Magdalena Abakanowicz

(Polish, born 1930, died 2017)

Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017) was a celebrated Polish sculptor and fiber artist. She was known for her outdoor installations and her use of textiles as a sculptural medium. Her artworks often feature organic figurative forms and highly textured surfaces.

Abakanowicz studied art at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts (1950–1954) at a time when it was very conservative, and only realistic art was acceptable. She was required to take weaving and fiber design classes, and this had a huge influence on her work, as well as that of other Polish artists of the time. Abakanowicz was a professor at the University of Fine Arts in Poznań, Poland, from 1965 to 1990 and a visiting professor and lecturer in the U.S. Her artworks are in collections and public spaces around the world.