Magdalena Abakanowicz: Hand-Like Trees

About the Exhibition

Magdalena Abakanowicz (b.1930, Falenty, Poland) is internationally recognized for her remarkable installations, which incorporate both human and natural figures. Making reference to folklore traditions as well as to the dark passages of Eastern European history, Abakanowicz is widely known for her forceful standing figures, arranged in crowds and gathered as if for some unrevealed purpose. In all of her work, the tension between uniformity and difference, between the group and the individual, is hauntingly expressed in sculptural terms.

In recent years, the artist’s use of the body has found powerful expression through the exploration of natural imagery. Hand-Like Trees bring together the characteristics of ancient tree trunks, human bodies, and hands. These magical forms rise above us to create an enchanted forest—the fingers, knuckles and wrists discernibly growing out from the mighty trunks—as if we have perhaps entered the realm of fable or a child’s imagination, where the natural world is at once enticing and menacing. This public exhibition provides viewers with a unique opportunity to experience the visceral and tactile qualities of Abakanowicz’s sculpture over the winter and spring months.



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