The Athens Agora
The Chicago Agora

Update! My real takes on Agora are here.

—–

I spent much of Thursday with Magdalena Abakanowicz (her friends call her “Magda,”) and her new work “Agora” in Chicago’s Grant Park. 106 9 foot tall cast-iron torsos.

Would 106 trees be better? Would one tree better? I’m waiting to see the public reaction to this work.

My intial impressions: it’s “lighter” than I thought it would be. Not so heavy. The iron has a nice reddish hue. Because the backs of the figures are open they’re also less oppressive. And we fill in the blanks of the backs ourselves.

I still think the concrete plinths lessen the sensuality of the work. She worked hard on that concrete. She said she didn’t want it to be “popular grey.” She had it sprayed and brushed. I’d still rather see these figures walking on the earth.

She’s a proud woman. I asked her why she and the Polish Ministry of Culture and several wealthy people gave it to Chicago as a gift and she said, “For the people I am friendly with, money is not power. Generosity is power. Friendship is power.” Nice answer. Glad to have it.

I’ll write more on this later, and I promise I’ll upload my pix.
I’ll also tell you what Tadao Ando said the other night.

-Edwardowicz

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