Destination Curitiba, capital of the state of Paraná.
Born in Poland, Brazilian artist Frans Krajcberg has his own permanent exhibition in the Botanical Garden in Curitiba.
Frans Kracjberg was born in Kozienice (Poland) in 1921. He studied engineering and art in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), and continued his art studies in Stuttgart. The Second World War changed his life dramatically. During the war Frans lost his family, and in 1948 he decided to leave for Brazil. In 1951, Frans took part in the first Biennale in São Paulo, a biennial art event. His works were mostly abstract in those years. A few years later, Frans shuttled between Ibiza, Paris, and Rio de Janeiro. In that time he made his first work, inspired upon his contact with nature. He deepened his relationship with nature by living in a cavern in Itabirito (about 50 km away from Belo Horizonte) for some years. He lived here under very primitive conditions, including taking his bath in the nearby river, for example.
Since 1964, Frans created his famous works from charred tree trunks. To obtain these stumps, he regularly traveled to the Amazon forest and the immense marshes of Pantanal, where he documented deforestation, photographed it, and took out his material. Starting in the seventies, Frans has received international recognition for his works, which themes are nature, and Frans’ intense interest in the preservation of nature. Today, the artist focuses mainly on photography. He now lives in a sítio (‘Sítio Natura’), in the south of Bahia, on invitation of artist Zanin Caldas. In this area of more than one square kilometer, Frans has constructed some kind of an eco-museum. More than ten thousand different trees have been planted in that vast area. A documentary (Maurice Dubroca, 2004) and a movie (Walter Salles, 1987) have been released about the life and work of this remarkable artist. Since 2002, the Botanical Garden in Curitiba has a permanent exhibition space with sculptures and pictures of Frans; and since 2003, the Parisian Musée du Montparnasse hosts a permanent area with works of the Polish-Brazilian artist.
The permanent exhibition space with Frans’ works is in the shape of a semi-circle. The circular walls are of transparent material, allowing day light illuminate the space. The curves and bends of this ring construction provide an extra dimension to the sculptures. Most of the sculptures are a few meters high and show the color of charred wood, painted with bright orange hues, as if the colors of the flames that have choked and digested once living wood. The tree trunks, with extruding roots, have been modified by the artist, and painted in such a way, that it seems that the traumatic memories of the devastating fires are enlivened and immortalized. As if it appears that the trees again have become prey to the greedily consuming flames. This exhibition is really worth to get known with the work of Frans Krajcberg, and his close relationship with nature.
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom .
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