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Pavel Kraus
Installation view

© ArtNet Worldwide 1997

david ebony's
new york top ten

Pavel Kraus
at Joyce Goldstein

Jan. 16-Feb. 22, 1997

The Czech-born artist Pavel Kraus has made quite a splash lately, with two New York shows--this engaging sculpture exhibition in SoHo, titled "Remains of the Present," and a similarly effective exhibition uptown at the Czech Center-- plus current exhibitions in Prague. In his work, Kraus combines extremely diverse materials: lead and wax, bronze and straw, etc. Often, his sculptures look like ancient artifacts dug up and reassembled incorrectly by erring archaeologists.

Filling one corner of the gallery, a wall of rectangular slabs of colored beeswax is perpendicular to a wall of rectangular lead panels. Approaching the corner space, one is enveloped by both the diffused light and the slightly acrid but intriguing scents given off by both materials. In another work, called Liquid Sky, a ton of lead bricks supporting a yellow slab of wax seems disconcertingly portable as it rests in a four-wheeled cart. In his work, Kraus transforms the properties of his chosen materials. As Charlotta Kotik says in her catalog essay for his Czech shows, the artist "points up the fragility of seemingly stable elements."