Skip to content

The Magdalena Abakanowicz Foundation

Selected Works Thumbnails
Bronze sculpture by Magdalena Abakanowicz of a seated figure with an angular head on a pedestal

Osiel, 2005-2006  
bronze, unique
89 x 22 7/8 x 35 3/8 in. / 226.1 x 58.1 x 89.9 cm 

Inquire
Horizontally oriented, oval shaped, red textile with slits by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Untitled Abakan, 1971-1972  
sisal weaving
55 7/8 x 85 3/8 x 6 1/4 in. / 142 x 217 x 16 cm

Inquire
Sculpture of a life-size seated burlap and resin figure in an iron cage by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Figure in Iron House, 1989-1990  
burlap, resin and iron, unique
58 1/4 x 43 3/4 x 35 in. / 148 x 111.1 x 88.9 cm

Inquire
Monochromatic brown textile by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Helena, 1964-1965  
wool, cotton cords, sisal, horse hair

118 x 189 in. / 300 x 480 cm 

Inquire
Gouache painting on paper of a face by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Faces which are not portraits, No. 16, 2004/2005

gouache on paper 
35 3/8 x 25 1/4 in. / 90 x 64 cm 

Inquire
Gouache abstract painting on paper by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Faces which are not portraits, No. 8, 2004/2005  
gouache on paper 
25 1/4 x 35 3/8 in. / 64 x 90 cm 

Inquire
Horizontal burlap, wood and steel sculpture by Magdalena Abakanowicz of two arms joined at the elbow

From the Anatomy Cycle: Anatomy 29, 2009  
burlap, wood and steel
43 x 38 1/2 x 11 in. / 109.2 x 97.8 x 27.9 cm

Inquire
Cotton, resin, and sand sculpture of a head on a pedestal

Anonymous Portrait Head #2, 1987  
cotton, resin, and sand
25 3/4 x 10 1/4 x 8 in. / 65.4 x 26 x 20.3 cm

Inquire
Sculpture by Magdalena Abakanowicz featuring a log with iron wrappings and an iron cage

War Games "Marrow Bone", 1987    
wood and iron, unique
59 x 137 3/4 x 31 1/2 in. / 149.9 x 349.9 x 80 cm

Inquire
Bronze sculpture by Magdalena Abakanowicz of a seated figure with an angular head on a pedestal

Osiel, 2005-2006  
bronze, unique
89 x 22 7/8 x 35 3/8 in. / 226.1 x 58.1 x 89.9 cm 

Horizontally oriented, oval shaped, red textile with slits by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Untitled Abakan, 1971-1972  
sisal weaving
55 7/8 x 85 3/8 x 6 1/4 in. / 142 x 217 x 16 cm

Sculpture of a life-size seated burlap and resin figure in an iron cage by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Figure in Iron House, 1989-1990  
burlap, resin and iron, unique
58 1/4 x 43 3/4 x 35 in. / 148 x 111.1 x 88.9 cm

Monochromatic brown textile by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Helena, 1964-1965  
wool, cotton cords, sisal, horse hair

118 x 189 in. / 300 x 480 cm 

Gouache painting on paper of a face by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Faces which are not portraits, No. 16, 2004/2005

gouache on paper 
35 3/8 x 25 1/4 in. / 90 x 64 cm 

Gouache abstract painting on paper by Magdalena Abakanowicz

Faces which are not portraits, No. 8, 2004/2005  
gouache on paper 
25 1/4 x 35 3/8 in. / 64 x 90 cm 

Horizontal burlap, wood and steel sculpture by Magdalena Abakanowicz of two arms joined at the elbow

From the Anatomy Cycle: Anatomy 29, 2009  
burlap, wood and steel
43 x 38 1/2 x 11 in. / 109.2 x 97.8 x 27.9 cm

Cotton, resin, and sand sculpture of a head on a pedestal

Anonymous Portrait Head #2, 1987  
cotton, resin, and sand
25 3/4 x 10 1/4 x 8 in. / 65.4 x 26 x 20.3 cm

Sculpture by Magdalena Abakanowicz featuring a log with iron wrappings and an iron cage

War Games "Marrow Bone", 1987    
wood and iron, unique
59 x 137 3/4 x 31 1/2 in. / 149.9 x 349.9 x 80 cm

“Longings, disappointments, and fears teach me how to build their shapes. My imagination makes a choice.”​

— Magdalena Abakanowicz

Black and white photographic portrait of Magdalena Abakanowicz in her studio surrounded by sculptures

Magdalena Abakanowicz.

About

Magdalena Abakanowicz was born in 1930 in Falenty, Poland. She emerged as a young artist in a country devastated by the Second World War, a unique perspective that has unraveled through a distinct sculptural vocabulary, an original use of materials and figurative forms. Layered with meaning, her work carries a timeless, mythic quality.

Magdalena Abakanowicz has had over 150 solo exhibitions in Europe, North and South America, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. She has exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Jardins du Palais Royal in Paris, and the Muzeum Narodowe in Poznań. Her most recent solo exhibit ions include the Palacio de Cristal, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid and Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM), Valencia, both in 2008, and the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan, in 2009. Several works were exhibited in the Energy and Process wing at the Tate Modern for the duration of 2010, and her survey The Human Adventure was exhibited at the Akbank Art Center, Istanbul, in 2013. 

Among numerous awards and distinctions, Abakanowicz has received seven honorary doctorates from universities in Europe and the United States as well as the Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government. She was also awarded the prestigious International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. In the past twenty years Abakanowicz has developed a number of site-specific sculpture installations that incorporate multiple figures or elements of increased scale. Among these are Negev at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1987; Space of Dragon, Olympic Park, Seoul, South Korea, 1985; Becalmed Beings, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan, 1993; Sarcophagi in Glass Houses, Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York, 1994; Space of Unknown Growth, Europos Parkas, Lithuania, 1997-98; Unrecognized, Citadel Park, Poznań, Poland, 2002; Space of Stone, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey, 2003 and, most recently, Agora, a sculptural group comprised of 106 unique cast-iron figures measuring over nine-feet tall that was permanently installed in Chicago’s Grant Park in 2006.  

Much has been written about Abakanowicz’s life, how she emerged as an artist from war torn Poland, and her unique vision. Writers have commented on her distinct sculptural vocabulary, its original use of materials and figurative form. Her work is capable of invoking deep feeling and can reach into a timeless, mythic quality. Robert Hughes in Time magazine referred to its “dark vision of primal myth” and Barbara Rose, in her monograph, Magdalena Abakanowicz (Abrams, 1994) wrote the artist is “a shaman who receives and transmits messages in a visual language that is more universal than words.”  

Back To Top