Alina Szapocznikow

Alina Szapocznikow was a Polish sculptor who created classical, figurative works during the post-war period. Szapocznikow was imprisoned in several Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and her work deeply reflects the death and horror that she experienced as a child. Szapocznikow was one of the first artists to work with innovative materials like polyester and polyurethane, and these new sources enabled her to not only develop a distinct visual language but to also come to terms with the pain she experienced as a child and its lasting physical and psychological imprint.

Szapocznikow is best known for casts she made of both her body and her son’s body. These sculptures of fragmented body parts were rendered in bronze and stone, and they employ sculpture as a medium for honoring memory and recording one’s own physical being.

Szapocznikow represented Poland in the 1962 Venice Biennale, and in 2012, she was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.