(b Felenty, nr Warsaw, 1930).
Polish textile artist. She studied at the College of Fine Arts, Sopot, and graduated in 1955 from the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw. At the beginning of her career she was interested in drawing, painting and sculpture, but after 1960 she concentrated on textile arts in the broad sense of the term. Breaking with tradition, she initiated bold experiments with fibre and fabric. Her work contributed to the revolutionary textile movement known as Fibre art and finally entered the domain of modern sculpture.
Abakanowicz’s début, with a composition of forms made of white fabrics, was in 1962 at the first Biennale Internationale de la Tapisserie in Lausanne. At that time she also experimented with tapestry, giving it three-dimensional relief by introducing non-woven shapes. In the late 1960s her development of three-dimensional textiles was fully realized in her ‘abakans’. These took various forms—winged, open or round—and were red, orange or white. She also created fifteen heavy, monolithic ‘black forms’ and three large ‘black garments’. In ...