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Monika Sosnowska, Fir Tree. Photo by James Ewing, courtesy of the Public Art Fund.
Public Art Fund
in collaboration with
the Polish Cultural Institute New York

Monika Sosnowska
Public art project and artist's talk

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - Sunday, February 17, 2013

Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park Entrance at Fifth Avenue and 60th Street
New York, NY

Artist Talk:
Wednesday, October 24
6:30 pm

The New School
John Tishman Auditorium
66 West 12th Street
New York, NY
Buy tickets
($10 general, free for students)

New York, NY

Monika Sosnowska (b. 1972 in Ryki, Poland) is one of the most recognized Polish artists of her generation. Best known for her monumental sculptures and architectural interventions, Sosnowska plays with scale and optical illusion to challenge our perceptions of space and destabilize our convictions of certainty. As a point of departure she focuses on the irrational problems of the given space, the ones most architects would not even consider. Growing up in Poland in the 1970s and 80s surrounded by modernist functional architecture, she often refers to post-war Eastern European structures such as apartment buildings or railway stations.

Sosnowska's newest project is a large-scale site-specific installation Fir Tree at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza in Central Park. Sosnowska used heavy equipment to contort the metal staircase of a Socialist housing block into a 40-foot high black steel sculpture resembling a lonesome fir tree, the stairs collapsed and weighted down like tree-limbs. Nicholas Baume, director of the Public Art Fund, said of Sosnowska's work, One of the interesting things in Monika's work is the kind of tension she creates. In this case it is where she twists and turns the metal, a material normally associated with male sculptors. This installation draws on the architectural history of communist Poland and on the familiar domesticity of the original form, rendering what was once a utilitarian object into a new dynamic abstraction.

To coincide with the unveiling of Fir Tree, Sosnowska will give a talk at The New School, Between Art and Architecture, on Wednesday, October 24th, at 6:30pm.

For more than ten years, Monika Sosnowska has created increasingly complex installations, including a series of doors that shrink in size until viewers are unable to move through them (Entrance, Sculpture Center, 2003); a scale model of a communist housing block crushed to fit into the Polish Pavilion for the Venice Biennale (1:1, 2007); and an external staircase, as found in Poland's Socialist housing, oversized, twisted and leading nowhere (Staircase, Dusseldorf, 2010).

Sosnowska studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan and Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. She represented Poland at the Venice Biennale in 2007 as well as she presented her work in the Biennale's Arsenale exhibition in 2003 and 2011. She is short-listed for the 2012 Guggenheim Hugo Boss Prize. Select solo exhibitions include: Kunsthalle Nürnberg (2011); Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, Mexico (2011); 2011 Kurimanzutto, Mexico City (2011); Licthof/Atrium Project 1, K21 Düsseldorf (2010); Artpace, San Antonio, TX (2010); Herzliya Museum Tel Aviv, Israel (2010); and Museum of Modern Art, Projects Series (2006).

Presented by Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

The Public Art Fund Talks at The New School are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.

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