Thursday, March 26, 2009

Grant Park [Agora - by Magdalena Abakanowicz]







Agora ...
Sculptor: Magdalena Abakanowicz [Polish sculptor]...
Description: 106 cast iron figures ... H 9 ft. each... weighing eleven hundred pounds each .. created in Poland ...
Location: Grant Park, intersection of S. Michigan Ave. and Roosevelt Road, Chicago ..
Agora is a Greek word for "meeting place" ...

“Agora,” a permanent installation in the Grant Park, by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. It consists of 106 headless armless cast iron figures, each about 9 feet tall, shell like, frozen in walking movement. The figures are similar in general shape, but different in details. Models for each figure were made by hand, by the artist and her three assistants. The surfaces of figures are like a tree bark or wrinkled face expressing a different individuality of each sculpture.

The figures were cast during two years [2004-2006] in a huge industrial foundry in Srem near the city of Poznan [Poland], then transported to the USA. The installation took place in October–November 2006 ... Agora has a $3 million price tag. Donors, including actor Robin Williams, working through the park district-affiliated Parkways Foundation, are contributing about $700,000, with the rest coming from the Polish government and a Polish foundation. No tax dollars was used.





About the artist Magdalena Abakanowicz ...
Born into an aristocratic family just outside of Warsaw, she was deeply affected by World War II and the forty-five years of Soviet domination that followed. In her journals, she writes that she has lived “…in times which were extraordinary by their various forms of collective hate and collective adulation. Marches and parades worshipped leaders, great and good, who soon turned out to be mass murderers. I was obsessed by the image of the crowd… I suspected that under the human skull, instincts and emotions overpower the intellect without us being aware of it.”

The sculptor began creating large headless figures in the 1970s. Initially working in burlap and resin, she went on to use bronze, steel, and iron. Although Abakanowicz has frequently exhibited in museums and public spaces throughout the world— Agora is her largest permanent installation.

REF: Agora in Grant Park .. click here ...

For more on Magdalena Abakanowicz works .. click here ...

For more on Grant Park ..
# Public Art in the Grant Park .. click here ....
# Gardens in the Grant Park .. click here ..
# Often overlooked but remarkable features like pedestrian crossings, the railway lines underneath, the street lamp posts, balustrade, corbels, the Y-symbols .. click here ..
# For a brief history of Grant Park .. click here ..

2 comments:

Jane Lincoln said...

I am fond of sculptures and other work of art but those red structures scares mii seriously ;O

Cheryl Alden said...

So affected by these unique and unusual sculptures that I saw from the windows of a small shuttle bus coming in from Midway Airport to the Loop! Can hardly wait to walk among them! Such an artistic treasure!