In 1992, Magdalena Abakanowicz began the series Hand-like Trees (1992–2004) as a sculptural response to her unrealized Arboreal Architecture. A public petition requested Abaka-nowicz to be commissioned to produce a permanent work in Hiroshima, Japan, as a memorial to the victims of nuclear destruction. She proposed a hand-like tower, poised as if to catch the bomb in the exact place where it exploded, 640 meters above sea level. This project was never carried out due to worries it might offend the sensibilities of hibakushas — surviving victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There was worry that it might be perceived as too aggressive. In response, Abakanowicz created Space of Becalmed Beings (1993), a monument of 40 silent, seated bronze backs. They form a permanent installation on the terrace of the Contemporary Art Museum of the City of Hiroshima.

Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017) was a Polish sculptor and creator of fiber art. She often worked around sculpture, installation and textile. A sense of fluidity and possibility manifests itself in Abakanowicz's works as they shift from rigid and rectangular to more organic shapes. Curved sculptures sliced open like carcasses accompany objects that remind us of the artist’s lifelong obsession with the natural world.

Organized by Estudio Pedro Reyes
in collaboration with ICAN

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB is an exhibition of posters that call for universal nuclear disarmament. Each made by a different artist, the group comprises historical and newly
commissioned works that detail a cultural history of disarmament movements and evidence the diversity of ways in which artists have expressed the need to ban the bomb. ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB is designed for maximum agility and economic effectiveness, relying on a black and white palette both for its impact and ease o reproduction. We asked artists to ensure their works can exist on a variety of supports, ephemera such as posters, postcards, billboards, banners, flags, t-shirts and social media posts, as we aspire to achieve the widest possible circulation of this message.

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB presents the works of foundational conceptual artists Art & Language; pop hero, Keith Haring; legendary feminists, Guerrilla Girls; performance artists Regina José Galindo and Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, as well
as eminent sculptors Magdalena Abakanowicz and Isamu Noguchi. It also features indelible photographs by Robert Del Tredici and Ken Domon alongside protest graphics from social movements such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), founded in 1958 and still active; the epic Peace Squadron and Visual Artists Against Nuclear Arms (VAANA); and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Additionally, it examines how stories are told, from the theater of Bread and Puppet to films like Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and Marguerite Duras / Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour, to an unexpected survey of literature, from an early
anticipation of an atomic bomb, first envisioned by H.G. Wells in 1918, to the viscera spoken word poetry of Jayne Cortez.

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB, organized by Estudio Pedro Reyes in collaboration with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), is presented on the occasion of the Second Meeting of State Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) held at the United Nations in 2023.

To organize en exhibition of ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB please contact curatorial assistant Verana Codina.

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