Until a very recent revival of her work, Alina Szapocznikow (1926–1973) was virtually unknown in this country, though she was well regarded in her native Poland, where she began her career in sculpture as a practitioner of the officially sanctioned Socialist Realist style. In time, her art evolved into something that resembled the efforts of such contemporaries as Louise Bourgeois, Lynda Benglis and Eva Hesse: a feminist-tinged mix of image and abstraction that often evoked the female body. For Szapocznikow, this meant literally employing life casts taken from various parts of her own face and torso to create eerie, unsettling objects that sometimes took the form of everyday items like ashtrays and lamps.
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