Alina Szapocznikow. Documents. Works. Interpretations
Anna Markowska

I am not trying to rethink the greatness of the artist but rather to reflect on how the greatness of Alina Szapocznikow’s art was constructed during Communist times and after the shift of 1989.

Modernism in Polish art became the dominant discourse after the 1955 political “thaw” and it was in existence until the end of the 1980s as a symbol of resistance and pride, demonstrating that Polish art was “the same” as art in the West, behind the iron curtain. Therefore a paradox occurred: official narratives proving greatness during Communist times required a transgression and metaphysical climbing. My paper addresses the following questions: did the need for transcendence reveal the real power structures in the country and the dominant discourse in visual arts or was it just a conservative/anachronistic trait of methodology? How are the Western (P. Restany) narratives on Szapocznikow different and how have they changed after the decline of Communism?

See also: