Emilie Brzezinski: The Lure of the Forest

Jun. 30, 2020-Jan. 5, 2021
Boca Raton Museum of Art

Emilie Brzezinski’s monumental sculptures are carved from tree trunks she finds in nature by wielding chain saws, axes, chisels, and sledgehammers, a physically robust activity that belies her 88 years. The search for the right materials to work with she says, are essential to her creative process. She seeks trees that have “character” and incorporates their twists, bends, knots, and flaws to make the “memories” embedded in the wood integral to the work. Once chosen, Brzezinski confronts the wood with abandon, working intuitively to create her abstract arches and totems that can measure up to twenty feet high and weigh thousands of tons.

Brzezinski first attracted critical attention in the 1970s for her experiments with industrial materials such as resin and latex but abandoned them for wood in the 1980s. In an attempt to learn all that she could about chosen material she worked at an isolated lumber yard in Virginia where she honed her chain saw skills and mastered the medium. After a long career in the Washington, D.C. area, Brzezinski has recently relocated to Jupiter, Florida.

This exhibition is made possible with the support of our Leadership Donors.

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Emilie Brzezinski, Shafts, 1990, 2 pieces, Box elder. Courtesy of the artist

Emilie Brzezinski, Shafts, 1990, 2 pieces, Box elder. Courtesy of the artist