Abakanowicz installation smashes art auction record after going for eye-watering PLN 13.6 million

Depicting 83 child-size figures, the monumental work entitled ‘Bambini’ consisting of a cluster of androgynous figures devoid of heads and identities, is now the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction in Poland. Polswiss Art

An installation by acclaimed sculptor Magdelena Abakanowicz has become the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction in Poland after going for a staggering PLN 13.6 million (EUR 2.9 million).

Depicting 83 child-size figures, the monumental work entitled ‘Bambini’  consists of a cluster of androgynous figures devoid of heads and identities.

A recurring theme in the artist's work, ‘Bambini’ is the culmination of a series created in the late 1990s.Polswiss Art

Posting on social media on Tuesday, the Warsaw auction house which sold the installation, Polswiss Art, said: “Spectacular record! Magdalena Abakanowicz's "Bambini" is the most expensive work of art in Poland!

“The auction itself was also record-breaking for the Polish market. The total turnover on it was PLN 43 million !!!”

Polswiss Art

Polswiss Art

Each one of the figures has a different shape and was individually molded by Abakanowicz.Polswiss Art

A recurring theme in the artist's work, ‘Bambini’ is the culmination of a series created in the late 1990s. Each one of the figures has a different shape and was individually molded by Abakanowicz.

The work, created for the Palais-Royal Garden in Paris, was first exhibited at the "Abakanowicz on the Roof" exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York but has also been widely exhibited worldwide.

Posting on social media Warsaw auction house Polswiss Art said: “Spectacular record! Magdalena Abakanowicz's Polswiss Art/Facebook

Abakanowicz, who died in 2017, was a painter, weaver and sculptor, and was often referred to as the "total" artist.

She revolutionized work with textiles by giving them spatial form, and her works have been called "Abakans," a name derived from her surname.

Abakanowicz who died in 2017 revolutionized work with textiles by giving them spatial form, and her works have been called Tomasz Gzell/PAP

The works of Abakanowicz are in the collections of over 70 museums and public collections around the world, including the National Museum in Warsaw, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Tate Modern in London and the George Pompidou Center in Paris.

The installation broke last week’s previous record of PLN 13.44 million for an Andrzej Wróblewski painting entitled ‘Two Married Women’.