Magdalena Abakanowicz's haunting installation 'Bambini' expected to sell for up to $3.6m at auction in Poland

The work, consisting of 83 child-size figures in concrete and wood, was made in the late 1990s and has been exhibited on the roof of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and in the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid

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Bambini by Magdalena Abakanowicz. Courtesy of Polswiss Art

Bambini by Magdalena Abakanowicz. Courtesy of Polswiss Art

UPDATE: Bambini sold for PLN11.3m (PLN13.6m with fees, around €3m)

A huge installation of 83 child-size figures by Magdalena Abakanowicz, who died in 2017, is coming up for sale in her native Poland this week.

The eerie installation, titled Bambini, was created between 1998 and 1999 and consists of 83 ominously headless figures, measuring 109cm high and made of concrete, resin and wood. It has been widely exhibited internationally, including on the roof of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1998, in the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid in 2008, and in front of the train station in Wroclaw, part of a city-wide retrospective held in 2017 to commemorate the death of this most influential of Polish sculptors.

Bambini has been in a private Monaco collection and will be offered at auction for the first time on Tuesday, 7 December, by the Warsaw-based auction house Polswiss Art with an estimate of PLN12m to PLN15m (US$2.9m-$3.6m).

Abakanowicz’s auction record was set only in October, at another Polish auction house—Desa Unicum in Warsaw—where a similar work, Crowd III (50 figures) from 1989, sold for PLN11m (US$2.7m, with fees), below a punchy estimate of PLN12m to PLN18m.

Next year, London’s Tate Modern will open a solo-exhibition of Abakanowicz’s work, concentrating on her large-scale woven textile installations (17 November-21 May).

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