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Magdalena Abakanowicz
Magdalena Abakanowicz
Magdalena Abakanowicz
Magdalena Abakanowicz
Magdalena Abakanowicz

Press Release

Opening Reception
Friday, April 29, 2016

Richard Gray Gallery is pleased to announce Magdalena Abakanowicz: Mutations, an exhibition of sculpture by the renowned Polish artist. Spanning two gallery spaces in Richard Gray Gallery’s Chicago location, Mutations features sculptures in bronze and burlap from Abakanowicz’s “Crowds” and “Mutant” series. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held on Friday, April 29 from 6 to 8 pm. 

Magdalena Abakanowicz (b. 1930, Poland) has presented her work in over forty-five permanent monumental installations and in hundreds of museum presentations around the world. Her first North American retrospective was organized at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 1982. Throughout her long and prolific career she has developed a distinctive sculptural language that is specific to her recollections of life in Communist-ruled Eastern Europe while remaining open to universal readings of human struggle. Her installations often portray crowds of headless or faceless bodies as somber testimonies to ongoing personal, societal, and international violence. Mutations brings together sculptures from the past thirty-five years in an installation that emphasizes the sculpture’s materials and symbolic impact.

Magdalena Abakanowicz was born in Falenty, Poland in 1930 and studied painting at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. She was a foundational voice in the development of avant-garde sculpture beginning in the 1960s, particularly challenging the use of fiber as a sculptural material. By the 1970s, she had established herself as a presence in the global art community. Abakanowicz has exhibited widely ever since, including solo exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City; Reina Sofia, Madrid; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK; and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, among many others. Her monumental work Agora, dedicated in 2006, is sited at Michigan and Roosevelt Avenues in Chicago, while other public sculpture can be seen around the world at such major museums as the Jerusalem Museum; Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art; and Storm King Art Center, New York.

Featured Works

Backwards Standing, 1993-94
Figure Sitting on a Pole, 1999
Mutant, 2000 Bronze