October 29 - December 21, 2019
New York, 69th Street
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.
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Hauser & Wirth warmly invites you to the opening reception of the 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.
Please join us in celebrating the pre-release of Hauser & Wirth Publishers new publication, ‘To Exalt the Ephemeral: Alina Szapocznikow, 1962–1972’ featuring a conversation with Margot Norton, Curator at the New Museum, with artists Ivana Bašić and Dan Herschlein. The publication features new photography of the artist's artworks and focuses on the pivotal turning points in the Polish artist’s life and career. It considers her experimental approach to materials, ranging from plaster and bronze, to her groundbreaking use of polyester resin in the mid-1960s. Margot Norton is a Curator at the New Museum, New York. With Jamillah James, she is curating the 2021 edition of the New Museum Triennial. She joined the New Museum in 2011 and has curated and co-curated exhibitions with Carmen Argote, Judith Bernstein, Diedrick Brackens, Pia Camil, Sarah Charlesworth Roberto Cuoghi, Ragnar Kjartansson, Sarah Lucas, Chris Ofili, Goshka Macuga, Nathaniel Mellors, Laure Prouvost, Pipilotti Rist, Mika Rottenberg, Anri Sala, Kaari Upson, and Erika Vogt; and group exhibitions “The Keeper,” “Here and Elsewhere,” and “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.” In October 2017, she curated “Sequences VIII: Elastic Hours,” the Eighth Sequences Real Time Art Festival in Reykjavik, Iceland, and the Georgian Pavillion at the 2019 Venice Biennale with artist Anna K.E.. Before joining the New Museum, Norton was a curatorial assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She has contributed to and edited numerous publications and exhibition catalogues, and regularly lectures on contemporary art and curating. She holds a MA in Curatorial Studies from Columbia University, New York. Ivana Bašić (b. 1986) is a Serbian artist based in New York. Recent shows include KUMU Museum, Tallinn; Marlborough Contemporary, London; Whitney Museum, New York; 6th Athens Biennial, Athens; Hessel Museum of Art, New York; 57.Belgrade Biennial, Belgrade; Center for Contemporary Art Estonia, Talinn; La Panacee Museum of Contemporary Art, Montpellier; Künstlerhaus Halle für Kunst & Medien, Gratz; Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York; Loyal Gallery, Stockholm. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum, New York. Dan Herschlein (b. 1989, Bayville, NY) works in sculpture, drawing, and performance, using images of the body and horror tropes to explore the human desire for comfort and emotional understanding. Made of wood, plaster, and wax, Herschlein's sculptures and reliefs often depict headless, scarecrow-like figures and dismembered body parts. At once unsettling and surprisingly tender, Herschlein's work evokes alienation, aloneness, and fear as a means to deeper self-reflection. Herschlein received his BFA from New York University in 2010. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Plot Hole at Matthew Brown Gallery, Los Angeles (2019), Night Pictures at JTT, New York (2019), The Architect at the New Museum, New York (2018), Safe as Houses at JTT, New York (2017), The Stillness of Eddies at 56 Henry, New York (2016), and Worm at AALA, Los Angeles (2016). Group exhibitions include Magenta Plains (2019), Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (2018), Bureau (2018), Helena Anrather (2017), SIGNAL (2015) and Recess (2012) in New York.
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 Poland, where she expanded her practice. When the Polish government loosened controls over creative freedom following Stalin’s death in 1952, Szapocznikow moved into figurative abstraction and then a pioneering form of representation. By the 1960s, she was radically re-conceptualizing sculpture as an intimate record not only of her memory, but also of her own body.