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Abakanowicz, Magdalena (1930–)

Polish sculptor. Name variations: Marta Abakanowicz-Kosmowska. Born in Falenty, Poland, June 20, 1930; Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, MA, 1955; m. Jan Kosmowski (civil engineer), 1956.

At 14, during German occupation of Poland, served as a nurse's aide in an improvised hospital; entered work in First International Biennial of Tapestry in Lausanne, Switzerland (1956); turned to organic materials like burlap, rope, and thread, developing an individualistic, rebellious vision of human freedom (1960s); works often represent fragmented human forms, such as Heads (1975), Seated Figures (1974–79) and Katharsis (1985); was an instructor at State College of Arts in Poznan (1965–74), then became an associate professor (1974). Granted 1st prize from Polish Ministry of Culture (1965); gold medals from Polish Artists' Union (1965) and the VIII Sao Paulo Bienal, Brazil (1965); grand prize of Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs (1970); state prize of Polish Folk Republic (1972); golden cross of merit from Polish Folk Republic (1974).

See also Barbara Rose, Magdalena Abakanowicz (Abrams, 1994); and Women in World History.

Abakanowicz, Magdalena (1930–)

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