“Human Landscapes“: Alina Szapocznikow’s Fragile Exploration Of The Human Body // Material Magazine

Erschienen am 26. September 2018 auf material-magazine.com.

Over a period of almost 25 years, Alina Szapocznikow created an impressive oeuvre, including sculptures, drawings and photography. The artist, who died of breast cancer by the age of only 47, mainly focused on the human body, its fragileness, vulnerability, its appearance as much as sensuality and “the paradoxes and absurdity of life”, as she wrote a year before her death.

Starting as a classic figurative sculptor in Prague working with bronze and stone, Alina Szapocznikow soon made the female body her main sujet and ended up experiencing with different, at her time completely new materials, such as polyester and polyurethane, which she preferred, but also cardboard and newspapers. Moving back to Paris, where she had also studied at the École Nationale Superieure Des Beaux-Arts a couple of years earlier, Alina Szapocznikow got mainly influenced by the artistic circles of the Nouveaux Réalisme. She quickly established her own formal language. Predominantly dismantling the female body into fragments, most of all concentrating on limbs, lips, breasts and stomachs, reassembling and recontexualising them, Alina Szapocznikow’s created an abstract figuration of our view on the female appearance, which hasn’t lost any of its relevance today.

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