In the 1960s, Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz began making large-scale woven sculptures that defied all categorisation. They seemed like coats or cocoons that tempted you to crawl inside, or hairy living creatures suspended from the gallery ceiling. The critics did not know what to make of them and called them ‘Abakans’ – perhaps the only example of an art form named after their artist.
In this film, curator Ann Coxon leads us through a ‘forest’ of these towering Abakans, exploring how Abakanowicz pioneered a whole new form of installation art.
Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle of Thread and Rope is at Tate Modern until 21 May 2023.
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