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Carwan Gallery inaugurates new space in athens with omer arbel's copper sculptures

published on 17/09/2020

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After ten years in beirut, carwan gallery has relocated to athens, in a new industrial space in piraeus, the city’s historic port area. the gallery’s inaugural exhibition, which opened on september 4, 2020, presents the copper sculptures of multidisciplinary artist and designer, omer arbel. titled ‘113’, the exhibition brings together 70 unique pieces created by hand, as part of arbel’s ongoing research into the reciprocal relationship between glass and copper.

Under the direction of architects nicolas bellavance-lecompte and quentin moyse, carwan gallery has begun a new chapter in piraeus, athens. the leading international contemporary design gallery welcomes visitors to its space in the greek capital with a solo exhibition of omer arbel, who has created a series of new sculptural works that explore the relationship between glass and copper. the exhibition consists of 70 unique pieces created by hand in vancouver, canada, which are displayed as a fixed constellation positioned on a table along the central axis of the athenian venue.

‘for some years I have been interested in matching the coefficients of expansion of glass and copper, so that the two could be fused on a molecular level and manipulated,’ says omer arbel. ‘I’ve wanted to explore formal languages that might emerge when two materials, so different from each other, marry. over time, I’ve realized that a good idea eventually leads to its opposite.’

 

the exhibition presents new, unique pieces that demonstrate arbel’s decade-old signature process, which is to let the intrinsic properties of a given material suggest its form. in the creation of the pieces, a glass form is blown conventionally, then a liquid alloy made predominantly of copper is poured in. the chemical composition of both glass and alloy are calibrated to establish a deliberate discrepancy in the rate at which each material expands and contracts in response to temperature change.

‘when hot, the glass and copper interact to make a form that neither would be capable of on its own, in a kind of performance staged by the glass blowers, with great skill, in a short amount of time,’ notes the multidisciplinary artist and designer. ‘the object immediately begins to cool, and the two materials, because of their intrinsic nature, are completed to reject each other, break off and separate. I am interested in the form that remains, an artifact resulting from (or documenting) a performative act of unpredictable contingencies and circumstances.’

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