XX + XXI. POLISH ART GALLERY - Sculpture
Akt dziewczęcy (Nude of a young girl)
1948 (cast 1989)
The model for the sculpture was the artist’s 12-year-old daughter, Nika. A slender, slightly slouching girl sits directly on the floor. Her delicate frame is accented by the light flowing through gaps in the form. The sculpture is simplified, some parts of the body have been portrayed in highly distorted perspective. The figure, however, is shown in a much more peaceful pose than in other female nudes by Kobro from that year, and features much more supple forms; in this way, the artist reflected the delicacy of her daughter.
Zwid drapieżca (A Predator Vision)
Wooden elements tied together with hemp cords and joined by holes and bolts without the use of nails or synthetic adhesives create a composition resembling a horned fantastic beast with a long neck.Wood is one of the first materials used by humans, and here the artist has only lightly worked the surfaces, retaining the impression of primeval severity.
The soaring form of a highly dynamic nature is a presentation of the human figure interpreted in a nearly abstract manner. The jagged, in places fragmentary, silhouette enhances the expression, yet the composition is far from chaotic; the sculpture is tamed by the geometric approach adopted by the artist. Parallel leading lines bring to mind the shapes of a crystal.
Głowa z łyżką (Head with a spoon)
The motif of the human head is one of the leading themes in the gallery. Among these heads conducting an imaginary dialogue is a concrete bust with an ordinary metal spoon sunk centrally into the face. In the 1960s, Alina Szapocznikow included in her works used and useless objects (fragments of automotive scrap metal, tools, everyday items), achieving an effect blending sculpture and the ready-made. The idea of the ready-made, one of the most influential concepts in 20th century art, was propagated by Marcel Duchamp, who claimed that the very choice of an object was an artistic act in itself. This approach was developed by the Dadaists and Surrealists, and in the 1960s it was carried on by sculptors from the Nouveau Réalisme movement, with whom Alina Szapocznikow’s output was for a time linked.
Gorset-trapez is a mobile, hanging sculptural form. It is one of the first works in which the artist deprives the sculptural of the weight traditionally associated with the form. Drawing on the image of the acrobat balancing on a trapeze, the artist alludes to the poetics of the circus; thus the significance is multiplied, both presenting the female body as an entertainment for men and critiquing the “male gaze” in culture. The corset is an obvious symbol of the enslavement of women by convention and stereotype.
Pasygrafia. Solaris III (Homage à Stanisław Lem)
A pasigraphy is a system of signs which is intelligible regardless of the language of the viewer. These may be numbers, or musical notes, or chemical symbols. The artist has here expanded the notion of pasigraphy, using ready-made objects to construct a “signature” of the persons whom she was imagining while creating her sculptures. In Solaris III, these objects are paving stones and socks, two materials with highly divergent structures and properties, arranged in startling combinations. In this way, a tension is created between the human, the personal and that which is public, between the intimate space of a man and the image created for consumption by others.
1980 (design), 2010
The kinetic sculptures of Bożyk are complex mechanisms with undeniable aesthetic appeal. At first glance, they appear to be quite rough yet symmetrical, but the sophisticated combinations of their parts results in unique ornamental compositions.