11/01/2023
Reviews
Jelena Sofronijevic
Worlds Together, Poles Apart (Part Two): Magdalena Abakanowicz at Tate Modern
In the second of our two-part series of articles exploring myth and human/nature in current exhibitions, we take a look at Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread and Rope, currently showing at Tate Modern...

Practicing in and around Poland, the artists Magdalena Abakanowicz and M.K. Čiurlionis never met. Their lives – his short (1875-1911), hers long (1930-2017) – did not overlap in chronological time. Yet both endured great, and similar, social changes, grappled with and embodied by their art. 

Abakanowicz’s father was a Russian Tatar, her mother a member of the Polish nobility, Magdalena went by her middle name to hide her aristocratic, landowner roots in post-World War II communist Poland. From the state’s post-Stalin Thaw in the 1950s to its swift refreezing, she worked with the state-sponsored Association of Polish Artists – like Čiurlionis, an artist at the forefront of her national practice. It is in this short space of time that the Tate Modern’s Every Tangle of Thread and Rope lingers.

Archive photograph

Socialist realism never took root in Poland; conceptual art, and its prized seriality and repetition, were key symbols of the thaw. Still, Abakanowicz was uniquely revolutionary, changing national and international ideas about textile art altogether. The Tate’s straightforward curation gives space for her dark, fabric sculptures to float, transcending the realm of her forebears.

Her experimental tapestries liberated weaving from its limited perceptions, to replicate murals or paintings, or serve a utilitarian, domestic function. She rejected the label of fibre-artist, whilst acknowledging her intimate tie with the media of burlap and sisal. "We are fibrous structures," she proclaimed, resisting the false binary of human/nature to show how we too are organic, and alive. 

Głowa nosorożca (Head of a Rhinoceros), Magdalena Abakanowicz (1990)

Abakanowicz’s knotted, earth-toned textiles turn to tree bark before our eyes. A rhinoceros trophy head juts out of a more contemporary photograph of her studio, a reminder of her lavish ancestry, reproduced in cheap burlap. Like Čiurlionis, she transformed her limited resources so that they worked for her.

It all centres around her Abakans, ‘textiles that have no name’ but hers. They’re giant garments or coats of protection that mimic the forest environment. Dark and primitive, there’s no music here, only silence. The Cure’s track of the same name would work well too.

Installation view

Though nature offered her refuge, like Čiurlionis, she too was anything but detached. Informed by more travel, a more instantly connected world, Abakanowicz shared his interest in how myth and history informed contemporary politics – and urges us too to make the connection. 

Of her sculpture ‘Agora’ (2003-2006), Abakanowicz said ‘We live in times which are extraordinary because of their various forms of aggression. Today new danger exists around us as if everyone were against everyone. Agora should become a symbol, a metaphor about this particular historical moment in which we need each other, in which we want to rely on each other more than ever.’

Documentary films shed light on her meticulous process, making us envy those early visitors who might touch the Abakans, interweaving themselves within the forest of floating textiles. Her quotes – the artist, in her own words – pepper the walls. 

It’s refreshing to see a major institution platform a woman artist from Eastern Europe. But Every Tangle does not quite convey her greatness – something captured in, for instance, MOA’s recent Ruth Asawa retrospective.

Embryology, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1981)

Perhaps it is because the curation detaches so much of the artist from her own work. It focusses on her early textiles, with a few studies (artworks in and of themselves); more of both can be found at the Marlborough, upstream. 

But her grander, sculptural visions – and some of her most interesting, canonical pieces - come later. They’re crammed into archive photographs in the exhibition’s final room, along with a dense timeline of her fascinating life. 

Archive Photograph of Backs, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1980)

In 1980, Abakanowicz represented Poland at the Venice Biennale. Her ‘Backs’ sculpture and ‘Embryology’ cycle debuted in the same year as Solidarność, the first independent trade union in a Warsaw Pact state, and later leader in the first democratically elected government since 1947. Again, art and politics entwine. 

Amongst the wealth squashed into that last room are her post-war memorials in Japan, the artist’s fears of the nuclear reactor in Ukraine, and international commissions from Jerusalem to Chicago. 

So too we find sculptures in Lithuania, and her ‘Hand-like Trees’ (1992-2003) – a symbol shared by both artists. The human hand naturalised, or perhaps nature anthropomorphised, stretching out, reaching to connect past, present, and future – heaven and earth.

Hand-like Trees in Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1994, series from 1992-2003)

There’s much common ground between Abakanowicz and Čiurlionis. Indeed, time cannot separate two timeless, transcendental artists. 

Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread And Rope is showing at Tate Modern until 21st May. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

This article is part of Worlds Together, Poles Apart, a two-part series exploring myth and human/nature in the art of M.K. Čiurlionis and Magdalena Abakanowicz. For more, click here to read our review of M.K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds, on view at the Dulwich Picture Gallery until 12 March 2023.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/01/2023
Reviews
Jelena Sofronijevic
Worlds Together, Poles Apart (Part Two): Magdalena Abakanowicz at Tate Modern
In the second of our two-part series of articles exploring myth and human/nature in current exhibitions, we take a look at Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread and Rope, currently showing at Tate Modern...

Practicing in and around Poland, the artists Magdalena Abakanowicz and M.K. Čiurlionis never met. Their lives – his short (1875-1911), hers long (1930-2017) – did not overlap in chronological time. Yet both endured great, and similar, social changes, grappled with and embodied by their art. 

Abakanowicz’s father was a Russian Tatar, her mother a member of the Polish nobility, Magdalena went by her middle name to hide her aristocratic, landowner roots in post-World War II communist Poland. From the state’s post-Stalin Thaw in the 1950s to its swift refreezing, she worked with the state-sponsored Association of Polish Artists – like Čiurlionis, an artist at the forefront of her national practice. It is in this short space of time that the Tate Modern’s Every Tangle of Thread and Rope lingers.

Archive photograph

Socialist realism never took root in Poland; conceptual art, and its prized seriality and repetition, were key symbols of the thaw. Still, Abakanowicz was uniquely revolutionary, changing national and international ideas about textile art altogether. The Tate’s straightforward curation gives space for her dark, fabric sculptures to float, transcending the realm of her forebears.

Her experimental tapestries liberated weaving from its limited perceptions, to replicate murals or paintings, or serve a utilitarian, domestic function. She rejected the label of fibre-artist, whilst acknowledging her intimate tie with the media of burlap and sisal. "We are fibrous structures," she proclaimed, resisting the false binary of human/nature to show how we too are organic, and alive. 

Głowa nosorożca (Head of a Rhinoceros), Magdalena Abakanowicz (1990)

Abakanowicz’s knotted, earth-toned textiles turn to tree bark before our eyes. A rhinoceros trophy head juts out of a more contemporary photograph of her studio, a reminder of her lavish ancestry, reproduced in cheap burlap. Like Čiurlionis, she transformed her limited resources so that they worked for her.

It all centres around her Abakans, ‘textiles that have no name’ but hers. They’re giant garments or coats of protection that mimic the forest environment. Dark and primitive, there’s no music here, only silence. The Cure’s track of the same name would work well too.

Installation view

Though nature offered her refuge, like Čiurlionis, she too was anything but detached. Informed by more travel, a more instantly connected world, Abakanowicz shared his interest in how myth and history informed contemporary politics – and urges us too to make the connection. 

Of her sculpture ‘Agora’ (2003-2006), Abakanowicz said ‘We live in times which are extraordinary because of their various forms of aggression. Today new danger exists around us as if everyone were against everyone. Agora should become a symbol, a metaphor about this particular historical moment in which we need each other, in which we want to rely on each other more than ever.’

Documentary films shed light on her meticulous process, making us envy those early visitors who might touch the Abakans, interweaving themselves within the forest of floating textiles. Her quotes – the artist, in her own words – pepper the walls. 

It’s refreshing to see a major institution platform a woman artist from Eastern Europe. But Every Tangle does not quite convey her greatness – something captured in, for instance, MOA’s recent Ruth Asawa retrospective.

Embryology, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1981)

Perhaps it is because the curation detaches so much of the artist from her own work. It focusses on her early textiles, with a few studies (artworks in and of themselves); more of both can be found at the Marlborough, upstream. 

But her grander, sculptural visions – and some of her most interesting, canonical pieces - come later. They’re crammed into archive photographs in the exhibition’s final room, along with a dense timeline of her fascinating life. 

Archive Photograph of Backs, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1980)

In 1980, Abakanowicz represented Poland at the Venice Biennale. Her ‘Backs’ sculpture and ‘Embryology’ cycle debuted in the same year as Solidarność, the first independent trade union in a Warsaw Pact state, and later leader in the first democratically elected government since 1947. Again, art and politics entwine. 

Amongst the wealth squashed into that last room are her post-war memorials in Japan, the artist’s fears of the nuclear reactor in Ukraine, and international commissions from Jerusalem to Chicago. 

So too we find sculptures in Lithuania, and her ‘Hand-like Trees’ (1992-2003) – a symbol shared by both artists. The human hand naturalised, or perhaps nature anthropomorphised, stretching out, reaching to connect past, present, and future – heaven and earth.

Hand-like Trees in Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1994, series from 1992-2003)

There’s much common ground between Abakanowicz and Čiurlionis. Indeed, time cannot separate two timeless, transcendental artists. 

Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread And Rope is showing at Tate Modern until 21st May. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

This article is part of Worlds Together, Poles Apart, a two-part series exploring myth and human/nature in the art of M.K. Čiurlionis and Magdalena Abakanowicz. For more, click here to read our review of M.K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds, on view at the Dulwich Picture Gallery until 12 March 2023.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/01/2023
Reviews
Jelena Sofronijevic
Worlds Together, Poles Apart (Part Two): Magdalena Abakanowicz at Tate Modern
In the second of our two-part series of articles exploring myth and human/nature in current exhibitions, we take a look at Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread and Rope, currently showing at Tate Modern...

Practicing in and around Poland, the artists Magdalena Abakanowicz and M.K. Čiurlionis never met. Their lives – his short (1875-1911), hers long (1930-2017) – did not overlap in chronological time. Yet both endured great, and similar, social changes, grappled with and embodied by their art. 

Abakanowicz’s father was a Russian Tatar, her mother a member of the Polish nobility, Magdalena went by her middle name to hide her aristocratic, landowner roots in post-World War II communist Poland. From the state’s post-Stalin Thaw in the 1950s to its swift refreezing, she worked with the state-sponsored Association of Polish Artists – like Čiurlionis, an artist at the forefront of her national practice. It is in this short space of time that the Tate Modern’s Every Tangle of Thread and Rope lingers.

Archive photograph

Socialist realism never took root in Poland; conceptual art, and its prized seriality and repetition, were key symbols of the thaw. Still, Abakanowicz was uniquely revolutionary, changing national and international ideas about textile art altogether. The Tate’s straightforward curation gives space for her dark, fabric sculptures to float, transcending the realm of her forebears.

Her experimental tapestries liberated weaving from its limited perceptions, to replicate murals or paintings, or serve a utilitarian, domestic function. She rejected the label of fibre-artist, whilst acknowledging her intimate tie with the media of burlap and sisal. "We are fibrous structures," she proclaimed, resisting the false binary of human/nature to show how we too are organic, and alive. 

Głowa nosorożca (Head of a Rhinoceros), Magdalena Abakanowicz (1990)

Abakanowicz’s knotted, earth-toned textiles turn to tree bark before our eyes. A rhinoceros trophy head juts out of a more contemporary photograph of her studio, a reminder of her lavish ancestry, reproduced in cheap burlap. Like Čiurlionis, she transformed her limited resources so that they worked for her.

It all centres around her Abakans, ‘textiles that have no name’ but hers. They’re giant garments or coats of protection that mimic the forest environment. Dark and primitive, there’s no music here, only silence. The Cure’s track of the same name would work well too.

Installation view

Though nature offered her refuge, like Čiurlionis, she too was anything but detached. Informed by more travel, a more instantly connected world, Abakanowicz shared his interest in how myth and history informed contemporary politics – and urges us too to make the connection. 

Of her sculpture ‘Agora’ (2003-2006), Abakanowicz said ‘We live in times which are extraordinary because of their various forms of aggression. Today new danger exists around us as if everyone were against everyone. Agora should become a symbol, a metaphor about this particular historical moment in which we need each other, in which we want to rely on each other more than ever.’

Documentary films shed light on her meticulous process, making us envy those early visitors who might touch the Abakans, interweaving themselves within the forest of floating textiles. Her quotes – the artist, in her own words – pepper the walls. 

It’s refreshing to see a major institution platform a woman artist from Eastern Europe. But Every Tangle does not quite convey her greatness – something captured in, for instance, MOA’s recent Ruth Asawa retrospective.

Embryology, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1981)

Perhaps it is because the curation detaches so much of the artist from her own work. It focusses on her early textiles, with a few studies (artworks in and of themselves); more of both can be found at the Marlborough, upstream. 

But her grander, sculptural visions – and some of her most interesting, canonical pieces - come later. They’re crammed into archive photographs in the exhibition’s final room, along with a dense timeline of her fascinating life. 

Archive Photograph of Backs, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1980)

In 1980, Abakanowicz represented Poland at the Venice Biennale. Her ‘Backs’ sculpture and ‘Embryology’ cycle debuted in the same year as Solidarność, the first independent trade union in a Warsaw Pact state, and later leader in the first democratically elected government since 1947. Again, art and politics entwine. 

Amongst the wealth squashed into that last room are her post-war memorials in Japan, the artist’s fears of the nuclear reactor in Ukraine, and international commissions from Jerusalem to Chicago. 

So too we find sculptures in Lithuania, and her ‘Hand-like Trees’ (1992-2003) – a symbol shared by both artists. The human hand naturalised, or perhaps nature anthropomorphised, stretching out, reaching to connect past, present, and future – heaven and earth.

Hand-like Trees in Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1994, series from 1992-2003)

There’s much common ground between Abakanowicz and Čiurlionis. Indeed, time cannot separate two timeless, transcendental artists. 

Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread And Rope is showing at Tate Modern until 21st May. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

This article is part of Worlds Together, Poles Apart, a two-part series exploring myth and human/nature in the art of M.K. Čiurlionis and Magdalena Abakanowicz. For more, click here to read our review of M.K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds, on view at the Dulwich Picture Gallery until 12 March 2023.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/01/2023
Reviews
Jelena Sofronijevic
Worlds Together, Poles Apart (Part Two): Magdalena Abakanowicz at Tate Modern
In the second of our two-part series of articles exploring myth and human/nature in current exhibitions, we take a look at Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread and Rope, currently showing at Tate Modern...

Practicing in and around Poland, the artists Magdalena Abakanowicz and M.K. Čiurlionis never met. Their lives – his short (1875-1911), hers long (1930-2017) – did not overlap in chronological time. Yet both endured great, and similar, social changes, grappled with and embodied by their art. 

Abakanowicz’s father was a Russian Tatar, her mother a member of the Polish nobility, Magdalena went by her middle name to hide her aristocratic, landowner roots in post-World War II communist Poland. From the state’s post-Stalin Thaw in the 1950s to its swift refreezing, she worked with the state-sponsored Association of Polish Artists – like Čiurlionis, an artist at the forefront of her national practice. It is in this short space of time that the Tate Modern’s Every Tangle of Thread and Rope lingers.

Archive photograph

Socialist realism never took root in Poland; conceptual art, and its prized seriality and repetition, were key symbols of the thaw. Still, Abakanowicz was uniquely revolutionary, changing national and international ideas about textile art altogether. The Tate’s straightforward curation gives space for her dark, fabric sculptures to float, transcending the realm of her forebears.

Her experimental tapestries liberated weaving from its limited perceptions, to replicate murals or paintings, or serve a utilitarian, domestic function. She rejected the label of fibre-artist, whilst acknowledging her intimate tie with the media of burlap and sisal. "We are fibrous structures," she proclaimed, resisting the false binary of human/nature to show how we too are organic, and alive. 

Głowa nosorożca (Head of a Rhinoceros), Magdalena Abakanowicz (1990)

Abakanowicz’s knotted, earth-toned textiles turn to tree bark before our eyes. A rhinoceros trophy head juts out of a more contemporary photograph of her studio, a reminder of her lavish ancestry, reproduced in cheap burlap. Like Čiurlionis, she transformed her limited resources so that they worked for her.

It all centres around her Abakans, ‘textiles that have no name’ but hers. They’re giant garments or coats of protection that mimic the forest environment. Dark and primitive, there’s no music here, only silence. The Cure’s track of the same name would work well too.

Installation view

Though nature offered her refuge, like Čiurlionis, she too was anything but detached. Informed by more travel, a more instantly connected world, Abakanowicz shared his interest in how myth and history informed contemporary politics – and urges us too to make the connection. 

Of her sculpture ‘Agora’ (2003-2006), Abakanowicz said ‘We live in times which are extraordinary because of their various forms of aggression. Today new danger exists around us as if everyone were against everyone. Agora should become a symbol, a metaphor about this particular historical moment in which we need each other, in which we want to rely on each other more than ever.’

Documentary films shed light on her meticulous process, making us envy those early visitors who might touch the Abakans, interweaving themselves within the forest of floating textiles. Her quotes – the artist, in her own words – pepper the walls. 

It’s refreshing to see a major institution platform a woman artist from Eastern Europe. But Every Tangle does not quite convey her greatness – something captured in, for instance, MOA’s recent Ruth Asawa retrospective.

Embryology, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1981)

Perhaps it is because the curation detaches so much of the artist from her own work. It focusses on her early textiles, with a few studies (artworks in and of themselves); more of both can be found at the Marlborough, upstream. 

But her grander, sculptural visions – and some of her most interesting, canonical pieces - come later. They’re crammed into archive photographs in the exhibition’s final room, along with a dense timeline of her fascinating life. 

Archive Photograph of Backs, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1980)

In 1980, Abakanowicz represented Poland at the Venice Biennale. Her ‘Backs’ sculpture and ‘Embryology’ cycle debuted in the same year as Solidarność, the first independent trade union in a Warsaw Pact state, and later leader in the first democratically elected government since 1947. Again, art and politics entwine. 

Amongst the wealth squashed into that last room are her post-war memorials in Japan, the artist’s fears of the nuclear reactor in Ukraine, and international commissions from Jerusalem to Chicago. 

So too we find sculptures in Lithuania, and her ‘Hand-like Trees’ (1992-2003) – a symbol shared by both artists. The human hand naturalised, or perhaps nature anthropomorphised, stretching out, reaching to connect past, present, and future – heaven and earth.

Hand-like Trees in Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1994, series from 1992-2003)

There’s much common ground between Abakanowicz and Čiurlionis. Indeed, time cannot separate two timeless, transcendental artists. 

Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread And Rope is showing at Tate Modern until 21st May. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

This article is part of Worlds Together, Poles Apart, a two-part series exploring myth and human/nature in the art of M.K. Čiurlionis and Magdalena Abakanowicz. For more, click here to read our review of M.K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds, on view at the Dulwich Picture Gallery until 12 March 2023.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/01/2023
Reviews
Jelena Sofronijevic
Worlds Together, Poles Apart (Part Two): Magdalena Abakanowicz at Tate Modern
In the second of our two-part series of articles exploring myth and human/nature in current exhibitions, we take a look at Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread and Rope, currently showing at Tate Modern...

Practicing in and around Poland, the artists Magdalena Abakanowicz and M.K. Čiurlionis never met. Their lives – his short (1875-1911), hers long (1930-2017) – did not overlap in chronological time. Yet both endured great, and similar, social changes, grappled with and embodied by their art. 

Abakanowicz’s father was a Russian Tatar, her mother a member of the Polish nobility, Magdalena went by her middle name to hide her aristocratic, landowner roots in post-World War II communist Poland. From the state’s post-Stalin Thaw in the 1950s to its swift refreezing, she worked with the state-sponsored Association of Polish Artists – like Čiurlionis, an artist at the forefront of her national practice. It is in this short space of time that the Tate Modern’s Every Tangle of Thread and Rope lingers.

Archive photograph

Socialist realism never took root in Poland; conceptual art, and its prized seriality and repetition, were key symbols of the thaw. Still, Abakanowicz was uniquely revolutionary, changing national and international ideas about textile art altogether. The Tate’s straightforward curation gives space for her dark, fabric sculptures to float, transcending the realm of her forebears.

Her experimental tapestries liberated weaving from its limited perceptions, to replicate murals or paintings, or serve a utilitarian, domestic function. She rejected the label of fibre-artist, whilst acknowledging her intimate tie with the media of burlap and sisal. "We are fibrous structures," she proclaimed, resisting the false binary of human/nature to show how we too are organic, and alive. 

Głowa nosorożca (Head of a Rhinoceros), Magdalena Abakanowicz (1990)

Abakanowicz’s knotted, earth-toned textiles turn to tree bark before our eyes. A rhinoceros trophy head juts out of a more contemporary photograph of her studio, a reminder of her lavish ancestry, reproduced in cheap burlap. Like Čiurlionis, she transformed her limited resources so that they worked for her.

It all centres around her Abakans, ‘textiles that have no name’ but hers. They’re giant garments or coats of protection that mimic the forest environment. Dark and primitive, there’s no music here, only silence. The Cure’s track of the same name would work well too.

Installation view

Though nature offered her refuge, like Čiurlionis, she too was anything but detached. Informed by more travel, a more instantly connected world, Abakanowicz shared his interest in how myth and history informed contemporary politics – and urges us too to make the connection. 

Of her sculpture ‘Agora’ (2003-2006), Abakanowicz said ‘We live in times which are extraordinary because of their various forms of aggression. Today new danger exists around us as if everyone were against everyone. Agora should become a symbol, a metaphor about this particular historical moment in which we need each other, in which we want to rely on each other more than ever.’

Documentary films shed light on her meticulous process, making us envy those early visitors who might touch the Abakans, interweaving themselves within the forest of floating textiles. Her quotes – the artist, in her own words – pepper the walls. 

It’s refreshing to see a major institution platform a woman artist from Eastern Europe. But Every Tangle does not quite convey her greatness – something captured in, for instance, MOA’s recent Ruth Asawa retrospective.

Embryology, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1981)

Perhaps it is because the curation detaches so much of the artist from her own work. It focusses on her early textiles, with a few studies (artworks in and of themselves); more of both can be found at the Marlborough, upstream. 

But her grander, sculptural visions – and some of her most interesting, canonical pieces - come later. They’re crammed into archive photographs in the exhibition’s final room, along with a dense timeline of her fascinating life. 

Archive Photograph of Backs, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1980)

In 1980, Abakanowicz represented Poland at the Venice Biennale. Her ‘Backs’ sculpture and ‘Embryology’ cycle debuted in the same year as Solidarność, the first independent trade union in a Warsaw Pact state, and later leader in the first democratically elected government since 1947. Again, art and politics entwine. 

Amongst the wealth squashed into that last room are her post-war memorials in Japan, the artist’s fears of the nuclear reactor in Ukraine, and international commissions from Jerusalem to Chicago. 

So too we find sculptures in Lithuania, and her ‘Hand-like Trees’ (1992-2003) – a symbol shared by both artists. The human hand naturalised, or perhaps nature anthropomorphised, stretching out, reaching to connect past, present, and future – heaven and earth.

Hand-like Trees in Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1994, series from 1992-2003)

There’s much common ground between Abakanowicz and Čiurlionis. Indeed, time cannot separate two timeless, transcendental artists. 

Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread And Rope is showing at Tate Modern until 21st May. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

This article is part of Worlds Together, Poles Apart, a two-part series exploring myth and human/nature in the art of M.K. Čiurlionis and Magdalena Abakanowicz. For more, click here to read our review of M.K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds, on view at the Dulwich Picture Gallery until 12 March 2023.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/01/2023
Reviews
Jelena Sofronijevic
Worlds Together, Poles Apart (Part Two): Magdalena Abakanowicz at Tate Modern

Practicing in and around Poland, the artists Magdalena Abakanowicz and M.K. Čiurlionis never met. Their lives – his short (1875-1911), hers long (1930-2017) – did not overlap in chronological time. Yet both endured great, and similar, social changes, grappled with and embodied by their art. 

Abakanowicz’s father was a Russian Tatar, her mother a member of the Polish nobility, Magdalena went by her middle name to hide her aristocratic, landowner roots in post-World War II communist Poland. From the state’s post-Stalin Thaw in the 1950s to its swift refreezing, she worked with the state-sponsored Association of Polish Artists – like Čiurlionis, an artist at the forefront of her national practice. It is in this short space of time that the Tate Modern’s Every Tangle of Thread and Rope lingers.

Archive photograph

Socialist realism never took root in Poland; conceptual art, and its prized seriality and repetition, were key symbols of the thaw. Still, Abakanowicz was uniquely revolutionary, changing national and international ideas about textile art altogether. The Tate’s straightforward curation gives space for her dark, fabric sculptures to float, transcending the realm of her forebears.

Her experimental tapestries liberated weaving from its limited perceptions, to replicate murals or paintings, or serve a utilitarian, domestic function. She rejected the label of fibre-artist, whilst acknowledging her intimate tie with the media of burlap and sisal. "We are fibrous structures," she proclaimed, resisting the false binary of human/nature to show how we too are organic, and alive. 

Głowa nosorożca (Head of a Rhinoceros), Magdalena Abakanowicz (1990)

Abakanowicz’s knotted, earth-toned textiles turn to tree bark before our eyes. A rhinoceros trophy head juts out of a more contemporary photograph of her studio, a reminder of her lavish ancestry, reproduced in cheap burlap. Like Čiurlionis, she transformed her limited resources so that they worked for her.

It all centres around her Abakans, ‘textiles that have no name’ but hers. They’re giant garments or coats of protection that mimic the forest environment. Dark and primitive, there’s no music here, only silence. The Cure’s track of the same name would work well too.

Installation view

Though nature offered her refuge, like Čiurlionis, she too was anything but detached. Informed by more travel, a more instantly connected world, Abakanowicz shared his interest in how myth and history informed contemporary politics – and urges us too to make the connection. 

Of her sculpture ‘Agora’ (2003-2006), Abakanowicz said ‘We live in times which are extraordinary because of their various forms of aggression. Today new danger exists around us as if everyone were against everyone. Agora should become a symbol, a metaphor about this particular historical moment in which we need each other, in which we want to rely on each other more than ever.’

Documentary films shed light on her meticulous process, making us envy those early visitors who might touch the Abakans, interweaving themselves within the forest of floating textiles. Her quotes – the artist, in her own words – pepper the walls. 

It’s refreshing to see a major institution platform a woman artist from Eastern Europe. But Every Tangle does not quite convey her greatness – something captured in, for instance, MOA’s recent Ruth Asawa retrospective.

Embryology, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1981)

Perhaps it is because the curation detaches so much of the artist from her own work. It focusses on her early textiles, with a few studies (artworks in and of themselves); more of both can be found at the Marlborough, upstream. 

But her grander, sculptural visions – and some of her most interesting, canonical pieces - come later. They’re crammed into archive photographs in the exhibition’s final room, along with a dense timeline of her fascinating life. 

Archive Photograph of Backs, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1980)

In 1980, Abakanowicz represented Poland at the Venice Biennale. Her ‘Backs’ sculpture and ‘Embryology’ cycle debuted in the same year as Solidarność, the first independent trade union in a Warsaw Pact state, and later leader in the first democratically elected government since 1947. Again, art and politics entwine. 

Amongst the wealth squashed into that last room are her post-war memorials in Japan, the artist’s fears of the nuclear reactor in Ukraine, and international commissions from Jerusalem to Chicago. 

So too we find sculptures in Lithuania, and her ‘Hand-like Trees’ (1992-2003) – a symbol shared by both artists. The human hand naturalised, or perhaps nature anthropomorphised, stretching out, reaching to connect past, present, and future – heaven and earth.

Hand-like Trees in Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1994, series from 1992-2003)

There’s much common ground between Abakanowicz and Čiurlionis. Indeed, time cannot separate two timeless, transcendental artists. 

Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread And Rope is showing at Tate Modern until 21st May. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

This article is part of Worlds Together, Poles Apart, a two-part series exploring myth and human/nature in the art of M.K. Čiurlionis and Magdalena Abakanowicz. For more, click here to read our review of M.K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds, on view at the Dulwich Picture Gallery until 12 March 2023.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/01/2023
Reviews
Jelena Sofronijevic
Worlds Together, Poles Apart (Part Two): Magdalena Abakanowicz at Tate Modern
In the second of our two-part series of articles exploring myth and human/nature in current exhibitions, we take a look at Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread and Rope, currently showing at Tate Modern...

Practicing in and around Poland, the artists Magdalena Abakanowicz and M.K. Čiurlionis never met. Their lives – his short (1875-1911), hers long (1930-2017) – did not overlap in chronological time. Yet both endured great, and similar, social changes, grappled with and embodied by their art. 

Abakanowicz’s father was a Russian Tatar, her mother a member of the Polish nobility, Magdalena went by her middle name to hide her aristocratic, landowner roots in post-World War II communist Poland. From the state’s post-Stalin Thaw in the 1950s to its swift refreezing, she worked with the state-sponsored Association of Polish Artists – like Čiurlionis, an artist at the forefront of her national practice. It is in this short space of time that the Tate Modern’s Every Tangle of Thread and Rope lingers.

Archive photograph

Socialist realism never took root in Poland; conceptual art, and its prized seriality and repetition, were key symbols of the thaw. Still, Abakanowicz was uniquely revolutionary, changing national and international ideas about textile art altogether. The Tate’s straightforward curation gives space for her dark, fabric sculptures to float, transcending the realm of her forebears.

Her experimental tapestries liberated weaving from its limited perceptions, to replicate murals or paintings, or serve a utilitarian, domestic function. She rejected the label of fibre-artist, whilst acknowledging her intimate tie with the media of burlap and sisal. "We are fibrous structures," she proclaimed, resisting the false binary of human/nature to show how we too are organic, and alive. 

Głowa nosorożca (Head of a Rhinoceros), Magdalena Abakanowicz (1990)

Abakanowicz’s knotted, earth-toned textiles turn to tree bark before our eyes. A rhinoceros trophy head juts out of a more contemporary photograph of her studio, a reminder of her lavish ancestry, reproduced in cheap burlap. Like Čiurlionis, she transformed her limited resources so that they worked for her.

It all centres around her Abakans, ‘textiles that have no name’ but hers. They’re giant garments or coats of protection that mimic the forest environment. Dark and primitive, there’s no music here, only silence. The Cure’s track of the same name would work well too.

Installation view

Though nature offered her refuge, like Čiurlionis, she too was anything but detached. Informed by more travel, a more instantly connected world, Abakanowicz shared his interest in how myth and history informed contemporary politics – and urges us too to make the connection. 

Of her sculpture ‘Agora’ (2003-2006), Abakanowicz said ‘We live in times which are extraordinary because of their various forms of aggression. Today new danger exists around us as if everyone were against everyone. Agora should become a symbol, a metaphor about this particular historical moment in which we need each other, in which we want to rely on each other more than ever.’

Documentary films shed light on her meticulous process, making us envy those early visitors who might touch the Abakans, interweaving themselves within the forest of floating textiles. Her quotes – the artist, in her own words – pepper the walls. 

It’s refreshing to see a major institution platform a woman artist from Eastern Europe. But Every Tangle does not quite convey her greatness – something captured in, for instance, MOA’s recent Ruth Asawa retrospective.

Embryology, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1981)

Perhaps it is because the curation detaches so much of the artist from her own work. It focusses on her early textiles, with a few studies (artworks in and of themselves); more of both can be found at the Marlborough, upstream. 

But her grander, sculptural visions – and some of her most interesting, canonical pieces - come later. They’re crammed into archive photographs in the exhibition’s final room, along with a dense timeline of her fascinating life. 

Archive Photograph of Backs, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1980)

In 1980, Abakanowicz represented Poland at the Venice Biennale. Her ‘Backs’ sculpture and ‘Embryology’ cycle debuted in the same year as Solidarność, the first independent trade union in a Warsaw Pact state, and later leader in the first democratically elected government since 1947. Again, art and politics entwine. 

Amongst the wealth squashed into that last room are her post-war memorials in Japan, the artist’s fears of the nuclear reactor in Ukraine, and international commissions from Jerusalem to Chicago. 

So too we find sculptures in Lithuania, and her ‘Hand-like Trees’ (1992-2003) – a symbol shared by both artists. The human hand naturalised, or perhaps nature anthropomorphised, stretching out, reaching to connect past, present, and future – heaven and earth.

Hand-like Trees in Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1994, series from 1992-2003)

There’s much common ground between Abakanowicz and Čiurlionis. Indeed, time cannot separate two timeless, transcendental artists. 

Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread And Rope is showing at Tate Modern until 21st May. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

This article is part of Worlds Together, Poles Apart, a two-part series exploring myth and human/nature in the art of M.K. Čiurlionis and Magdalena Abakanowicz. For more, click here to read our review of M.K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds, on view at the Dulwich Picture Gallery until 12 March 2023.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/01/2023
Reviews
Jelena Sofronijevic
Worlds Together, Poles Apart (Part Two): Magdalena Abakanowicz at Tate Modern
In the second of our two-part series of articles exploring myth and human/nature in current exhibitions, we take a look at Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread and Rope, currently showing at Tate Modern...

Practicing in and around Poland, the artists Magdalena Abakanowicz and M.K. Čiurlionis never met. Their lives – his short (1875-1911), hers long (1930-2017) – did not overlap in chronological time. Yet both endured great, and similar, social changes, grappled with and embodied by their art. 

Abakanowicz’s father was a Russian Tatar, her mother a member of the Polish nobility, Magdalena went by her middle name to hide her aristocratic, landowner roots in post-World War II communist Poland. From the state’s post-Stalin Thaw in the 1950s to its swift refreezing, she worked with the state-sponsored Association of Polish Artists – like Čiurlionis, an artist at the forefront of her national practice. It is in this short space of time that the Tate Modern’s Every Tangle of Thread and Rope lingers.

Archive photograph

Socialist realism never took root in Poland; conceptual art, and its prized seriality and repetition, were key symbols of the thaw. Still, Abakanowicz was uniquely revolutionary, changing national and international ideas about textile art altogether. The Tate’s straightforward curation gives space for her dark, fabric sculptures to float, transcending the realm of her forebears.

Her experimental tapestries liberated weaving from its limited perceptions, to replicate murals or paintings, or serve a utilitarian, domestic function. She rejected the label of fibre-artist, whilst acknowledging her intimate tie with the media of burlap and sisal. "We are fibrous structures," she proclaimed, resisting the false binary of human/nature to show how we too are organic, and alive. 

Głowa nosorożca (Head of a Rhinoceros), Magdalena Abakanowicz (1990)

Abakanowicz’s knotted, earth-toned textiles turn to tree bark before our eyes. A rhinoceros trophy head juts out of a more contemporary photograph of her studio, a reminder of her lavish ancestry, reproduced in cheap burlap. Like Čiurlionis, she transformed her limited resources so that they worked for her.

It all centres around her Abakans, ‘textiles that have no name’ but hers. They’re giant garments or coats of protection that mimic the forest environment. Dark and primitive, there’s no music here, only silence. The Cure’s track of the same name would work well too.

Installation view

Though nature offered her refuge, like Čiurlionis, she too was anything but detached. Informed by more travel, a more instantly connected world, Abakanowicz shared his interest in how myth and history informed contemporary politics – and urges us too to make the connection. 

Of her sculpture ‘Agora’ (2003-2006), Abakanowicz said ‘We live in times which are extraordinary because of their various forms of aggression. Today new danger exists around us as if everyone were against everyone. Agora should become a symbol, a metaphor about this particular historical moment in which we need each other, in which we want to rely on each other more than ever.’

Documentary films shed light on her meticulous process, making us envy those early visitors who might touch the Abakans, interweaving themselves within the forest of floating textiles. Her quotes – the artist, in her own words – pepper the walls. 

It’s refreshing to see a major institution platform a woman artist from Eastern Europe. But Every Tangle does not quite convey her greatness – something captured in, for instance, MOA’s recent Ruth Asawa retrospective.

Embryology, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1981)

Perhaps it is because the curation detaches so much of the artist from her own work. It focusses on her early textiles, with a few studies (artworks in and of themselves); more of both can be found at the Marlborough, upstream. 

But her grander, sculptural visions – and some of her most interesting, canonical pieces - come later. They’re crammed into archive photographs in the exhibition’s final room, along with a dense timeline of her fascinating life. 

Archive Photograph of Backs, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1980)

In 1980, Abakanowicz represented Poland at the Venice Biennale. Her ‘Backs’ sculpture and ‘Embryology’ cycle debuted in the same year as Solidarność, the first independent trade union in a Warsaw Pact state, and later leader in the first democratically elected government since 1947. Again, art and politics entwine. 

Amongst the wealth squashed into that last room are her post-war memorials in Japan, the artist’s fears of the nuclear reactor in Ukraine, and international commissions from Jerusalem to Chicago. 

So too we find sculptures in Lithuania, and her ‘Hand-like Trees’ (1992-2003) – a symbol shared by both artists. The human hand naturalised, or perhaps nature anthropomorphised, stretching out, reaching to connect past, present, and future – heaven and earth.

Hand-like Trees in Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1994, series from 1992-2003)

There’s much common ground between Abakanowicz and Čiurlionis. Indeed, time cannot separate two timeless, transcendental artists. 

Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread And Rope is showing at Tate Modern until 21st May. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

This article is part of Worlds Together, Poles Apart, a two-part series exploring myth and human/nature in the art of M.K. Čiurlionis and Magdalena Abakanowicz. For more, click here to read our review of M.K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds, on view at the Dulwich Picture Gallery until 12 March 2023.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/01/2023
Reviews
Jelena Sofronijevic
Worlds Together, Poles Apart (Part Two): Magdalena Abakanowicz at Tate Modern
In the second of our two-part series of articles exploring myth and human/nature in current exhibitions, we take a look at Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread and Rope, currently showing at Tate Modern...

Practicing in and around Poland, the artists Magdalena Abakanowicz and M.K. Čiurlionis never met. Their lives – his short (1875-1911), hers long (1930-2017) – did not overlap in chronological time. Yet both endured great, and similar, social changes, grappled with and embodied by their art. 

Abakanowicz’s father was a Russian Tatar, her mother a member of the Polish nobility, Magdalena went by her middle name to hide her aristocratic, landowner roots in post-World War II communist Poland. From the state’s post-Stalin Thaw in the 1950s to its swift refreezing, she worked with the state-sponsored Association of Polish Artists – like Čiurlionis, an artist at the forefront of her national practice. It is in this short space of time that the Tate Modern’s Every Tangle of Thread and Rope lingers.

Archive photograph

Socialist realism never took root in Poland; conceptual art, and its prized seriality and repetition, were key symbols of the thaw. Still, Abakanowicz was uniquely revolutionary, changing national and international ideas about textile art altogether. The Tate’s straightforward curation gives space for her dark, fabric sculptures to float, transcending the realm of her forebears.

Her experimental tapestries liberated weaving from its limited perceptions, to replicate murals or paintings, or serve a utilitarian, domestic function. She rejected the label of fibre-artist, whilst acknowledging her intimate tie with the media of burlap and sisal. "We are fibrous structures," she proclaimed, resisting the false binary of human/nature to show how we too are organic, and alive. 

Głowa nosorożca (Head of a Rhinoceros), Magdalena Abakanowicz (1990)

Abakanowicz’s knotted, earth-toned textiles turn to tree bark before our eyes. A rhinoceros trophy head juts out of a more contemporary photograph of her studio, a reminder of her lavish ancestry, reproduced in cheap burlap. Like Čiurlionis, she transformed her limited resources so that they worked for her.

It all centres around her Abakans, ‘textiles that have no name’ but hers. They’re giant garments or coats of protection that mimic the forest environment. Dark and primitive, there’s no music here, only silence. The Cure’s track of the same name would work well too.

Installation view

Though nature offered her refuge, like Čiurlionis, she too was anything but detached. Informed by more travel, a more instantly connected world, Abakanowicz shared his interest in how myth and history informed contemporary politics – and urges us too to make the connection. 

Of her sculpture ‘Agora’ (2003-2006), Abakanowicz said ‘We live in times which are extraordinary because of their various forms of aggression. Today new danger exists around us as if everyone were against everyone. Agora should become a symbol, a metaphor about this particular historical moment in which we need each other, in which we want to rely on each other more than ever.’

Documentary films shed light on her meticulous process, making us envy those early visitors who might touch the Abakans, interweaving themselves within the forest of floating textiles. Her quotes – the artist, in her own words – pepper the walls. 

It’s refreshing to see a major institution platform a woman artist from Eastern Europe. But Every Tangle does not quite convey her greatness – something captured in, for instance, MOA’s recent Ruth Asawa retrospective.

Embryology, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1981)

Perhaps it is because the curation detaches so much of the artist from her own work. It focusses on her early textiles, with a few studies (artworks in and of themselves); more of both can be found at the Marlborough, upstream. 

But her grander, sculptural visions – and some of her most interesting, canonical pieces - come later. They’re crammed into archive photographs in the exhibition’s final room, along with a dense timeline of her fascinating life. 

Archive Photograph of Backs, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1980)

In 1980, Abakanowicz represented Poland at the Venice Biennale. Her ‘Backs’ sculpture and ‘Embryology’ cycle debuted in the same year as Solidarność, the first independent trade union in a Warsaw Pact state, and later leader in the first democratically elected government since 1947. Again, art and politics entwine. 

Amongst the wealth squashed into that last room are her post-war memorials in Japan, the artist’s fears of the nuclear reactor in Ukraine, and international commissions from Jerusalem to Chicago. 

So too we find sculptures in Lithuania, and her ‘Hand-like Trees’ (1992-2003) – a symbol shared by both artists. The human hand naturalised, or perhaps nature anthropomorphised, stretching out, reaching to connect past, present, and future – heaven and earth.

Hand-like Trees in Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1994, series from 1992-2003)

There’s much common ground between Abakanowicz and Čiurlionis. Indeed, time cannot separate two timeless, transcendental artists. 

Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread And Rope is showing at Tate Modern until 21st May. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

This article is part of Worlds Together, Poles Apart, a two-part series exploring myth and human/nature in the art of M.K. Čiurlionis and Magdalena Abakanowicz. For more, click here to read our review of M.K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds, on view at the Dulwich Picture Gallery until 12 March 2023.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
REDEEM YAMOS
11/01/2023
Reviews
Jelena Sofronijevic
Worlds Together, Poles Apart (Part Two): Magdalena Abakanowicz at Tate Modern
In the second of our two-part series of articles exploring myth and human/nature in current exhibitions, we take a look at Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread and Rope, currently showing at Tate Modern...

Practicing in and around Poland, the artists Magdalena Abakanowicz and M.K. Čiurlionis never met. Their lives – his short (1875-1911), hers long (1930-2017) – did not overlap in chronological time. Yet both endured great, and similar, social changes, grappled with and embodied by their art. 

Abakanowicz’s father was a Russian Tatar, her mother a member of the Polish nobility, Magdalena went by her middle name to hide her aristocratic, landowner roots in post-World War II communist Poland. From the state’s post-Stalin Thaw in the 1950s to its swift refreezing, she worked with the state-sponsored Association of Polish Artists – like Čiurlionis, an artist at the forefront of her national practice. It is in this short space of time that the Tate Modern’s Every Tangle of Thread and Rope lingers.

Archive photograph

Socialist realism never took root in Poland; conceptual art, and its prized seriality and repetition, were key symbols of the thaw. Still, Abakanowicz was uniquely revolutionary, changing national and international ideas about textile art altogether. The Tate’s straightforward curation gives space for her dark, fabric sculptures to float, transcending the realm of her forebears.

Her experimental tapestries liberated weaving from its limited perceptions, to replicate murals or paintings, or serve a utilitarian, domestic function. She rejected the label of fibre-artist, whilst acknowledging her intimate tie with the media of burlap and sisal. "We are fibrous structures," she proclaimed, resisting the false binary of human/nature to show how we too are organic, and alive. 

Głowa nosorożca (Head of a Rhinoceros), Magdalena Abakanowicz (1990)

Abakanowicz’s knotted, earth-toned textiles turn to tree bark before our eyes. A rhinoceros trophy head juts out of a more contemporary photograph of her studio, a reminder of her lavish ancestry, reproduced in cheap burlap. Like Čiurlionis, she transformed her limited resources so that they worked for her.

It all centres around her Abakans, ‘textiles that have no name’ but hers. They’re giant garments or coats of protection that mimic the forest environment. Dark and primitive, there’s no music here, only silence. The Cure’s track of the same name would work well too.

Installation view

Though nature offered her refuge, like Čiurlionis, she too was anything but detached. Informed by more travel, a more instantly connected world, Abakanowicz shared his interest in how myth and history informed contemporary politics – and urges us too to make the connection. 

Of her sculpture ‘Agora’ (2003-2006), Abakanowicz said ‘We live in times which are extraordinary because of their various forms of aggression. Today new danger exists around us as if everyone were against everyone. Agora should become a symbol, a metaphor about this particular historical moment in which we need each other, in which we want to rely on each other more than ever.’

Documentary films shed light on her meticulous process, making us envy those early visitors who might touch the Abakans, interweaving themselves within the forest of floating textiles. Her quotes – the artist, in her own words – pepper the walls. 

It’s refreshing to see a major institution platform a woman artist from Eastern Europe. But Every Tangle does not quite convey her greatness – something captured in, for instance, MOA’s recent Ruth Asawa retrospective.

Embryology, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1981)

Perhaps it is because the curation detaches so much of the artist from her own work. It focusses on her early textiles, with a few studies (artworks in and of themselves); more of both can be found at the Marlborough, upstream. 

But her grander, sculptural visions – and some of her most interesting, canonical pieces - come later. They’re crammed into archive photographs in the exhibition’s final room, along with a dense timeline of her fascinating life. 

Archive Photograph of Backs, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1980)

In 1980, Abakanowicz represented Poland at the Venice Biennale. Her ‘Backs’ sculpture and ‘Embryology’ cycle debuted in the same year as Solidarność, the first independent trade union in a Warsaw Pact state, and later leader in the first democratically elected government since 1947. Again, art and politics entwine. 

Amongst the wealth squashed into that last room are her post-war memorials in Japan, the artist’s fears of the nuclear reactor in Ukraine, and international commissions from Jerusalem to Chicago. 

So too we find sculptures in Lithuania, and her ‘Hand-like Trees’ (1992-2003) – a symbol shared by both artists. The human hand naturalised, or perhaps nature anthropomorphised, stretching out, reaching to connect past, present, and future – heaven and earth.

Hand-like Trees in Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1994, series from 1992-2003)

There’s much common ground between Abakanowicz and Čiurlionis. Indeed, time cannot separate two timeless, transcendental artists. 

Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread And Rope is showing at Tate Modern until 21st May. Make sure to collect your Yamos on the gowithYamo app when you visit!

This article is part of Worlds Together, Poles Apart, a two-part series exploring myth and human/nature in the art of M.K. Čiurlionis and Magdalena Abakanowicz. For more, click here to read our review of M.K. Čiurlionis: Between Worlds, on view at the Dulwich Picture Gallery until 12 March 2023.

Thanks for reading
Collect your 5 yamos below
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