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Monday, August 8, 2011

Memorials, Benches, & Urns: Artistic Visions of the Hereafter at Kaviar Forge & Gallery through 9/17/11


A Review by Keith Waits

The sculptor works in three full dimensions, conceiving objects that the viewer can approach from virtually any angle, save that of the base, the point of contact with the physical world that, in most instances, renders immoveable.  This fundamental description easily applies to the myriad bronze, iron and marble sculptures that are featured in this new exhibit at Kaviar Gorge and Gallery yet perhaps the single most compelling piece in a roomful of memorable work was one that exists in a state that compromises this definition. The gallery, located at 1718 Frankfort Ave, 40206 is open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday noon to 4 p.m. or by appointment. 
Matt Weir, "Eagle" at Kaviar Gallery

Matt Weir’s “Eagle” is a fragment of a larger sculpture that, as we see in an adjacent photograph, is a full-scale representation of an American Bald Eagle that registers all the splendor and majesty we might expect from the iconic bird. But the piece we see is of the head shoulders and one wing, mounted on a wall. There is a frightful tension that results from what is at this point a relief sculpture, as the bird seems to struggle to extricate itself from the wall, a creature caught between dimensions. The realistic sculpture suddenly becomes almost surrealistic in its impact.

None of the other work carries such an unexpected aspect, but the quality is not in question. “Urn of the Unknown”, a bronze by Ray Graf that most perfectly illustrates the concept of oversize sculptures rendered in a more modest scale, stands about 20 inches or so, but has an architectural quality in its design that suggests a grander scale. A human bust, avian wings, and tiny classical columns as feet, are the disparate elements gathered onto a central core of the urn itself. That it is so small lends it a whimsical personality, perhaps evocative of the individual intended to reside within.

Craig Kaviar's "Cross" 
Meg White’s two pieces are large enough to embody the monumental in some measure simply by their presence, yet ” Bird Feeding Angel” positions the titular figure in an exceedingly accessible pose, hand outstretched with an offering of actual seed spilling onto the surface of the base; the monumental given human scale by tender action.

The remaining pieces are of a range and contrast to further illustrate how the exhibit presents both the traditional and the unconventional in ways that explode as well as reaffirm the idea of funereal monuments, from Guy Tedesco’s beautifully rendered bust,”Saint Francis” that is exacting in its detail, to David Kocka’s series of small figures, such as “Virgin with Arms Outstretched”, that are gestural, three dimensional sketches of human form and movement.
"Together" by Don Lawler

For more information call Kaviar Forge and Gallery at 502.561.0377 or go to CraigKaviar.com.

Featured artists: Ray Graf, Craig Kaviar, David Kocka, Don Lawler, David Lind, Guy Tedesco, Matt Weir, Meg White.

You will find an interview with Craig Kaviar and a video preview of the show at www.Arts-Louisville.com.

Entire contents are copyright © 2011 Keith Waits. All rights reserved.

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