Tag Archives: Alina Szapocznikow

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW — TO EXALT THE EPHEMERAL

My work has its roots in sculpture. For years I threw myself into studying problems of balance, volume, space, shadow, and light…

I took stock of the awareness of our time. I used my knowledge of the craft, my intuition, and my intelligence to note with increased clarity the poverty of my methods in comparison to modern techniques. I have been conquered by the hero-miracle of our age, the machine. To it belong beauty, revelations, testimonies, the recording of history. To it belong, in the end, truthful dreams and public demand…

Despite everything, I persist in trying to fix in resin the traces of our body: I am convinced that of all the manifestations of the ephemeral, the human body is the most vulnerable, the only source of all joy, all suffering, and all truth, because of its essential nudity, is as inevitable as it is inadmissible on any conscious level.Alina Szapocznikow, March 1972, Malakoff*

TO EXALT THE EPHEMERAL—ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, 1962–1972, a comprehensive exhibition of work by this essential artist, is on view in Manhattan for one more week.

TO EXALT THE EPHEMERAL—ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, 1962–1972

Through December 21.

Hauser & Wirth New York

32 East 69th Street, New York City.

February 7 through May 7, 2020.

Hauser & Wirth London

23 Savile Row, London.

*Alina Szapocznikow“Mon œuvre puise ses racines…,” March 1972, (courtesy Alina Szapocznikow Archive, Piotr Stanisławski, National Museum in Kraków), in To Exalt the Ephemeral: Alina Szapocznikow, 1962–1972, exhibition catalog (Zürich: Hauser & Wirth, 2019).

See Griselda Pollock, “Traumatic Encryption: The Sculptural Dissolutions of Alina Szapocznikow,” in After-affects / After-Images: Trauma and Aesthetic Transformation in the Virtual Feminist Museum (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013).

To Exalt the Ephemeral—Alina Szapocznikow, 1962–1972, Hauser & Wirth, New York, October 29–December 21, 2019, from top: Cendrier de célibataire I (The Bachelor’s Ashtray I), 1972, colored polyester resin and cigarette butts; Noga (Leg), 1962, plaster; Pamiątka I (Souvenir I), 1971, polyester resin, fiberglass, and photographs; Iluminowana (Illuminated Woman), 1966–1967, plaster, colored polyester resin, electrical wiring, and metal; Forma II, 1964–1965, unfired pink clay; Tumeur (Tumor), 1970, colored polyester resin and gauze; Szapocznikow in 1968, photograph by Roger Gain; Lampe-bouche (Illuminated Lips), 1966, colored polyester resin, electrical wiring, and metal; Sculpture-lampe, colored polyester resin, electrical wiring, and metal; Autoportrait, 1971, polyester resin and gauze; Man with an Instrument, 1965, cement, car part, and black patina; To Exalt the Ephemeral installation view, 2019; Szapocznikow with Envahissement de tumeurs (Invasion of Tumors) at her Malakoff studio, 1970; Sans titre (No Title), 1964–1965, original plaster; Ventre-coussin (Belly Cushion) , 1968, polyurethane foam, and Ventre, 1968, plaster, installation view, Alina Szapocznikow Malakoff studio, Paris, 1968. Artwork photographs by Fabrice Gousset, except To Exalt the Ephemeral installation view by Genevieve Hanson, Noga (Leg) by Thomas Barratt, and Forma II by Filip Vanzieleghem. All artwork by Alina Szapocznikow; images courtesy and © 2019, ProLitteris, Zürich, ADAGP, Paris, the Estate of Alina Szapocnikow, Piotr Stanislawski, Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris, and Hauser & Wirth.

URSULA HAUSER

Origin stories are essential to Ursula Hauser. Growing up in St. Gallen, Switzerland, she co-founded and directed her family’s appliance business in the city. Although she initially felt a stronger connection to modern architecture than contemporary art, she started buying works by Swiss artists in the 1960s.

“They came and went in our house. And it’s still that way with our artists. We would meet on weekends or were invited to birthdays. To me, support means acquiring something an artist has made. In the mid-1980s, I set up my own showrooms in the abandoned Rohner Textile factory in Flawil: Galerie Arte Nuova. Actually it wasn’t a gallery; I just wanted to give local artists a platform.” — Ursula Hauser*

Hauser—who co-founded Hauser & Wirth in 1992 in Zürich with her future son-in-law Iwan Wirth and daughter Manuela—has remained personal friends with many of the artists whose work she collects, always availing herself of the opportunity to spend time with them in their studios, talking through their process. The new publication THE INNER MIRROR: CONVERSATIONS WITH URSULA HAUSER, ART COLLECTOR—a beautifully illustrated book-length interview between Hauser, Laura Bechter, and Michaela Unterdörfer—is the story of this exchange.

“In the big American studios… you make contact, introduce yourself, or maybe you’ve bought a work, so there’s already a connection. And then you take a very tentative approach, proceed step-by-step, depending on whether the chemistry is there. As a rule, you’ve already met at an exhibition, in a gallery, or in a museum. And finally you peer into all the corners.”*

Whether discovering SoHo in the 1990s with Iwan Wirth, celebrating Parkett’s tenth anniversary with Bice Curiger and Jacqueline Burckhardt, trading cars with Jason Rhoades in Los Angeles, or discovering drawings by Ida Applebroog in the artist’s cabinet drawers, THE INNER MIRROR is a private view into the life and work of this key art world figure. For Hauser, the book’s title refers to something women were seldom afforded the luxury of revealing, something Hauser found through art.

“Women who support a family and have to survive—it doesn’t occur to anyone that they might have personal feelings. You simply have to fight, it’s a struggle, and you have no choice but to make something good, something better out of it… Louise Bourgeois’ work is like a mirror of humanity. For people of my generation, it was impossible to let on that you were vulnerable. You would never reveal the reflections on your inner mirror. That was a sign of weakness and then you would have been lost. And that’s exactly what Louise’s work shows. Her art creates a space where that can be expressed.”*

The works in the Ursula Hauser Collection stay with her—she’s held on to drawings and models by Paul McCarthy for years—and Hauser collaborates with the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen on exhibitions of the collection. This summer in southwest England, the show UNCONSCIOUS LANDSCAPE—WORKS FROM THE URSULA HAUSER COLLECTION—curated by Manuela Wirth and Laura Bechter—brings together sixty-five works by the women who have drawn Hauser’s eye over the last four decades.

*THE INNER MIRROR—CONVERSATIONS WITH URSULA HAUSER, ART COLLECTOR, edited by Laura Bechter and Michaela Unterdörfer (Zürich: Hauser & Wirth, 2019).

UNCONSCIOUS LANDSCAPE—WORKS FROM THE URSULA HAUSER COLLECTION

Through September 8.

Hauser & Wirth Somerset

Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton, Somerset.

From top: Loredana Sperini, Untitled, 2012, wax, cement, and pigment, photograph by Sebastian Stadler; Maria Lassnig, Die rasende Grossmutter (The Racing Grandmother), 1963, © Maria Lassnig Foundation; Berlinde De Bruyckere, Piëta, 2008, wax, epoxy, metal, and wood; Carol Rama, Ostentazione, 2002, mixed media and oil on paper on canvas, courtesy Achivio Carol Rama, Turin, photograph by Thomas Bruns Fotograf; Alina Szapocznikow, Stela (Stéle), 1968, polyester resin and polyurethane foam, photograph by Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich, © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London, 2019; Roni Horn, Untitled, No. 2, 1999, two Iris-printed photographs on Somerset paper; Phyllida Barlow, untitled: awnings 4 (yellow), 2013, acrylic on watercolor paper; Eva Hesse, H + H, 1965, varnish, ink, gouache, enamel, cord, metal found object (wood), paper-caché, unknown modeling compound, particle board, wood, © Estate of Eva Hesse; Meret Oppenheim, Pelzhandschuhe (Fur Gloves with Wooden Fingers), 1936, fur gloves, wooden fingers, and nail polish; Louise Bourgeois, The Good Mother (Topiary) , 1999, steel, ceramic beads, wood, wire, and cloth; Sylvia Sleigh, Working at Home, 1969, oil on canvas, photograph by Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich; Sheila Hicks, Pigment Sticks, 2015, bamboo sticks with pigmented synthetic fibers for bas-relief, photograph by Andrea Rossetti; Heidi Bucher, Die Quelle (The Source), 1987, vase, metal, textile, glue, and color, installation view at Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London, 2018, © Estate of Heidi Bucher. Images courtesy and © the artists and the Ursula Hauser Collection Archive.