Winter Series Session 3, Material Exploration: Magdalena Abakanowicz and Lee Bontecou (online program)

Wednesday, Feb 7, 2024 1 – 2:30 pm

927 Noyes St. Studio 222, Evanston, IL 60201

Link to Register:

Join Joanna Pinsky this winter for an in-depth view of six innovative female artists whose work has impacted different artistic and cultural communities. This series includes two online programs and two in-person visits to Chicago museums. For our third session on February 7, join us online to discover unique approaches to three-dimensional work by two exceptional artists.

Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930–2017), the creator of Agora Big Foot, the installation of 106 headless, armless iron sculptures in Grant Park, began her career working in fiber. With a radical approach to textiles, she created monumental wall pieces, later bringing them off the wall into three-dimensional space. Her work expanded to humanoid sculptures in burlap and gigantic mixed media pieces in wood and metal. Born to a noble Polish family whose parents were part of the Polish resistance to the Nazis, Abakanovicz’s work often speaks to the human condition.

Lee Bontecou (1931–2022) achieved early recognition for her large-scale three-dimensional wall sculptures made from army canvases attached with wires to metal supports. Additionally, she created drawings with soot. After exhibiting and being collected by international museums, the artist dropped out of the spotlight by moving to Pennsylvania and withdrawing from the art world. She never stopped working, producing an imaginative body of wall pieces, mobiles and sculptures in a new direction. Finally agreeing to show her work, a major retrospective was coordinated by curators at the MCA Chicago and Los Angeles’ Hammer Museum. 

Image Credit: Installation of Abakan Red by Magdalena Abakanowicz, left; Untitled by Lee Bontecou, right