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Alina Szapocznikow, Small Dessert I, 1970-71. Kravis Collection. ©The Estate of Alina Szapocznikow/Piotr Stanislawski/ADAGP, Paris. Photo by Thomas Mueller, courtesy Broadway 1602, New York; and Galerie Gisela Capitain GmbH, Cologne
The Polish Cultural Institute New York
is proud to support

Alina Szapocznikow

Sunday, October 7, 2012 - Monday, January 28, 2013

Special Exhibitions Gallery, third floor
Tickets available at

Oct 5, 2012, 12-5pm
The Celeste Bartos Theater
The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building
4 West 54 Street
Tickets available at

The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street , New York, NY
Tel: 212-708-9400

Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955-1972 is the first extensive, large-scale survey of works by one of Poland's most original and relentlessly experimental artists of the 20th Century. The touring exhibition, curated by Elena Filipovic and Joanna Mytkowska, is organized at MoMA by Connie Butler, The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings.

A sculptor who began working during the postwar period in a classical figurative style, Alina Szapocznikow radically reconceptualized sculpture as an imprint not only of memory but also of her own body. Though her career effectively spanned less than two decades (cut short by the artist's death in 1973 at age 47), Szapocznikow left behind a legacy of provocative objects that evoke Surrealism, Nouveau Réalisme, and Pop Art. Her tinted polyester casts of body parts, often transformed into everyday objects like lamps or ashtrays; her poured polyurethane forms; and her elaborately constructed sculptures, which at times incorporated photographs, clothing, or car parts, all remain as wonderfully idiosyncratic and culturally resonant today as when they were first made. Well-known in Poland and highly influential since early in her career, Szapocznikow's work merits historical reexamination.

The exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of this important artist's work at a moment when international interest is blossoming. Spanning one of the most rich and complex periods of the 20th Century, Szapocznikow's oeuvre responds to many of the ideological and artistic developments of her time through artwork that is at once fragmented and transformative, sensual and reflective, playfully realized and politically charged.

Featuring over 100 pieces of sculpture, drawing, and photography, the exhibition draws on loans from private and public collections including major institutions in Poland. First presented in 2011 at the WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels and subsequently at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, the show will be on exhibit for four months at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. It is accompanied by a major publication, co-published by The Museum of Modern Art and Mercatorfonds, reflecting new scholarship on Szapocznikow, contextualizing this work for a broader audience.

A symposium presenting new scholarship on the artist's two-decade long career will be held in conjunction with the exhibition.

The Musem of Modern Art in Warsaw is also issuing in English a collection of never-before-published leetrs of Alina Szapocznikow - Lovely, Human, True, Heartfelt.

The exhibition is organized by WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, and the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, in collaboration with The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. The exhibition traveled to the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio.

The MoMA presentation is made possible by MoMAs Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation. Additional support is provided by Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Modern Womens Fund, The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art, The David Berg Foundation, and the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

The accompanying symposium is supported in part by the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

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More about Alina Szapocznikow
More about the exhibition
Alina Szapocznikow: A Symposium
Exhibition Catalogue

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