Step inside Magdalena Abakanowicz’s forest of woven sculptures


In the 1960s, Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz began making large-scale woven sculptures that defied all categorisation. They seemed like coats or cocoons that tempted you to crawl inside, or hairy living creatures suspended from the gallery ceiling. The critics did not know what to make of them and called them ‘Abakans’ – perhaps the only example of an art form named after their artist. In this film, curator Ann Coxon leads us through a ‘forest’ of these towering Abakans, exploring how Abakanowicz pioneered a whole new form of installation art.

Cite this page as: Tate, "Step inside Magdalena Abakanowicz’s forest of woven sculptures," in Smarthistory, January 9, 2023, accessed May 27, 2024,