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Chad Awalt was inspired by his grandfather to pursue woodcarving from an early age. Awalt studied anatomy at the University of Colorado and has spent the past twenty years expanding his knowledge of classical art and design. For over fifteen years, he has been creating works of art that are sought after by clients and galleries all over the country. His work can also be found in many corporate and private collections.

Since the Renaissance, sculptors have traced the fine line between tradition and innovation. This line is not a straight path from the classical period to, let’s say, Donatello’s delicate sculpture of David. During the Renaissance, and even more so in our days–when artists are obsessed with originality–it was important to carry on a respected tradition only if done in an innovative way that filled the needs of one’s patrons, public and culture. Perpetuating any kind of tradition—be it religious or artistic—is the art of making something old be new and relevant again; of preserving tradition within the space of historical gaps and transformations. The problem of cultural continuity, in other words, is inseparable from the one of discontinuity.

Chad Awalt’s sculpture gives material form to this link between artistic continuity and rupture. His sculptures clearly evoke the classical style and ideal body types of ancient Greek sculptors such as Praxiteles and Lysippos. They also allude to the cultural mixture and discontinuities that are part and parcel of respecting the classical heritage. Awalt sculpts the ancient goddesses—such as Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt; Clio, one of the muses who presided over the arts and sciences and Isis, the Egyptian goddess of fertility and motherhood–in an unmistakably classical style. Yet, much as these statues are often destroyed, amputated and transformed by time in a way that reflects the fragility of their beauty, so all of Awalt’s sculptures are marked by bodily discontinuities that call to mind the topological experiments of modern sculpture. Supple, hollowed, balanced, fluid and harmonious yet also floating and amorphous, Awalt’s sculptures are fragmentary, haunting visions of long-gone epochs that can be admired and emulated, but not preserved intact, by contemporary art. 

Claudia Moscovici, postromanticism.com

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