NEW YORK—Hauser & Wirth announced its worldwide representation of The Estate of Alina Szapocznikow in collaboration with Piotr Stanislawski, the artist’s son, and Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris.
Born in Poland to a Jewish family in 1926, Szapocznikow survived internment in concentration camps during the Holocaust as a teenager, going on in the immediate postwar period to classical art training. By the 1960s, she was radically re-conceptualizing sculpture as an intimate record not only of memory but also of her own body, and as a laboratory for avid material experimentation that presaged similar efforts by such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Kiki Smith, and Hannah Wilke. While her career spanned less than two decades (the artist died in 1973 at age 46), Szapocznikow is today a revered figure whose powerfully seductive, unsettling objects channel strains of Surrealism, Nouveau Réalisme, and Pop, while defying categorization.
Szapocznikow’s art, pioneering in its use of new or unconventional materials – from tinted polyester resin and polyeurethane foam, to everyday items such as pantyhose, newspaper clippings, and grass – invites meditation on what the artist once described as ‘a fleeting instant, a trivial instant…our terrestrial passage.’ Her strangely tinted casts of body parts, often transformed into everyday objects like lamps or ashtrays; her pliant and sexual polyurethane forms; and her sculptures incorporating photographs, clothing, or hardware, were produced during one of the most sociopolitically complex periods of the twentieth century. Szapocznikow’s responses – by turns ecstatic and abject, playful and disturbing, direct and elusive – and unapologetic expression of the female experience remain hauntingly relevant.
Hauser & Wirth will present its first exhibition of Szapocznikow’s work in New York City in Spring 2019.