Magdalena Abakanowicz, 'Brown Coat', 1968. Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen/Henie Onstad Kunstenter.

Magdalena Abakanowicz (b. 1930 in Falenty, Poland, d. 2017 in Warzaw) was a Polish sculptor and fibre artist, known for her use of textiles as a sculptural medium and her outdoor installations. Initially she earned success for her monumental, three-dimensional woven sculptures, which she named ‘Abakans’. In the 1970s she turned to figurative textile works, creating headless and fragmented human forms, and to materials such as bronze, wood, stone, and clay. Abakanowicz is regarded as one of Poland’s most internationally acclaimed artists.

Abakanowicz studied at the School of Fine Arts in Sopot, Poland (1949), and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (1954). She held the position as a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland, from 1965 to 1990, and was a visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1984.

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