Statues from elsewhere

Petr Kavan started his artistic career chiseling linden wood in Český ráj. Later he traveled to India, where he learned of a new material – rare black granite.

SIX YEARS AGO, when Kavan embarked on a two-month-long voyage around India, he visited the little town of Mamallapuram, a former port on the southern shores of the country with a strong masonry tradition. Working with black granite, which can be found in only two areas of the world, filled him with such enthusiasm that he decided to establish his own workshop. “First, I had to learn the craft and to use the experience that has been passed down through generations. But now I teach my own apprentices according to my needs,” Kavan explains. “It is demanding, but enriching. Something entirely new – the material as well as the culture.” In order to survive in India, he had to adopt a rather strict ascetic lifestyle. “Working with stone is something like long-term meditation. You sit over the stone, cut pieces of granite, and you have to be composed,” he says. He lives and works with his four masons constantly. “I adapted to their lifestyle, which I respect, and they respect me. They also taught me not to take myself so seriously,” he says. “They’re able to do amazing things, yet they are humble, patient, and modest. I tutored boys who now know my style, so I can leave work for them when I return home.”
You can frequently find basic questions about the human condition in Kavan’s work. “I don’t have a goal in mind, just what a person can encounter along the way,” he explains. His motifs often show the human being alone in the middle of space, or a staircase that may or may not lead somewhere. He decorates the natural gray “grain” of black granite with polished contrasts on an asphalt black surface, often combining it with bronze or, more recently, with Czech crystal. Sometimes he leaves his creative work and fills customized orders – giant stone balls, or unique sinks made from a single block of stone.
Kavan’s sojourns to India mostly depend on the dates of exhibitions. An exhibition of stone statues representing his work for the past two years can be seen in the spiritually kindred Nostress Café Gallery until the end of September.


Sisyfos, 2000.

Serpent’s egg, 1999.
Black Sphere, 2001.


back to the grind

Before you get to a back-breaking tempo, remember to properly consider what you can rely on.

What “Speedy” snail sticks together, no one can pull apart, CZK 690. (Tape Dispenser)

Dangerously hungry frog stitcher “Gonzáles”, CZK 885.
                                                                                                                                                     Tough “Dimitri” lifts a load of music, CZK 236.
(CD holder).
“Archibald” reliably protects your notes, CZK 422.
(Memo Pad Holder)

A.I.T Interier – DESIGN DUROŇ, Ječná 36, Praha 2
Ranný Architects, Rytířská 6, Praha 1


shop of the month

Fraktály – after an excellent architectural exhibition in Frágner’s gallery, and a meal in the U architektů restaurant, you can purchase high-quality literature in the first book store to specialize in architecture and design. Choose from many magazines, representative publications and monographs, and discover pearls of Czech and foreign architecture and art.

Fraktály – In the J. Frágner gallery, Betlémské náměstí 5a, Praha 1






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *