Katarzyna Kobro

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Katarzyna Kobro
Katarzyna Kobro.jpg
Katarzyna Kobro with her daughter in 1938.
Born(1898-11-26)26 November 1898
Died21 February 1951(1951-02-21) (aged 52)
Łódź, Poland
EducationMoscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture
Known forSculpture
Władysław Strzemiński
(m. 1920)
ending in divorce

Katarzyna Kobro (26 January 1898 in Moscow – 21 February 1951[1] in Łódź) was a Polish avant-garde sculptor. She is a prominent representative of the Constructivist movement in Poland.

Life and career[edit]

Her father came from a family of Latvian Germans and her mother was Russian.[1] She spent her early years in Riga, then moved with her family to Moscow in 1915. From 1917 to 1920 she studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.[2] She was a member of the Moscow Union of Artists with Casimir Malevich, Olga Rozanova, Vladimir Tatlin, and Alexander Rodchenko, among others.

In 1920, Kobro married Polish artist Władysław Strzemiński[1] (1893-1952). In the beginning of 1922, she fled to Poland and in 1924, obtained Polish citizenship.

The couple established themselves in Szczekociny, but later lived near Łódź, in Brzeziny and Koluszki, where they worked as teachers.[1] In 1926, Kobro co-founded the Praesens Group with architects Bohdan Lachert and Szymon Syrkus, but left the group in 1929 over content differences. Kobro, Strzemiński, painter Henryk Stażewski, and poets Jan Brzękowski and Julian Przyboś then founded a.r. group, an initialization that is usually interpreted as "Revolutionary Artists" or "Real Avant-Garde". She was instrumental in the establishment of the Museum of Art in Łódź. In 1932, she and her husband joined the Abstraction-Création group. In 1937, Kobro signed the 1936 Dimensionist Manifesto published by Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp, and László Moholy-Nagy.[3]

Kobro was one of the most progressive interwar avant-garde artists. Under the influence of Constructivism, she rejected individualism, subjectivism and expressionism, and instead postulated the absolute objectivism of form. Her main aim was to build an abstract work of art, based on universal and objective rules discovered through experimentation and analysis. Her sculpture conceptualized infinite space, which was to be seen as uniform and without focal or reference points (such as the origin of a coordinate system). Therefore, she strove to organize space in such a way that it would not be divided into space enclosed within form and excluded from it, but instead for the work to coexist with space and to allow space to penetrate it. Kobro's unique spatial compositions had a considerable impact on various modern artists, among others on the Belgian sculptor and painter Georges Vantongerloo whose sculptures evolved in the course of the 1920s and 1930 under the influence of Kobro's work.[4]

Her works have been exhibited in a number of museums around the world including Centre Pompidou,[5][6] Museo Reina Sofia,[7] Museum of Modern Art,[8] Moderna Museet Malmö,[9] and Whitechapel Gallery.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Ładnowska, Janina (2001). "Katarzyna Kobro: A Sculptor of Space". Artibus et Historiae. 22 (43): 161–185. doi:10.2307/1483659. JSTOR 1483659.
  2. ^ Kitowska-Łysiak, Małgorzata. "Katarzyna Kobro". Culture.pl. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Kobro and Strzemiński. Avant-Garde Prototypes". Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  4. ^ Wenderski, Michał (2018). Cultural Mobility in the Interwar Avant-Garde Art Network: Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands. New York: Routledge. pp. 88–90. ISBN 9781138493544.
  6. ^ "A Polish Avant-garde: Katarzyna Kobro & Władysław Strzemiński in Centre Pompidou". Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  7. ^ "Kobro and Strzemiński. Avant-Garde Prototypes". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  8. ^ "Constructivism in Poland, 1923–1936". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  9. ^ "KOBRO & STRZEMIŃSKI NEW ART IN TURBULENT TIMES". Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  10. ^ "Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 – 2015". Retrieved 2018-10-26.

External links[edit]