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.