronze. Her pieces feel like faint memories of a person— of something left behind, like the dessicated mummy of a person who once walked the earth full of hopes and desires and irritations. At the same time, their featureless (and often headless) bodies are lost in anonymity.

On a corner of Istiklal Caddesi, the Akbank Sanat gallery became the temporary home to several installations of her pieces.


Beth said...

Wonderful to see these photos. I've been a huge fan of her work ever since I discovered it (in a book, like you) several decades ago. I haven't seen those headed figures in the next-to-last photo and really like them - reminiscent of Egypt but all hers, too.

szaza said...

Isn't she wonderful?
Those last figures were a first for me too— and they are so haunting. Really beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Harika! I have been meaning to comment for the last few posts..(busy life, blah blah)..but I am loving your drawings - so superfinished but with a lovely lightness. And also, these sculptures are excellent so thanks for the link. So different to see the red bronze of Rodin, but with such cool restraint to the pose.. eerie compelling.

szaza said...

Thank you so much, Sheryl!
I hope life has been busy in a good way for you :)

They really are strange sculptures, and when you stand next to them and in between, the experience is quite powerful.

Sue Pownall said...

Wow love them. I'm sure I'll never remember the artist's name though :?

szaza said...

Aren't they great?
Her name is a tough one!