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The mysterious world of transformations
Hardly anyone remembers that Magdalena Abakanowicz’s road to avant-garde pieces began with a fascination with nature. Growing up in provincial Falenty near Warsaw, she spent time all alone watching nature, the mysterious world of transformations and the biological powers which appealed to all her senses. She formed objects assigning meanings, telling stories, staging performances and performing rites. She was fascinated with the multitude of organic structures that surrendered to her will. This interest in nature and biologism dominated in her future artistic endeavors and prompted her to shift between forms. Abakanowicz’s art in the very beginning of her way was fulfilled by beautiful and semi-realistic forms of
flowers, and fantastic animals that showed an ideal world of nature. However, even later she did not cease to use biological inspirations in her activity. Very deeply processed into abstractive forms, nature is still a key to understanding the artist. Even Abakans, one of her most recognizable pieces, were partly the illustration of nature. In time Abakanowicz focused her attention on the human, but her admiration to a powerful and ideal world of nature was still present in her art. The most impressive form of her imagination is the design of a whole residential area in Paris which was the expression of Abakanowicz’s vision of a forest where people can live in relation to nature, the idea of Arboreal Architecture.
Marta Kowalewska is an art historian and critic, curator, Chief Curator of the Central Museum of Textiles in Łódź. Curator of the16th International Tapestry Triennial and exhibitions, among others: Metamorphism, Rebellion of the Matter, Christian Dior and the Icons of Parisian Fashion, co-curator of the exhibition: Textile Art of Łódź Professors. Co-editor of the book Weave Ideas, academic consultant of the exhibition The Splendour of Textiles and co-editor of the catalogue accompanying the exhibition. Author of over 70 articles, critical texts and interviews on the pages of the professional press and in exhibition catalogues. Co-author of the book From Tapestry to Fiber Art. The Lausanne Biennials 1962–1995. Member of the jury of international exhibitions of the textile art.