The piece is made from bronze and has been described as “a unique work of art.” It was created by Philip Laverne and his son, Kelvin Laverne. The two artists were inspired by the shape of a cube when creating the sculpture. They used a 3D printer to make the sculpture.
Philip and Kelvin LaVerne sculptures are highly unique pieces, not only compared to others, but within themselves. The pair worked together to create artistic furniture, such as coffee tables, cocktail tables, chairs, and more. Philip was born in 1907 and Kelvin in 1937. The father-and-son duo worked together for many years. Each and every one of their pieces combines functionality with beautiful décor. These pieces have lasted years, and some of the best sculptures by Philip and Kelvin LaVerne can cost a prospective consumer tens of thousands of dollars.
The Family Artists Were Revolutionary
Artworks by Philip and Kelvin LaVerne changed the way people saw furniture. What was simply a tool before suddenly became an opportunity. However, they did not do so easily. The pair were far ahead of their time. Many of their works reflect contemporary designers far more than works created during the same time period those men were working. Philip and Kelvin LaVerne said art was not as highly appreciated at the time of construction as it is today. The goals that they strived for (and ultimately achieved) and their means of production were far different than those that others used at that time. This made them revolutionary, but also made them different. That was frequently frowned upon.
How Did They Create Their Masterpieces?
The basis of most of Philip and Kelvin LaVerne’s art was bronze casting. Though that practice itself was hundreds of years old, it was not as commonly used in furniture as it was in sculpture and statues. In furniture, though, it was tweaked just a tad. This gave the artists the ability to give each piece a distinct and different patina. They also utilized direct carving techniques. Taking a slab of bronze, the men would then slowly work with it over the course of six or more weeks. Using a special soil, they were able to control the oxidation process and get the exact color shades they sought. The process was truly remarkable and new. It also led to new ideas, such as a simple bronze cube. Their designs were generally conservative. This meant that each piece could be used in nearly any setting, no matter how traditional or modern. Each piece had the engraved signature of both men and was truly an investment that would last for years to come.
The Sculptural Bronze Cube
At the Tennessee Museum of Art, as a permanent collection item, there is a signed cube of bronze. This piece maintains the general integrity of the original slab of bronze, but carries some changes as well. Philip and Kelvin LaVerne used a torch to create various small cutouts across the surface of the piece. There are variations in color, texture, and edging. It has a very natural look, almost untouched by man, but not quite. The edges are not sharp and defined, but flow naturally as the slab may have come. This is a rare piece, as it is the only piece like it in their collection. Because it is a permanent item in Tennessee, it is not as well-known as some of the pair’s other works.
Regardless of whether it is a slab of bronze or an intricate cabinet that took many weeks or months to create, Philip and Kelvin LaVerne’s work is immortalized and lives in the hearts of those who appreciate it for many more years to come.
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