I have been defeated by the main protagonist, the wonder of our times, the machine. Today all beauty, the discoveries and testimonies of our times, the recording of history, all belong to the machine. True dreams belong to it; it is applauded by the public. I only produce clumsy objects…
Despite everything, I persist in attempting to fix in resin the imprints of our body: I am convinced that among all the manifestations of perishability, the human body is the most sensitive, the only source of all joy, all pain, all truth… On the level of consciousness because of its ontological misery which is as inevitable as it is unacceptable. — Alina Szapocznikow, April 1972*
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.
Through December 21.
32 East 69th Street, New York City.
*Alina Szapocznikow 1926–1973: Tumeurs Herbier (Paris: Musée Moderne de la ville de Paris, 1973); translated from Anda Rottenberg (ed.), Alina Szapocznikow 1926–1973 (Warsaw: Institute for the Promotion and Art Foundation and Zachęta Gallery, 1998), 148–9. 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. Images courtesy and © ADAGP, Paris, the Estate of Alina Szapocnikow, Piotr Stanislawski, Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris, and Hauser & Wirth.