In her short career, Polish artist Alina Szapocznikow (1926-1973) forged a visceral language, embracing new materials such as polyester resin and polyurethane foam to render forms that conveyed the human body as distorted and fragmented, yet also as a site of play and pleasure. Szapocznikow’s first solo exhibition at Andrea Rosen since the gallery assumed representation of her estate contains 12 objects that touch on the various phases in her mature career, some of which have been rarely seen. A selection of lamps composed of cast body parts in resin, illuminated from within, shows a perversely Pop-ish sensibility. An example from 1970, where a cast breast sits atop a penile form, works as a protofeminist pun. They complement well-known works exploring dark subject matter, such as the funereal Stèle (1968), of a cast black-lipped mouth and knees protruding from a mass of black foam, and Piotr (1972), an elongated figurative rendering of Szapocznikow’s son, seeming to hover on his heels between ecstasy and death.
Pictured: Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture-Lampe VI, 1970, colored polyester resin, metal and electrical wiring, approx. 22 by 12½ by 13¾ inches. Courtesy the Estate of Alina Szapocznikow / Piotr Stanislawski © ADAGP, Paris. Photo Fabrice Grousset.