“Nothing is literal in my art; it is fully metaphoric,” said the late Magdalena Abakanowicz in 2001. “To try to explain it would be to explain it away.” Abakanowicz, who grew up in Soviet Russia, worked with resin-impregnated burlap and other rough materials—tree trunks, concrete. Also bronze and limestone. Her art is mysterious, mighty, and sometimes chilling (see the trio of stainless-steel pods called Embryology, from 2002-2003). This survey exhibition is the first in London since 1990. As Antony Gormley said of Abakanowicz’s work, “Survival and existential questions overtake style.” —E.C.
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