It is with a remarkable sense of imagination that Olaf Brzeski reinterprets the tradition and scope of sculpture. He is interested in both its physical dimension – weight, mass, texture – and its sheer potential; the possibility and impossibility of inscribing certain phenomena or narratives into a material form. Many of the artist’s works refer directly to the human form, enacting not so much the physical as the emotional depths of the subject. Brzeski’s sculptural bodies are replete with the unexpected, the uncanny, the unnatural and the oversized. The source of these fantastic, astonishing forms is always the idea, then the sketch – as the simplest metaphor for the act of creation.
Brzeski’s first solo exhibition at Raster is entitled ‘At Heart’ and presents a single piece of sculpture created especially for the event. As the artist says himself, ‘It’s only the one piece because if you factor in the heart – nothing else matters. I hope that you can perceive this banality with an appropriate dose of sensitivity’.
The sculpture is essentially the product of an intensive process, the artist grappling with the material over the course of several weeks – the material being a several-hundred-kilo steel rod 26 cm thick and 187 cm long. During the process Brzeski made use of all the tools available to him: drills, files, mills and grinders.
‘At Heart’ is an extreme test of the sculptural genre, as well as a characteristic figure of the impossible, both lyrical and oppressive at once. Open-heart surgery that ventures into a dangerous obsession.