The Plastic Body

Sculpture from Poland 1960-1989

28. Sep 2024 - 26. Jan 2025

The Plastic Body will show works by several Polish artists who challenged traditional conceptions of sculpture in the 1060s and ’70s. At a time when political and patriarchal structures limited the lives of people in Poland, many artists created very radical and political works. Using experimental techniques and new materials that were often sourced from everyday life, they broke away from conventional ideas about the human body. They explored the body as a plastic material, a place for resistance, transformation and freedom.

The exhibition brings together artists who in various ways expanded and renewed the concept of sculpture based on the human body as a motif and theme. The vulnerable, ephemeral, and fragmented body emerges in their works, but so also desire and sensuality. The use of new materials was partly motivated by economic limitations. Textiles, plant seeds, and new plastic materials such as polyester and resin were affordable alternatives to stone and bronze. At the same time, these materials opened up new possibilities for conveying personal experiences and artistic visions that were not only radical in their time but remain highly relevant today.

The exhibition will include works by:

Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017)
Wanda Czełkowska (1930-2021)
Barbara Falender (f. 1947)
Zofia Kulik (f. 1947)
Teresa Murak (f. 1949)
Ewa Pachucka (1936-2020)
Ewa Partum (f. 1945)
Maria Pinińska-Bereś (1931-1999)
Alina Szapocznikow (1926-1973)