Small Seated Figure on Iron Frame II

Maker and role
Artist: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Polish, 1930-2017
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Object detail

Burlap, synthetic resin, and iron
56 3/4 x 13 1/4 x 23 1/4in (144.1 x 33.7 x 59.1cm)
Credit line
Jeanne and Irving Mathews Collection
Accession number
Object type
Further information
There is no tool between me and the material I use.
I choose it with my hands. I shape it with my hands.
My hands transmit my energy to it.
- Magdalena Abakanowicz

Imagine the artist pressing burlap soaked with resin into a mold and using her hands to shape this sculpture. Using this process, Magdalena Abakanowicz created multiples of the same figure, but no two are exactly alike. Notice the earthy brown color and creased texture of the burlap, like tree bark or wrinkled skin. Delicately placed on top of a wire frame, the genderless figure appears naked, exposed, and vulnerable. The care and compassion Abakanowicz put into creating each work of art is a response to the violence and trauma she experienced living in Poland during World War II.
Subject period


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