Keeping with its tradition of honoring trailblazers, Google Doodle celebrates Katarzyna Kobro’s birthday and her legacy on Wednesday. Using primary colors in the Doodle’s palette, the illustration perfectly captures her early style and spotlights her impressive work as a sculptor. Kobro carved out a career in Central Europe during a time when war and political tension permeated the environment.
Born in Moscow in 1898, the Polish artist studied in Russia for several years before creating her first sculpture in 1920. It was the same year she married Władysław Strzemiński, an avant-garde painter known for his modernist artistic theories and Unism. In the early 1920s, Kobro honed her craft as an abstract sculptor, experimenting with space and form. One of her hallmarks was blending elements from geometry and unique shapes into her work. And for a time, she chose to use gray, white, and primary colors in her art.
Kobro and her husband fled Russia as war exiles and moved to Poland where they were able to be freer in their artistic expression. Among her most famous pieces is 1928’s “Spatial Sculpture,” which is shown as a small “g” in the Google Doodle. She also co-authored a book with Strzemiński in 1931 titled The Composition of Space.
However, World War II disrupted Kobro’s career, and much of her work was destroyed during the war. What survived made it to a museum in 1945, and some of her art, which was preserved through photographs, was reconstructed after her death in 1951.