Saturday, November 1, 2008

About Art - Agora

The statue Agora incorporates the figures of 106 headless abstracted 9 foot tall human figures. The hollow figures, which are a permanent project located at the southern end of Chicago’s Grant Park, next to the Roosevelt Road Metra station, seem to wander about along a stretch of land aimlessly. Each is hand molded and made to resemble the texture of tree trunks.

The 2.5 million dollar piece was a gift from the artist and the Polish Ministry of Culture. The Parks have raised $800,000 needed for the installation and maintenance of the piece, thanks to some help from Robin Williams, an Abakanowicz fan.

The Polish sculptor explained the sculptures as this: "They must be like one body that represents so many different meanings," she said. "It's the self against the whole world."

Many say that Abakanowicz' history gives context to her art. The artist was born into an aristocratic family in Poland and when she was 9, she saw Nazi soldiers shoot her mother's arm off. She lived and sculpted in Warsaw under Soviet occupation, using a hemp-like material to make pieces that could be tucked away in her tiny studio. Find out more about the artist at her website: www.abanowicz.art.pl

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