The case could be made that we are eternally drawing from history. And while we, as societies and cultures, produce and create, certain themes from the past often appear in various forms. Sometimes quite literal and then in the abstract sense. History carries our roots, our lineage, is a part of our identities and creates meaning in our lives, shapes how we view the world and how we act/and react in it. Innovation and inventiveness drive us as ever-evolving beings forward and keep us from stagnation and from replicating the glory of what once was. And, every so often, the amalgamation of the two can be harmonious, perfectly congruous and a thing of marvel.
Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, the father and son duo, fit this mold precisely. They were primarily active between the 1950s and the 1980s in New York City. They operated as artist-furniture makers creating one of a kind and limited edition pieces. Kelvin, the son, began working with his father after he had completed his extensive studies with art history, metal sculpturing and furniture design. Together, they opened a studio on Wooster Street where they began work on their masterpieces working with such materials as patinated bronze, pewter and silver. Their process for creating the patinated bronze series took six years to perfect and refine. What was created was functional art articulated with classically-inspired images. Later pieces in the ’70s and ’80s, were more sculptural and three-dimensional. Greek, Etruscan, Chinese and Egyptian motifs were drawn from history. Most came in very limited editions and are therefore highly collectible and highly covetable.
“How is it they live in such harmony the billions of stars – when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their minds about someone they know.”
Attribution to Artsy, Tishu Hudson/Miami, Todd Merrill Studio, 1st Dibs