March 26, 2023. Red Line Service, a Chicago arts organization led by people with a lived experience of homelessness.

Talk delivered as a part of the Red Line Service’s Art Histories Series.

About the host: RED LINE SERVICE

Led by people with a lived experience of homelessness, Red Line Service wields art world resources to build community, generating the sense of belonging and mutual care essential to securing and retaining housing. We collaborate with artists and cultural institutions to expand access to the art world, avowing that art can break the bonds of ingrained social roles and structures and forge new realities in which all can flourish.


Starting with the public art installation Agora in Chicago’s Grant Park (2006), this talk will look at both sculpture and textiles made by its author, the Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017), and her connection to the city. I will discuss Abakanowicz’s artistic lineage, which goes back to the expressive sculpture made in post-Stalinist Poland in the mid-1950s; the artist’s highly original weavings of the 1960s and 1970s that revolutionized textile art; and the development of her particular style of public art in the 1980s-1990s, today installed in multiple cities around the world. I will examine this transition from the unusual, “private” hung soft sculpture to more traditional, public and large-scale figurative arrangements in the context of Abakanowicz’s developing artistic identity as a woman living and creating in Communist Poland.

The event on the organization’s webpage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: