Sculpture-Lampe XII

c. 1970

Coloured polyester resin, light bulb, and power cable

63.5 × 35.6 × 19.7 cm

Alina Szapocznikow’s works are hybrids: at once a face, petals, and an erect penis, they refuse to remain confined within a fixed state or a single identity. “I use imprints of the body to try to fix the fleeting moments of life, its paradoxes, and its absurdity in the transparent polyester. My work is difficult, and the sensation it immediately provokes on people often resists identification. Often, everything is mixed together. The situation is ambiguous, and sensory limits are removed”.

The artist’s works mix feminine and masculine elements, creating continuities between the mechanical and the organic, between plant and animal life. They are hard to situate in ontological terms. In fact, Alina Szapocznikow used to call them “awkward objects”. Through her use of synthetic resins and rejection of modernist conventions regarding identity and the difference between tool and art object, she belongs to a generation of artists who thoroughly reinvented sculpture (including Eva Hesse, Paul Thek, and Lydia