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    Alina Szapocznikow (Polish, 1926-1973) 

    Popiersie (Bust) - marble, bronze - 1966

    Rzeźba biologiczna I (Biological Sculpture I) (2 views) - Dalmatian marble - 1963

    Lampe-Bouche (Illuminated Mouths) - colored polyster, metal, electrical - 1966

    Autoportrait I (Self Portrait I) - cast polyester resin, Carrara marble - 1966

    Noga (Leg) - Swedish black granite, bronze - 1967

    Ventre coussin (Belly Cushion) (four views) - polyurethane foam, polyester resin - 1968

    Grands Ventres (Big bellies) - Carrara marble - 1968

    Breast Lamp III (Fetish series IX) - assemblage, polyester breast cast, plastic mesh, electric light - 1970

    Cendrier de Célibataire I (The Bachelor’s Ashtray I) - colored polyester resin and cigarette butts - 1972

    In a statement about her work, made in March 1972, Alina wrote that she made “objets maladroits” – awkward objects. She had begun her life in art studying the problems of “balance, volume, space shadow and light” and found that to be a “thwarted vocation”. She had found her mature voice through her casts of the body with which “I try to fix the fleeting moments of life, its paradoxes and absurdity”. A “fixing” that she knew was doomed, the body frail and mortal.

    The belly is a plaster cast of the belly of Arianne Raoul-Auval, Roland Topor’s fiancée at the time. This cast became the “source material” for a number of subsequent sculptures, which the artist made from various materials: plaster, marble (Big Bellies), polyurethane. Experiments with the latter material led to the creation of multiple Belly-pillows, which Szapocznikow intended to go into mass production. In 1968, the artist made over 100 such Pillows-cushions, wanting them to go “under thatched roofs” - to homes and kindergartens.

    “My gesture is addressed to the human body, ‘that complete erogenous zone,’ to its most vague and ephemeral sensations. I want to exalt the ephemeral in the folds of our body, in the traces of our passage.” – Alina Szapocznikow, March 1972

    Alina Szapocznikow with Grands Ventres (Big bellies) - Carrara marble - 1968