2017-11-22 / Obituaries

Frans Krajcberg, sculptor and environmentalist

Frans Krajcberg, one of Brazil’s most acclaimed sculptors and environmentalists, has died. The Polishborn Jewish artist, whose entire family was killed in the Holocaust, died in a Rio hospital. He was 96.

An accomplished painter, engraver and photographer, he was most famous for his sculptures made from tree trunks and roots burned by destructive wildfires.

“There are evidently in my work cultural reminiscences, war reminiscences, which emerge from my subconscious,” he wrote in 1970 “Negro River Naturalist Manifesto,” which he co-authored. “With all the racism, the anti-Semitism, I experienced in Europe, I could not do any other kind of art.”

Krajcberg trained as an artist in Europe. He escaped the devastation of World War II and arrived in Sao Paulo in 1948. In 1951, he participated in the first edition of the International Biennial in the city with two paintings.

Tired of the human brutality, he sought refuge in nature, and in 1972, moved into a treehouse in the countryside of the Brazilian state Bahia. He worked in his studio in the nearby city Nova Viçosa and dedicated himself to protecting the surrounding Atlantic Forest from further destruction.

His body was cremated and his ashes were spread in the woods, according to his wishes. (JTA)

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