Virginia S. Brun retrospective at Maine Art Gallery
A retrospective of the work of Virginia S. Brun, known by all her friends as Sally, will open at Maine Art Gallery in Wiscasset on Friday, June 23 with a reception from 5- 8 p.m. The show will run weekends from noon to 4 p.m. through Sunday, July 16.
Brun died April 3 at the age of 100 in her Wiscasset home. Until a few months before her death, she was found daily in her studio sculpting intricately wrought figures in motion made of wire and plaster and then cast in bronze. Some of her figures were fashioned into larger versions for outdoor display by her friend and neighbor Bryan Buck, a local welder. Their close collaboration over the years resulted in wonderful life-size sculptures of whimsical birds, angels and frogs, and even trellises, some of which can be seen in mid-coast gardens.
Brun’s work evolved from large cubist-influenced oil paintings of Maine rocks and sea to bas-relief work depicting the suffering of political refugees during the 1990's Balkan wars, to angels made from papier-mâché, to the haunting and gestural plaster-and-wire sculptures she worked on most recently. Brun experimented with many mediums over the course of her career. In the mid twentieth century she employed a variety of materials in abstract paintings.
In the early 2000s she developed her own style of relief sculpture, using layers of cardboard and other materials as a base over which she layered heavy aluminum foil. She ran the constructions through the printing presses at Round Top Center for the Arts in Damariscotta. Often, printing ink from the presses bled onto the compressed reliefs, but she liked the result. Several of those textured reliefs can be seen in the exhibition.
The Maine Art Gallery is located at 15 Warren Street, Wiscasset. More information can be found at www.maineartgallerywiscasset.org.