Magdalena Abakanowicz

Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts 1999
Area of Work: Hibel Renaissance Art
Date: 11 November 1999
Place of Ceremony: Main Building
Host Institution: Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Host Country: Trondheim, Norway

Trondheim, Norway, November 1999. The World Cultural Council presented the 1999 Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts to Prof. Magdalena Abakanowicz, painter sculptor and textile artist whose creativity is directed toward human being. The Official Award Ceremony took place at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU, which acted as host for 1999.

Prof. Abakanowicz was selected as the recipient of the Award in recognition of her creative and innovative work in the field of contemporary art. She has installed over hundred one-person exhibitions in museums and galleries of Europe, America, Australia and Japan, arranging each one of them by herself as a separate work of art.

During 1954 through 1960 she paints a series of large gouaches on paper and canvas. In the sixties she creates monumental three-dimensional forms called “Abakans” made out of materials woven by herself in her own technique.

In the seventies she changes scale and material. In the eighties she creates a series of monumental sculptures using bronze, stone, wood and iron. She installs permanent outdoor “spaces to experience” in Italy, Israel, Germany, America and Korea. In 1991 she created “Arboreal Architecture” her concept of an ecological city.

Prof. Abakanowicz was born in Falenty, Poland in 1930. Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsow 1950-54. She has been professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland 1965-1990, and visiting Professor at the University of California 1984. Elected as honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters 1996, a member of the Academie der Kunste in Berlin 1994, and a correspondent member of the Sachsische Akademie der Kunste in Dresden 1998. She has got numerous prizes and awards. Her works are in over museums and public collections all over the world.

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