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To Exalt the Ephemeral:
Alina Szapocznikow, 1962 – 1972

Opens on 29 October, 6 – 8 pm 29 Oct – 21 Dec 2019

About

Hauser & Wirth is pleased to present its first solo exhibition devoted to Alina Szapocznikow since undertaking representation of the artist’s estate in May 2018. The visceral, playful, and uncanny aspects of the human bodily experience lay at the center of Szapocznikow’s oeuvre. Born in Poland to a Jewish family in 1926, the artist survived internment in concentration camps as a teenager during the Holocaust. After the war, Szapocznikow trained as a sculptor in both Prague and Paris, returning to Poland in 1951. By the 1960’s she was radically employing sculpture to render an intimate record of both her memories and her own body in the present. Pioneering in its use of new and unconventional materials (from tinted polyester resin and polyeurethane foam, to everyday items such as pantyhose, newspaper clippings, and grass), Szapocznikow’s art amounts to a powerful meditation on what she once described as ‘a fleeting instant, a trivial instant… our terrestrial passage.’ Produced during one of the most sociopolitically complex periods of the twentieth century, her pliant, 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.

Selected Images

Ventre-coussin (Belly cushion)
Ventre (Belly)

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Installation Views

EXH114790 Alina Szapocznikow

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About the Artist

001 Alina Szapocznikow in her studio, Malakoff, France

Born in Poland to a Jewish family in 1926, Alina Szapocznikow survived internment in concentration camps during the Holocaust as a teenager. Immediately after the war, she moved first to Prague and then to Paris, studying sculpture at the École des Beaux Arts. In 1951, suffering from tuberculosis, she was forced to return to...

Stories

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