Internationally renowned Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz makes a welcome return to Yorkshire Sculpture Park
(YSP) this autumn with a powerful installation of new work. Ten Seated Figures, created in 2010, has been installed at the Park where it will be on permanent display.
The UK premiere of her monumental Ten Seated Figures provides a strong sculptural statement about her experience of war and political oppression. Abakanowiczs groups of figurative forms often appear identical on the surface but on closer inspection reveal individuality.
Ten Seated Figures builds on recent public projects including Agora for Grant Park in Chicago, which comprises 106 headless figures cast in iron, each around nine feet tall. As with Ten Seated Figures, each piece in Agora is hollow, adding to the sense of emptiness that pervades Abakanowiczs work. The artist has explored the seated form since the 1970s, altering pose and material in each composition. In Ten Seated Figures, the posture of each piece is upright and sober, suggesting an environment of formality or even fear.
Magdalena Abakanowicz says: My work comes from the experience of crowds, injustice and aggression... I feel an affinity for art when it was made a form of existence, like when shamans worked in the territory between men and unknown powers... I try to bewitch the crowd.
Ten Seated Figures is on loan to YSP courtesy the artist and Galerie Scheffel, Germany.