Walking Figures – North Vancouver
Magdalena Abakanowicz, Poland
Title: Walking Figures – North Vancouver
Artist: Magdalena Abakanowicz (b. 1930, Poland)
Medium: Nine cast-iron figures
Dimensions: 284 X 91.5 x 133 cm (112 x 36 x 52 inches) each
Weight: 650 kg (1433 lbs) each
Former Location: North Vancouver, Lonsdale Ave from 13th Street to 23rd Street
Walking Figures is a group of headless cast-iron figures by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. They appear to be walking aimlessly without sight, and the sombre tone makes reference to both time and loss. The figures were identically cast, but later given subtle individual identities through various surface treatments. A larger group of figures, cast simultaneously in the artist’s studio, is titled Agora and is on permanent display in Chicago’s Grant Park. An agora was a meeting place in ancient Greece where the concept of democracy began. There was no citizen above the law, and everyone had power to vote. This sculpture is a Legacy Artwork from the 2005 – 2007 Vancouver Biennale, exhibited in North Vancouver as part of the 2014 – 2016 Vancouver Biennale exhibition.
For North Vancouver, these nine figures were placed along the sidewalk over a ten-block radius, integrating with pedestrians as they walked down Lonsdale Avenue. This is the first time that these figures were placed as separated individuals, rather than in a grouping as they are at the Cambie and Broadway location in Vancouver.