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After lazy holiday months, September has finally arrived. This is a month of hard work and nostalgic memories of days and events which passed. September begins with a series of exhibitions in galleries and museums, of art fairs and auctions. This fabulous beginning of season was initiated by Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm. They have planned a series of exhibitions and events under a common name – Art Of Memory. An exhibition which starts this project is a presentation of art by Alina Szapocznikow. Her works are extremely sensual, feminine and, on the other hand, full of suffering and sense of fading.

The exhibition is a retrospective of her creative activity. It presents Szapocznikow’s early sculptures made following her first worldwide success, when one of her works was purchased by the Musee d’Art Moderne in Paris. One of the sculptures is The Troubled Age from 1956. The exhibition also includes some later works – the most dramatic ones from the series Tumeurs. Apart from sculptures and installations the exhibitions also includes drawings which were the focus of her exhibition at the Centre Pompidou. The whole exhibition is enriched by two movies from the artist’s atelier. All the works are presented in a highly minimalistic way enabling the viewer to look at every single work individually and gives each work an opportunity for individual existence. You don’t need nothing more. Too much isn’t good at all. Every single work has a strong presence and includes plenty of intimate memories and stories to be told. For a moment, I would like to focus on two of these works. First one is Bouquet II from 1966. This bouquet, which is formed from lips placed on thin “stems” like flowers, was put on a head of a female figure and then wrapped in foil and poured over with polyester. What we get here is an emphasized problem of absorbing, forgetting and, with time passing, overlapping images. But why? Well, hardly anyone remembers that inside this assemblage there’s an earlier work hidden – Miss from 1962. Forgetting is something inevitable because memory is something fragile and susceptible to manipulation. We can try to motivate or refresh it by finding remains of the past, souvenirs of past events or people we met. Approximately in the year 1967, Alina Szpocznikow created a series of small objects entitled Souvenirs. In polyester, transparent substance she placed photographs of her acquaintances and friends. Two of those can be seen on show in Stockholm. This series had its continuation in 1971, when the artist tried to keep her family photographs. Memories and marks were kept forever.

By looking at her works it is impossible to resist a feeling that her whole artistic activity is a battle against death, brutally shortened life and time of creation. But most of all, it is a desire to leave a mark. This is both strong and deep, as well as  an expression of desperate loyalty to evidence to prove her existence – memory captured in a material form.

 

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

 

 ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall


ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, Tumours Personified, 1971, polyester resin, glass fibre, newspapers, gauze, „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

 

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, Tumours Personified, 1971, polyester resin, glass fibre, newspapers, gauze, „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

 

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, Souvenirs, from 1967, polyester resin, photographs, „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

 

 ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall


ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, Bouquet II, 1966, plaster, plastic foil, coloured polyester resin, metal construction, height 170 cm, „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

 

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, Kaprys – Monstre, 1967, coloured polyester resin, sponge, electrical wiring, metal construction, height approx. 200 cm, „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

 

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, Sculpture (Fetish IV), 1971, assemblage, polyester resin, stockings, wood, underwear, 26 x 34 x 39,5 cm (base 1 x 50 x 40 cm), „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

 

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, The Troubled Age, 1956, plaster with added patina, height 189 cm, „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

 

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, Headless Torso, 1968, polyester resin, polyurethane foam, 46 x 64 x 73 cm,  „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

 

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, Grass Widower’s Ashtray I, 1972, coloured polyester resin, cigarette butts, 11,5 x 12,5 x 11 cm, „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

 

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW, Illuminated Lips, from 1966, „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo Per Kristiansen/Bonniers Konsthall

 

photo: B. Rawinski / Polska institutet Stockholm

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo: B. Rawinski / Polska institutet Stockholm

 

photo: B. Rawinski / Polska institutet Stockholm

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo: B. Rawinski / Polska institutet Stockholm

 

photo: B. Rawinski / Polska institutet Stockholm

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view, photo: B. Rawinski / Polska institutet Stockholm

 

photo: B. Rawinski / Polska institutet Stockholm

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, exhibition view (Anda Rottenberg and Piotr Stanisławski – Alina Szapocznikow’s son), photo: B. Rawinski / Polska institutet Stockholm

 

photo: B. Rawinski / Polska institutet Stockholm

ALINA SZAPOCZNIKOW „Art of Memory” at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, Piotr Stanisławski – Alina Szapocznikow’s son, photo: B. Rawinski / Polska institutet Stockholm

Centre of contemporary art Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm will present three individual exhibitions of works by Gerard Byrne, Cecilia Edefalk and Alina Szapocznikow (currently on show). All three artists perceive differently the way individual and common memory create our existence.  The passage of time is a common denominator of works by Byrne, Edefalk and Szapocznikow.

 

Exhibition open: 04 Sep — 24 Nov 2013

Bonniers Konsthall

Torsgatan 19, Stockholm

 

words: Dobromila Blaszczyk

translation: Katarzyna Ujma

edited by: Contemporary Lynx