Stones from the River, vessel 2/22Artist(s)Dan KvitkaObject Creation Date2000Medium & SupportBurmese Afzelia burlDimensions
5 in. x 16 in. ( 12.7 cm x 40.64 cm )Credit LineGift of Robert M. and Lillian Montalto BohlenLabel copy
Dan Kvitka received a degree in industrial design from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He sees himself as part of a continuum of artists who have worked in wood: "The significance of the vessel, both functional and decorative, had for millennia attached us to who we are and where we have come from. Working in wood creating vessels gives me a sense of place within this history."
Themes of connection to past and ongoing traditions clearly appear in Stones from the River. The piece alludes to the Judaic tradition of Tashlich, during which sins are metaphorically tossed into a river. Kvitka and his wife participate in this tradition by tossing stones symbolizing their sins into a neighborhood stream, and have added to it by naming their dreams for the new year as well. According to Kvitka, “the orange ‘afzelia burl’ are the stones in the river; the pattern and movement of the grain mimics the whole piece… The ‘black ebony’ stones are the Tashlich stones, the stones containing both dark and light; they are us.”
from the exhibition Nature Transformed: Wood Art from the Bohlen Collection, June 12 – October 3, 2004Subject matter
Wood vessels lie on a sinuous plaform evoking the image of scattered stones in a riverbed and (according to the artist) alluding to the Judaic tradition of Tashlich, during which sins are metaphorically tossed as stones into a river. According to Kvitka, “the orange ‘afzelia burl’ are the stones in the river; the pattern and movement of the grain mimics the whole piece… The ‘black ebony’ stones are the Tashlich stones, the stones containing both dark and light; they are us.”Physical Description
On a large, sinuous platform, twenty-two finished wood pieces are nestled within their respective positions; the pieces are comprised of large and small flat cylindrical shapes in shades of red and black. .Primary Object Classification Sculpture Primary Object Typeabstract sculptureAdditional Object Classification(s)Collection AreaModern and ContemporaryRights
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Abstract (fine arts style)
wood (plant material)