Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017)

Presence, Essence, Identity

September 20–October 25, 2019 

Curated by Maria Rus Bojan

The Museum of Art Timişoara – Baroque Palace 
Piața Unirii, Timișoara, Romania 
www.muzeuldeartatm.ro 

The Museum of Art Timişoara is proud to be partnering with TRIADE Foundation, Timişoara and Magdalena Abakanowicz Foundation, Warsaw to present, for the first time in Romania, the retrospective exhibition of the late Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017), Presence, Essence, Identity.

One of the major figures of contemporary art in the world, Magdalena Abakanowicz gained her international notoriety in the 1960’s for her experimental, and highly uncommon at the time, gigantic fiber sculptures entitled generically Abakans. These fluid woven structures made of organic materials significantly expanded the traditional meaning of sculpture, transforming the flat surface of a tapestry into a dynamic, space-organized form that triggers complex visual and tactile experiences.

This exhibition proposes a consistent overview on the artist’s creation, highlighting key works from different stages in her career, such as the Hurma cycle. The haunting crowds of headless human figures suggest, just like other emblematic human and non-human figures in Abakanowicz’s work, the frozen witnesses of history.

Featuring more than 100 sculptures, the exhibition aims to provide an understanding of the major issues in Abakanowicz’s work, and to illustrate the ways in which she revolutionized the history of sculpture through a lifelong commitment to constant reinvention. The crucial themes in the artist’s works are freedom and loss, resurrection and destruction, identity and difference.

This presentation is the third retrospective exhibition of the late Polish artist curated by Maria Rus Bojan, in close cooperation with the artist’s estate from Warsaw, following the exhibitions Effigies of Life, A tribute to Magdalena Abakanowicz (Central Station Kunsthalle, Wroclaw, 2017) and Presence, Essence, Identity (The Museum of Art and Science Stara Kopalnia, Wałbrzych, 2018) organized together with Magdalena Mielnicka. 

The iteration of the exhibition in Timisoara is co-curated by Cristina Bută and produced by Sorina Jecza and Triade Foundation. 

The works on view belong to The Magdalena Abakanowicz Foundation, Warsaw, Artur Trawinski and Irmina Nazar collection, Wroclaw, Marek Trzaskowski, Poznan and Ovidiu Şandor collection, Timişoara.

Producers: Sorina Jecza from TRIADE Foundation, Timisoara in close cooperation with Magdalena Mielnicka and Tomasz Piątkowski from the Magdalena Abakanowicz Foundation, Warsaw

Organizer: TRIADE Foundation Timişoara

Cultural partner and co-financier: Timișoara - European Capital of Culture Association

Supported by: The Administration of the National Cultural Fund, Romania, Art Encounters Foundation

Sponsors: European ArtEast Foundation London, Artur Trawinski and Irmina Nazar, MB Art Agency Amsterdam