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.
*Alina Szapocznikow, “Mon œuvre puise ses racines…,” March 1972, (courtesy Alina SzapocznikowArchive, Piotr Stanisławski, National Museum in Kraków), in To Exaltthe 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).
Until her exhibition of an ink and acrylic work—TrueValue, 2015—at the 56th Venice Biennale, Lorna Simpson had not painted for over thirty years. Her return to the medium was again seen last year in the show Unanswerable at Hauser & Wirth in London.
The gallery’s New York exhibition LORNA SIMPSON—DARKENING features the artist’s ink and screenprint paintings from 2018, and this year’s Source Notes.
Lorna Simpson, from top: Darkened, 2018, ink and screenprint on gessoed wood; Submerged, 2018, ink and screenprint on gessoed fiberglass; Source Notes, 2019, ink and screenprint on gessoed fiberglass; Blue Dark, 2018, ink and screenprint on gessoed fiberglass; Darkening, 2018, ink and screenprint on gessoed wood. Images courtesy and the artist and Hauser & Wirth.