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Tecson, Paul Dominic I.

Herrera, Andrei Lorenz V.


BCS22

Art as Pleasure

Her sculptures possess an ambiguity that encourages multiple interpretations,

speaking broadly to human experience. Each of her figures are headless and signifies a

statement about lost individuality.

Luca Massimo Barbero curated that Abakanowicz said The kind of people I'm

dealing with in my work are people in general because they speak of the human

condition in general and the perennial conflict between instinct and intellect. At the

same time her work expresses the cruelty perpetrated by human beings on other

human beings over the centuries. In a group individuals tend to lose their sense of

responsibility and with it their dignity. I wanted to confront man himself, with his solitude

in multitude Abakanowicz explains further in my childhood I witnessed how

masses worship on command and hate on command. Herodotus several centuries

before Christ said that it is much easier for a leader to convince a crowd than an

individual. Fascinated by quantity, I continued to cast human bodies in burlap, later in

aluminum, bronze and iron. Headless, shell-like, often only with legs carrying the

meaningful trunk, or with arms hanging like unnecessary tools, or with hands strong and

aggressive. No face it would eliminate all the mysteries of the body.

In The Abakans and the feminist revolution by Agata Jakubowska, she mentioned

that Abakanowicz belonged to a group of female artists working from vastly different
cultural referents [that] have been empowered by ideas of earth, mother, and Amazon

and inspired by their iconography

With this statements, we can say that her artworks fall under the philosophy of

David Hume about Art as Pleasure: of taste and tragedy. Her artworks are non-

canonical but can provoke our thoughts. In fall below the tragedy category which Hume

described in his essays. Abakanowiczs artworks portray the deep expressions of her

experiences about the wars.

Art as Beauty

Abakanowiczs arts are successful in portraying and emotions. Her art explains the

subjective beauty of nature where she focuses on the meaning of her art. The beauty in

Magdalena Abakanowiczs art is the astonishing activity of mankind born out of struggle

between wisdom and madness, between dream and reality in our mind. Abakanowicz

has become best known for her unique treatment of the human figure, often

headless and modeled in found burlap or cast in bronze, representing our capacity to

follow a leader or movement blindly, without thought.

Her artwork has different individuality, with its own expression and the details of the

artwork. The beauty within her art is the rendition, she makes art about the countless.

Those countless people and animals are so easily grouped together in life. She also

expresses her arts beauty by using textiles as a sculptural medium. Abakanowicz is

one of the greatest artists and one that the most appreciated for the depth of her

astonishing creations.
Her figures are beautiful, but not beautiful in a way that we would generally classify

beauty, they possess a stronger beauty, the organic beauty of nature.

We can correlate Abakanowiczs artworks to the philosophy of Hans-Georg

Gadamer and George Dickie. Gadamer states that an art is formed with what the art

objectively informs our subjective awareness of an art. An art that is considered being

called a work of art has a power to affect us immediately. Gadamer also explains art as

a work of experience through time, in which art is able to interpret the possible

meanings held within the experience of a work, and by drawing on them to bring that

experience to greater completeness.

With the aforementioned statements from the first part of this paper,

Abakanowicz put her experiences to her works. And through that, they can send a deep

message and have us held in awe and heart-struck about it.

George Dickie later argued against both disinterest and distance in a famous

1964 paper, The Myth of the Aesthetic Attitude. He argued that we should be able to

enjoy all objects of awareness, whether pure aesthetic or moral. In fact, he thought the

term aesthetic could be used in all cases, rejecting the idea that there was some

authorized way of using the word just to apply to surface or formal features the

artwork as a thing in itself. As a result, Dickie concluded that the aesthetic attitude,

when properly understood, reduced to just close attention to whatever holds ones mind

in an artwork, against the tradition which believed it had a certain psychological quality,

or else involved attention just to certain objects.


According to Karol Sienkiewicz (2009), Mariusz Hermansdorfer wrote:

Abakanowicz rejects all beauty, all decoration and all camouflage. She tears

them off, layer after layer, as if she wanted to tear off layers of skin. Only what's

essential remains and maybe that is all that is real.

This statement can support the application of Dickies philosophy about art as

beauty.
References:

http://www.beck-eggeling.de/en/ausstellungen/magdalena-abakanowicz-crowd-

and-individual/
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-art-history/global-

contemporary/a/abakanowicz-androgyne
http://culture.pl/en/work/the-crowds-magdalena-abakanowicz
https://www.academia.edu/7927512/Magdalena_Abakanowiczs_Abakans_and_t

he_Feminist_Revolution
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/gadamer-aesthetics/
http://www.iep.utm.edu/aestheti/