a fight.

Alina Szapocznikow,
Coloured polyester resin,
electrical wiring, metal

Lynda Benglis, Louise Bourgeois and Alina Szapocznikow
"After Awkward Objects"
at Hauser and Wirth here.

17 November – 19 December 2009,
Hauser & Wirth London, Piccadilly

taken from Hauser and Wirth press release...

"At the age of 20, after surviving the horrors of the Holocaust,
Alina trained as a sculptor and eventually worked in
Paris. After being diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1951 she
returned to Poland where she adopted a son and participated
extensively in the Polish artistic scene. In 1962,
Szapocznikow was offered a solo show in the Polish Pavilion
at the Venice Biennale. The following year she moved
back to Paris where she became friends with the art critic
and founder of the Nouveau Realisme movement, Pierre
Restany, and started to produce casts of her breasts,
stomach and legs.
Szapocznikow documented her own body early in her
artistic career in bronze and stone. In 1963, the artist began
to combine fragmented body parts with revolutionary
sculpting materials including polyester and polyurethane.
Five years later in 1968, Szapocznikow was diagnosed
with breast cancer and that same year began to make her
‘tumour’ sculptures using resin, gauze, crumpled newspapers
and photographs. Through casts of the human
body, the artist intended to document the impermanence
of the body as a source of pain, trauma and truth. A
Holocaust survivor, a Jewish woman with a history of sickness
tattooed on her body and deprived of any prospects
of maternity, Szapocznikow’s biography is integral to
understanding her artistic achievement. Despite her early
death in 1973 at the age of 47 from breast cancer and
her detachment from the international art scene for the
majority of her life, Szapocznikow can be placed amongst
the greatest female artists of her time. She gave form to
trauma, capturing the volatility of life, its paradoxes and
absurdities and her artistic legacy can still be felt today."