By Magdalena Abakanowicz
Photo Courtesy of Vancouver Sculpture Biennale
Magdalena Abakanowicz is one of the most influential sculptors and artists of the 21st century and her native Poland’s national living treasure. Represented in major collections and museums throughout Europe and North America, and a recipient of many honours, Abakanowicz’s imagery and use of materials reference nature and ancient mediums but also reflect her history and survival of both Nazi and Soviet occupied Poland.
The 9-foot tall, monumental, headless cast iron figures, gifted to the Vancouver Biennale via the generosity of the artist, the Buschlen Mowatt Foundation and the Vancouver Biennale Legacy Foundation appear menacing and robotic, walking aimlessly without guidance or reason. With these sculptures, Abakanowicz’s Walking Figures addresses the transformation and loss of the individual within a group as a reference to the human condition and the shaping of our world throughout history.