September 8, 2019 - The Museum of Art Timişoara - Magdalena Abakanowicz: Presence, Essence, Identity
September 8, 2019

The Museum of Art Timişoara / TRIADE Foundation / Magdalena Abakanowicz Foundation

Magdalena Abakanowicz, from the Hurma - Multitude series, 1990-2000. Burlap, resin. © Magdalena Abakanowicz Foundation. Photo: Linda Parys.

Magdalena Abakanowicz
Presence, Essence, Identity
September 20–October 25, 2019

The Museum of Art Timişoara – Baroque Palace
Piața Unirii

Curated by Maria Rus Bojan

The Museum of Art Timişoara is proud to be partnering with TRIADE Foundation, Timişoara and Magdalena Abakanowicz Foundation, Warsaw to present, for the first time in Romania, the retrospective exhibition of the late Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017), Presence, Essence, Identity.

Featuring an impressive selection of sculptures, ranging from the early 1970’s to the late 2000’s, this large retrospective opens on September 19, 2019 at The Museum of Art Timişoara – Baroque Palace.

One of the major figures of contemporary art in the world, Magdalena Abakanowicz gained her international notoriety in the 1960’s for her experimental, and highly uncommon at the time, gigantic fiber sculptures entitled generically Abakans. These fluid woven structures made of organic materials significantly expanded the traditional meaning of sculpture, transforming the flat surface of a tapestry into a dynamic, space-organized form that triggers complex visual and tactile experiences.

Throughout her entire life, Abakanowicz devoted her creative energy to the restless exploration of the dialectical relationship between the human being and the larger natural world. She translated her understanding about the essence of things into unique sculptural representations that challenge conventional ideas of art and raise universal questions about human experience.

This exhibition proposes a consistent overview on the artist’s creation, highlighting key works from different stages in her career, such as the Hurma cycle. The haunting crowds of headless human figures suggest, just like other emblematic human and non-human figures in Abakanowicz’s work, the frozen witnesses of history.

Featuring more than 100 sculptures, the exhibition aims to provide an understanding of the major issues in Abakanowicz’s work, and to illustrate the ways in which she revolutionized the history of sculpture through a lifelong commitment to constant reinvention. The crucial themes in the artist’s works are freedom and loss, resurrection and destruction, identity and difference.

The presentation at the Museum of Art Timişoara is the third installment of an individual retrospective presentation realised in cooperation with the artist’s estate from Warsaw, following the exhibitions Effigies of Life, A tribute to Magdalena Abakanowicz (Wroclaw, 2017) curated by Mariusz Hermansdorfer together with Maria Rus Bojan and Magdalena Abakanowicz: Presence, Essence, Identity (Wałbrzych, 2018) curated by Maria Rus Bojan together with Magdalena Mielnicka.

The exhibition at the Museum of Art Timişoara is co-curated by Cristina Bută.

The works on view belong to The Magdalena Abakanowicz Foundation, Warsaw, Artur Trawinski and Irmina Nazar collection, Wroclaw, Marek Trzaskowski, Poznan and Ovidiu Şandor collection, Timişoara.

Maria Rus Bojan is an international curator of Romanian origin, specialized in Eastern European contemporary art. Since 2004, she is based Amsterdam. She is the Chairman of the Board of European ArtEast Foundation, London, a trustee of the Sculpture Museum, Beelden aan Zee Museum, The Hague, an advisor and board member of Wroclaw’s Contemporary Art Museum, and a member of the board of RIBOCA, the Riga Biennale of Contemporary Art. In 2011, she curated Performing History, the Romanian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale.

In 2015 she won the Prize for Publications of the Dutch section of the AICA for her book Whispers: Ulay on Ulay, and in 2019, she curated From Where Comes Your Voice, the 4th edition of the international exhibition Art for the Treasure Hunt, an exhibition held over multiple locations with historical resonance in the region of Chianti, Toscana.

Cristina Bută is a contemporary art and film curator and writer based in the Netherlands and Romania. In 2018-2019, she was a curator in training at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, working on the major solo shows Maria Lassnig – Ways of Being (2019) and Walid Raad – Let’s be honest, the weather helped (2019). In her curatorial and research practice, she focuses on questioning Western dominating models by exploring political agency and vulnerability.  

Interart TRIADE Foundation is a cultural space at the intersection between visual arts and other forms of artistic expression. Founded by and dedicated to the work of influential Romanian sculptor Petru Jecza, the foundation a diverse range of artistic programs including Sculptura XXI, a project documenting and supporting contemporary sculpture.  

Producers: Sorina Jecza from TRIADE Foundation, Timisoara in close cooperation with Magdalena Mielnicka and Tomasz Piątkowski from the Magdalena Abakanowicz Foundation, Warsaw

Organizer: TRIADE Foundation Timişoara

Cultural partner and co-financier: Timișoara - European Capital of Culture Association

Supported by: The Administration of the National Cultural Fund, Romania, Art Encounters Foundation

Sponsors: European ArtEast Foundation London, Artur Trawinski and Irmina Nazar, MB Art Agency Amsterdam

Press contact:
Sorina Jecza, fundatia.triade [​at​]
Magdalena Mielnicka, mm [​at​]

The Museum of Art Timişoara
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Presence, Essence, Identity
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