Published by Hauser & Wirth Publishers. Text by Margot Norton, Pavel S. Pys.
Sensuality and abjection in the sculpture of an artist who expressed the female experience unapologetically and presciently
This catalog considers the pivotal turning points in the Polish artist Alina Szapocznikow's (1926–73) life and career from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. It considers her experimental approach to materials, ranging from plaster and bronze to her groundbreaking use of polyester resin in the mid-1960s.
Szapocznikow’s work maps her engagement with her own body as it transformed from healthy to ailing. Her art amounts to a powerful meditation on what she once described as “a fleeting instant, a trivial instant … our terrestrial passage.” These sensual casts and sculptures of body parts are ecstatic and abject, playful and disturbing, direct and elusive. Unapologetic in their expression of the female experience, including that of terminal illness, Szapocznikow’s works remain hauntingly relevant today.
Featuring new photography, the publication aims to render the tactility and spatiality of these works in brilliant new detail.
Published by Editions Dilecta. Text by Annette Messager, Anne Tronche, Jola Gola.
One of the first to use materials such as polyurethane foam and polyester resin, Alina Szapocznikow (1926–1973) is a renowned artist in her native country of Poland, and has been the subject of increased interest in the U.S, following her 2012 touring retrospective. Though she is better known for her sculptures, Szapocznikow’s drawings are equally unique and fascinating. Felt-tip, ballpoint, crayons, ink, watercolor and monotype were her materials of choice in the medium. Forty years after her death, they are now being rediscovered by scholars and museums worldwide. The works showcased in this book reveal the depth of Szapocznikow’s fantasy, the originality of her reflections on the body, as well as highlighting her humor, sexuality and exuberance. These drawings reflect the distinctive style of an artist who can be considered an heir to the Surrealists and a precursor to the Pop movement.
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Edited by Elena Filipovic, Joanna Mytkowska. Text by Cornelia Butler, Jola Gola, Allegra Pesenti.
A sculptor who began working during the postwar period in a classical figurative style, Alina Szapocznikow radically reconceptualized sculpture as an imprint not only of memory but of her own body. Though her career effectively spanned less than two decades (cut short by the artist’s premature death in 1973 at age 47), Szapocznikow left behind a legacy of provocative objects that evoke Surrealism, Nouveau Réalisme and Pop art. Her tinted polyester casts of body parts, often transformed into everyday objects like lamps or ashtrays; her poured polyurethane forms; and her elaborately constructed sculptures, which at times incorporated photographs, clothing or car parts, all remain as wonderfully idiosyncratic and culturally resonant today as when they were first made. Well-known in Poland, where her work has been highly influential since early in her career, Szapocznikow’s compelling oeuvre is ripe for art-historical reexamination. Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955–1972 offers a comprehensive overview of this important artist’s work at a moment when international interest is blossoming. Richly illustrated with over 150 color plates, the catalogue features essays that touch on key aspects of her practice and historical reception, as well as an extensive annotated chronology that provides an in-depth exploration of the intersection of her life and art. Working in one of the most rich and complex periods of the twentieth century, Szapocznikow responded to many of the ideological and artistic developments of her time through artwork that is at once fragmented and transformative, sensual and reflective, playfully realized and politically charged.
Alina Szapocznikow was born in Poland in 1926, and gained critical attention there for her early sculpture of the 1950s. She re-settled permanently in France in 1963, where her continued exploration of new materials such as polyester and polyurethane brought her into dialogue with the contemporary art scene of her time. She continued to push the boundaries of sculptural form and subject matter up until her premature death in 1973.
Published by Kerber. Text by Anda Rottenberg, Philip Topolovac. Preface by Harald Spengler.
The Polish sculptor Alina Szapocznikow (1926–1973) has been the subject of renewed and intense interest over the past few years, with much anticipation of her major touring U.S. survey in 2012/2013. Szapocznikow’s sculptural interpretations of the human body, created from the 1960s onwards in both Communist Poland and postwar Paris, are often associated with the artist’s experience as a survivor of the Holocaust, but also anticipate more recent preoccupations with “the abject” in their often dark intimations of dismemberment, decay and mutation. This volume, published for an exhibition at the Kunstparterre in Munich, includes drawings and sculptures from the breadth of Szapocznikow’s tragically brief career, as well as documentation of the exhibition, statements and a letter by the artist, and an extensive timeline of her life and work.