Wikipedia entry
Alina Szapocznikow (Polish: [ʂapɔt͡ʂˈɲikɔf]; May 16, 1926 – March 2, 1973) was a Polish artist and Holocaust survivor. Recognized as one of the most important Polish sculptors of the post-war era,: 49 : 39  Szapocznikow utilized diverse and experimental mediums to investigate and examine the human form, recalling genres such as surrealism, nouveau realism, and pop art.Born in 1926 in Kalisz, Poland, into a Jewish family, she grew up Pabianice near Łódź. Her childhood was disrupted by the outbreak of World War II. Szapocznikow was later imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen before being transferred to Terezin in 1943. After the end of the war in 1945, Szapocznikow moved to Prague, where she began her formal training in sculpture. Her education continued at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, under Paul Niclausse. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, she moved between Prague and Paris, and later became ill with peritoneal tuberculosis. In 1952, Szapocznikow married Polish art historian Ryszard Stanisławski, but the marriage ended in 1958. She participated in numerous competitions for public monuments conforming to the doctrine of Socialist Realism in Soviet-aligned Poland. After the Khrushchev Thaw, Szapocznikow returned to avant-garde works, focusing on the subject of her own body, a theme that would remain central to her work throughout the rest of her artistic career. In 1962, she was offered a solo show at the Venice Biennale and moved to Paris in 1963, where she became friends with Pierre Restany and experimented with innovative materials and techniques in sculpture. Szapocznikow died in March 1973 of bone cancer. After the fall of communism in Poland, her work gained recognition domestically and abroad, including a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2013.
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Getty record
Polish, Central European, Eastern European
Artist, Sculptor
Alina Szapocznikow
Information from Getty’s Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License


17 works online



  • Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955-1972 Exhibition catalogue, Flexibound, 216 pages
  • The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today Exhibition catalogue, Hardcover, 256 pages

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