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Beaten To Submission; The Art of Repousse

December 5, 2012 @ 10:00 am - April 13, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

repro show 1

You can almost hear the tapping of the hammers when you visit the Kaviar Gallery to see the latest exhibit of Craig Kaviar’s copper and pewter repoussé. First heating large sheets of copper to anneal the metal, than delicately shaping the metal into its final design, Kaviar creates intricately detailed works of art. His techniques are as old as mankind itself. The Aztecs used this method to shape their gold jewelry, while medieval blacksmiths decorated knight’s armor using repoussé. The Statue of Liberty di

splays this technique on a grand scale. All metals have the unique quality of softening when heated to their critical temperature. At that point, the molecules realign themselves, allowing the artist to work the metal along as the design requires. Repoussé is a French word meaning ‘hammering from front and back.’ That definition describes exactly how Kaviar creates his relief sculptures. Hammering the metal into sandbags to get the general shape and finally into pitch molds to create the details.Craig Kaviar makes his repoussé in his forge on Stevenson Avenue in Louisville, but it has garnered international interest. Specifically his Origin of Man; In the Eye of the Beholder is a copper repoussé that traveled to Japan for the World Fair in 2005. This impressive 34 ¾” x 21”x8” copper relief depicts an enormous eye, staring from deep folded lids. The pupil of the eye is faintly impressed with the shapes of the continents, as if this eye beholds the entire world in its glance.

Featured in the exhibit are Kaviar’s reinterpretations of classical artwork. Nicolas Poussin’s Midas and Bacchus as well as Caesar van Everdingen’s Bacchus with Nymphs and Cupid are both on display in copper repoussage that illuminate the revelry and joy of the drunken Greek gods. Kaviar also created a number of address books and journals with pewter repoussé covers depicting fleur-de-lis and various animals from roosters to catfish!  Also currently on display are examples of Kaviar’s hand-forged stair rails, gates and decorative wall hangings.


December 5, 2012 @ 10:00 am
April 13, 2013 @ 4:00 pm
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Kaviar Forge & Gallery
1718 Frankfort Avenue (rear)
Louisville, KY 40206 United States
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