Ewa Monika Zebrowski ~ Montreal, Canada                               Share this page:


Sam Abell, photographer: "Ewa Monika Zebrowski's thoughtful photographs are like her elegant books — each one is a refined world within itself. Her work imparts in us a quiet and ineffable desire. We wish to be within the world she photographs."

Anne Michaels, author: "Beauty - not aesthetic pleasure, not the exquisite nor the perfect — is saturated with feeling. Ewa Monika Zebrowski's photographs resemble moving images, for they are less concerned with an arrested moment than with the mystery of time steeping towards a moment. One feels the light changing even as one looks; intensifying, reaching greatest potency, whether toward darkness or radiance. This imbues each image with a profound poignancy, for each photograph is a small story of desire, of a life beyond grasp, lost to us or never found, or at the aching brim of becoming. Desire is a kind of grief, and Ewa Monika Zebrowski's photographs are replete with this desire."

Lydia's Porcelain
By Ewa Monika Zebrowski
Montreal, Canada: Ewa Monika Zebrowski, 2013. Edition of 20.

5.25 x 4.5"; 14 pages. Accordion structure. Ten images. Concept, images, and words by Ewa Monika Zebrowski. Bound in chip boards with title stamped on boards. In paper band wrapper.

A muted and refined reflection on time passing and life lived.

Ewa Monika Zebrowski "Last October [2012], my dear friend, Lydia invited me to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family in rural Pennsylvania. ... It was an honour for me to be part of this annual gathering. A time to give thanks. We were going to be twelve for dinner .Lydia mentioned that she wanted to use paper plates rather than her limoges china. A practical decision.

"On Thanksgiving morning I awoke early. The house was silent. I walked through the empty rooms thinking about friendship, about family, about children on the brink of adulthood, her aging mother.

"I discovered the porcelain in the dining room cabinet, an exquisite wedding gift, glistening in its mysterious beauty. I began to consider how we spend the first half of our lives raising our children, working, creating a life, accumulating possessions – and the second half of our lives watching our children define their lives, while we try to simplify ours, and part with many of our precious, possessions."


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twombly, italia
By Ewa Monika Zebrowski
Montreal, Canada: Ewa Monika Zebrowski, 2013. Edition of 70 + 10 AP.

8 x 6"; 92 pages. Extends to 12.5" opening to two books: on the right a pamphlet sewn in, on the left an accordion extending from the spine. 21 images printed on Munken Print Cream 90g. 10 poems printed on Numken Print Cream 70g. Archival digital inkjet photographs. In paper sleeve. Numbered and initialed by the artist.

Ewa Zebrowski: "This has been an incredible journey for me. Although I began with the intention of taking photographs, I started to write poetry. I was so moved by Cy Twombly's work that I wanted to have a conversation with him. He became my muse. Layer, upon layer, I began to discover his universe.

"twombly , italia is an artist's book that includes a sequence of 10 poems and 21 photographs, an invocation of the artist, Cy Twombly.

"The all white book unfolds to reveal two books, an accordion book of images, and a separate hand stitched pamphlet, a book of poems. The two work in harmony as a narrative. They can be considered separately or together. The images do not illustrate the poems, but the writing informs the images and vice versa. twombly, italia is a non-linear presentation about the ephemeral nature of being, and the desire and longing which inhabits us all, albeit unresolved.

"The poems address questions of time and absence, memory and remembrance, fleeting moments of recognition and passage.

"The photographs, inspired by Cy Twombly's polaroids, are visual fragments. They echo his experience of Italy and mine. Images recall the landscape that fueled his life and his artistic production, and that inspired me.

"Twombly lived in Italy for 50 years. Italy fueled his soul. Cy Twombly died in Rome in 2011. He left behind an epic legacy, an enormous body of work: paintings, sculptures, and lesser known polaroid photographs. A few years ago I came upon a book of his photographs. His photographs inspired this work."


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Finding Wyeth
By Ewa Monika Zebrowski
Montreal, Canada: Ewa Monika Zebrowski, 2012. Edition of 20.

6 x 6.5"; 56 pages. Images printed on Asuka 48g Natural paper. Text printed on Neenah UV Ultra II 17 lbs. Digital inkjet. Perfect binding with Japanese fold. Laid in Stonehenge paper cover with decal edge and blind embossed title. Design: Francine Savard, Ewa Monika Zebrowski. Printing: PhotoSynthese. Binding: Jacques Fournier.

Spare and powerful. Ewa Monika Zebrowski's 22 images on delicate paper provide a gathering web of insinuation about the place of inspiration in artistic creation.

Ewa Monika Zebrowski: "This has been a very important project for me. I have struggled to find the right edit, the right format, the right medium.

"I wanted to take the time needed to reflect and to create a work that would convey the history, beauty and fragility of the Olson House, the place where iconic American painter, Andrew Wyeth, spent so many years sketching, drawing, painting (30 years and 300 paintings), including Christina's World now part of the MOMA Collection.

"I wanted, through my work, to convey something about the nature of the creative process and the traces we leave behind. I hope Finding Wyeth will inspire reflection about the creative process: what influences an artist, what inspires an artist, the significance of the people he/she comes into contact with, the importance of the place where an artist chooses to work.

"On my last visit to the Olson House I discovered that Wyeth is buried only a few steps away, from the place that brought him years of inspiration. Andrew Wyeth found his world in that house. One feels the resonance of those years when one enters the Olson House today."
(Last two copies)

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Sea of Lanterns
Images by Ewa Monika Zebrowski
Words by Anne Michaels
Montreal, Canada: Ewa Monika Zebrowski, 2011. Edition of 20.

5.9 x 5.9"; 27 portfolios (6 of three pages, 21 of two pages). 29 colored inkjet images. Printed on Moab Entrada 190 gms paper. In 6 x 6 x 2" white board slipcase.

Ewa Monika Zebrowski: "This book is an exploration of the relationship between word and image, a duet (of sorts), where the images complement the words and vice versa. It consists of 27 small books: books with text only, books with image only, books with text and image, sometimes, three pages, sometimes two. Although there is an order, the books can also be looked at randomly, the reader deciding the order. Each book is a little book in and of itself, a secret to be savored. Sea of Lanterns is an intimate experience of discovery, an experience of reading images and words. Memory fragments."

Anne Michaels: "For me this project is a conversation between image and language, and is about what emerges in a conversation; the meaning is held in each component and in what lies unspoken. I absorbed your images and addressed myself to the images, and also to you, the maker of these images. Sometimes in a conversation one falls silent, sometimes our thoughts are led thorough association beyond what is said, sometimes we want to show something to the other."

Book Arts Newsletter No. 67, Reports & Reviews: "The artist’s book, Sea of Lanterns, embodies the considered and complex poetry of its two authors: author and Orange Prize winner, Anne Michaels, and photographer and book artist, Ewa Monika Zebrowski. The collection of twenty-seven numbered folios open up to reveal text, image or both – it is a deconstructed book in seventeen stanzas of poetry and twenty-nine digital inkjet images, ultimately revealing a dialogue between word and image. There is a fluid poetry between the two media, effortless and evocative. Zebrowski’s images of Venice seem to finish Michaels’s sentences. It is a journey that is difficult to describe beyond that of a poetic duet.

"Michaels has authored books of poetry and has also garnered critical acclaim for her richly composed novels Fugitive Pieces and The Winter Vault. Zebrowski’s artist’s books can be found in public and private collections across Canada and the United States, from The National Library of Canada to The Center for Book Arts in New York. This is the first collaboration for these two Canadian women.

"The book, if one can classify Sea of Lanterns as such (it spreads out more as a poetic meander), sets up careful pairings of poetry and imagery, of blank pages, and an overall consideration of sequence. There is a drama of unfolding, turning the page to the next stanza, the next image, unfolding the next folio. Of a smaller scale and contained in a box, the pristine and delicate series urges thoughtful attention. The project, produced in a limited edition of twenty on Moab Entrada 190gms and presented in a slipcase, is an experienced to be savored."


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Zebrowski Out of Print Titles:
remembering brodsky

Another Place
Poem by Mark Strand
Photography by Ewa Monika Zebrowski
Montreal, Canada: Ewa Monika Zebrowski, 2007. Edition of 20.

8.75 x 8.75"; 18 loose, unnumbered pages, laid in a paper-fold case, which is blind embossed with the title. Photography by Ewa Monika Zebrowski: 13 digital inkjet prints printed by an Epson Stylus 1270 printer on Epson Matte Heavyweight paper. Portfolio and Embossing on BFK Rives 250g paper. Housed in lightweight slipcase covered in silver paper.

A collaboration with Pulitzer Prize winning, Wallace Stevens Award winning, and former US Poet Laureate, Mark Strand. His poem, "Another Place" where light is "not enough for blindness / or clear sight / of what is to come" inspire and inform Zebrowski's delicate photographs.

Ewa Monika Zebrowski: "Mark Strand wrote text for my first artist's book inspired by poetry, remembering brodsky, in 2004. Brodsky had been his friend and colleague. A few years passed and I decided I wanted to make a book in his honour, a continuation of the poet's series. It was hard choosing a poem. I find all his poetry moving. For about a year I shot and then edited images which I then showed to Mark. He named his favourites. I listened. His input was valuable for me.

"I finally chose "Another Place" as the poem to include. Mark suggested that we use this as the title for the work itself. We chose the title together and the way the poem appeared at the end. Mark wanted it to be printed very pale as if disappearing."

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End of Beauty
By Ewa Monika Zebrowski
Montreal, Canada: Ewa Monika Zebrowski, 2010. Edition of 20.

5.25 x 4.5"; 14 pages. Accordion structure. Ten colored inkjet prints. Bound in chip board with title on front cover. In band slipcase. Text and images by the artist.

Ewa Monika Zebrowski: "The images were all shot in one location, in one room. A tile factory, now a bed and breakfast, in the hills high above the Côté d'Azur, near Cabris.

end of beauty [is] a meditative book about the cycle of life."

photo-eye blog, October 2011: "END OF BEAUTY is delicate artist book that awakens a sense of thoughtful contemplation. The photographs here — all taken in the same room — display a quiet ambiance with each individual image exhibiting a powerful presence. There is an illusive emptiness within the spaces of Zebrowski's photographs, creating a mysterious environment that forces the viewer to engage with the space carefully. Combining text within the accordion fold design and limited to an edition of 20 copies, END OF BEAUTY is a precious and subtle object."

For Jadwiga
By Ewa Monika Zebrowski
Montreal, Canada: Ewa Monika Zebrowski, 2012. Edition of 7.

8.5 x 6.5"; 3 leaves. Image printed on Hahnemühle German Etching, 358 gsm. Text is in Sabon and printed on Reich Chartam Clear. Text in English and French. Presented in a carrying case with a marker ribbon.

Ewa Monika Zebrowski: "An artist's book in remembrance of my grandmother's journey ... through internment and war, a legacy of loss and displacement.

"A dress hidden in a suitcase, the one think that is important enough to save."

For Jadwiga is an extension of a larger body of work prepared for her exhibition "UNRAVELING - the dress of Jadwiga."

James D. Campbell, "UNRAVELING - the dress of Jadwiga": "A tattered dress hanging freely in space seems less resilient than the flesh it was meant to clothe, but more enduring than human memory often is. Ewa Monika Zebrowski’s grandmother’s dress is, for her, a palpable enigma, a fragmented palimpsest of memories lost and rescued. She has said that she would have preferred that it were embroidered with a narrative braille that her fingers could read. But its enigmas have led her to create one of her finest bodies of photographic work. Literally unraveling it may well be, but the artist has transferred its enigmas over to her viewers, to unravel for ourselves, in time."

Stefan Zebrowski, theartblog 2011: "In my mother’s last project, Unraveling: The Dress of Jadwiga, she created a massive full length scan of her grandmother’s dress, transported from Poland to Vancouver and then (via my mother) to Montreal. She then had a dress-maker create a double, exploring the life of the garment and giving it a phantom twin. My mother’s art seems fed by a constant fixation on looking back, and considering the journey through the family lineage, across the globe. A certain nostalgia to recuperate the past remains. That space between the present and the past always expanding, rich with discovery and dimension."
$600 (SOLD)

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Poetry in the Landscape: The Robert Frost Trail
Poem by Robert Frost
Photography by Ewa Monika Zebrowski
Montreal, Canada: Ewa Monika Zebrowski, 2006. Edition of 20.

8.5 x 8.5”; 20 leaves. Fifteen numbered inkjet prints laid in letter fold wrapper. 35 mm black-and-white prints scanned and printed on the Epson Stylus 1270 printer onto Epson Matte Heavyweight Paper. Portfolio and embossing on BFK Rives 250g paper. 8.9 x 8.9" paper-covered slipcase. Binding by Jacques Fournier.

Photographs by Zebrowski accompany Frost's "The Road Not Taken."

Zebrowski: "Someone had the idea that his poetry should be placed in the natural habitat about which it was written, thus adding meaning both to the place and to the poetry.

"The walk leads us in a circle through woods, past marsh, stream and
meadows. We stop, pause to read, to reflect, to look at the landscape, to discover the poetry in the landscape."



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tenuta di ricordi
Text by Pascale Quiviger
images by Ewa Monika Zebrowski
Montreal, Canada: Ewa Monika Zebrowski, 2008. Edition of 20.

5 x 7"; 72 pages. 24 digit inkjet colour images. Printed on Moab Entrada 190 gms. Hand stitched binding. Divided into four sections: pays; objets; temps; English translation. Each section with wrap around Arches embossed cover. Housed in paper-covered slipcase.

Ewa Monika Zebrowski: "tenuta di recordi [estate of memories] is an exploration of the relationship that exists between words and images. It is an artist's book about the connections between geography, language, identity, and memory.

"Our home is not always our place of birth. Sometimes a new language touches our core, a truer expression of who we are. Sometimes geography claims our hearts.

"For me Spannochia, an organic farm near Siena, was full of secrets and history. I wandered the immense property, inside and out, spontaneously recording my impressions with my camera. I felt the presence of the past as I walked from room to room in the castello and visited the outlying buildings. One could sense the residue of the lives lived on that domain. I discovered a secret garden, family photographs, ancient stones.

"tenuta di ricordi is a collaboration between myself and Canadian writer, Pascale Quiviger. Pascale's words add another dimension to my sightings. Three parts in three languages: English, French, and Italian. Her text reflects her experience of this landscape suspended in time: its vistas, its odours, its sounds, its textures, its voices. In tenuta di ricordi the words inform the images and vice versa. The two form part of a single whole.

"During the summer of 2006 I visited Spannocchia. I was introduced to Pascale by Randall Stratton, the person who manages the property. Pascale had lived there for four years. For her Spannocchia was a place of constant discoveries, of nurturing explorations of nature and inspiring encounters with people....

"Spannocchia is an 11-acre organic agricultural estate in central Tuscany, a former tenuta, which has existed since the late Middle Ages. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was bought by an Italian family who is now promoting its unique character and working to create a self-sufficient domain that is accessible to the public. Their vision is 'to become an internationally recognized example for sustainable development in rural areas and an educational center for students, scholars, researchers, artists, and others committed to preserving cultural history and the environment for future generations.' Sustainability, sharing and preservation are the driving forces behind this unique domain, a place caught in memory and in history."

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vedute di venezia
Essay by Theodore K. Rabb
Photography by Ewa Monika Zebrowski
Montreal, Canada: Ewa Monika Zebrowski, 2006. Edition of 50.

4.5 x 7.5" in illustrated slipcase. Slipcover image from an engraving by Dionisio Moretti. 27 color images printed on Moab Entrada 190gms. Book and slipcover design by Zebrowski. Graphic design by Francine Savard. Bookbinding by Jacques Fournier.

Theodore K. Rabb’s essay, "The Fragile and the Serene," accompanies Zebrowski's photography.

The opening quotation, which Zebrowski says "reflects the mood of the work so strongly", is a fragment of a conversation between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan from "Invisible Cities" by Italo Calvino.

"Memory's images, once they are fixed in the words, are erased," Polo said. "Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it."


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Page last update: 10.05.15


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