Ten Seated Figures at the YSP


There were a few changes at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park since our last visit, including the installation of some new works. One that particularly drew our attention was Ten Seated Figures by Magdalena Abakanowicz. The work, created in 2010 has been loaned to the YSP by the artist and Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg, Germany.

It’s a group of ten giant seated figures – really torsos with legs -roughly cast in iron with a protective patina applied irregularly. The casting technique has resulted in a wrinkled, textured surface and rust has formed in those areas where there’s no patina forming patches of reddish brown and grey. At first glance the ten individual figures appear to be identical, but on closer inspection differences become evident.


It’s a very imposing work standing out amongst the trees, attracting the attention of visitors to the park.

Magdalena Abakanowicz, is Polish and lives in Warsaw, although she is of mixed polish and Russian descent. Born in 1930, she has lived under Nazi occupation during the second World War and the Communist regime in Poland. Her work reflects these experiences. She is quoted on the YSP website saying:

My work comes from the experience of crowds, injustice and aggression… I feel an affinity for art when it was made a form of existence, like when shamans worked in the territory between men and unknown powers… I try to bewitch the crowd.

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