Alina Szapocznikow (1927–1973)
Alina Szapocznikow was a prominent Polish post-war artist, and one of the most original sculptors of the 20th century. Her use of new materials both developed and questioned the very concept of sculpture. From 1963 onwards, she lived in Paris, where she created her own language to deal with memories of her Holocaust experiences, as well as her sickness and bodily disintegration. Underrated during her lifetime, she is nowadays considered a pioneer of women’s art.
Alina Szapocznikow’s works in the Museum collection date from her experimental period. Here, innovative forms are accompanied by new angles on the body and the way it is represented. Szapocznikow covers traumatic themes like the memory of the Holocaust, illness, and the body’s limitations and weaknesses, yet her work still conveys a strong affirmation of life, and an irrepressible force of female expression.