Form and story – two aspects close to Petr Kavan’s (born 1949) heart. The artist’s wood, black granite and copper statues transform exhibition spaces into places where worldly stories and the sacred aura of temples converge. Kavan’s art was initially oriented towards carving, having acquired considerable skills from fellow Czech sculptor Pavel Kostrhun. These resulting wooden statues and puppets represent the first chapter of Kavan’s life as a professional artist, filled with stories and humorous anecdotes. In 1996, Kavan departed for India, discovering the magic of black granite in the town of Mamallapuram. This material would completely transform the Czech artist’s approach to his work. And in a wider sense, Kavan’s material – as well as his symbolic and artistic lexicon – was considerably broadened as a result of his stay in India. His works offer a space for a clash between Western thought and Eastern mysticism, primarily that associated with Buddhist and Hindu traditions. Kavan is thus both a storyteller and a philosopher, reflecting on life’s multitude of stories.
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