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"Emilie Brzezinksi: New Directions"
2003-06-28 until 2003-09-14
University of Virginia Art Museum
Since the mid-1980s Emilie Brzezinski has carved sculptural forms from felled trees, which she brings to her studio in McLean, Va. Using a variety of tools - chainsaws, chisels, chains and ropes - she sculpts enormous pieces of wood, uncovering their essential forms. Often retaining the vertical structure of the original, she shows her own marks on the wood, emphasizing the importance of the process as much as the product. Brzezinski usually works in series, creating environments with her art that simulate gigantic forests. She also has created chairs and bowls, many enormous in scale, as well as hanging bark forms that evoke the human body.
Brzezinski's art takes on both metaphoric (the tree as life experience) and anthropomorphic (the tree as human) meanings. The emergence of a form within the wood is a natural, and at times arduous, process for her. "Emilie Brzezinski: New Directions" will feature a selection of the artist's chairs, bowls and hanging forms, as well as new pieces.
The physicality, scale and beauty of Brzezinski's work, as well as its multiple meanings, invite collaborations with other art forms. As part of the exhibition the museum has invited Brzezinski to work with Judith Shatin, an internationally known composer and member of the University music faculty, to create a related musical piece. This effort received partial support from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.
An illustrated catalog, with an essay by the art historian Aneta Shine, accompanies the exhibit.