Born in 1932, Emilie Brzezinski started a serious art career in the 1970s with a series of solo shows in Washington, DC and in New York. Working in a variety of media, including resin, latex, wood fiber, and wood, her expressive themes always relate to nature.
Eventually she focused entirely on monumental wood sculpture, using chain saw and axe to carve forms that took inspiration from the wood she found at mills, gardens, and development sites. Very important to her formation as a sculptor was her involvement in site specific installations, and alternative spaces, and her participation in residencies and symposia in the United States and abroad. In these broadening experiences she was freed from the constraints of gallery, museum, and marketplace and was able to find her personal statement.
In the 90s she found her voice in the dialogue between the wood medium and her tools. During the last decade she has had museum installations in the United States and she just completed a tour of her installations "Forest," through the capitals of Eastern Europe from where her family originates.
"Family Trees" is a metaphorical portrait of the artist's family, and a personal statement of identity. The installation, in which the artist explores the possibilities of combining hollowed wood trunks with photographic images, is not only an affirmation of the artist's cultural identity, it speaks also to the crucial element of self-definition within one's family. It is also an artistic testimonial to the fact that her roots are now deeply planted in America.
In its entirety, "Family Trees" contains subtle juxtapositions of spaces that do not play against each other, rather, create an interplay of different spaces.