(american, BORN 1954)

Twins, 2007
bronze with patina
196 x 16 x 18 inches
Laumeier Sculpture Park Commission, with funds from the Mark Twain Laumeier Endowment Fund and an anonymous donor

Traditional domestic objects speak to Joseph Havel’s exploration of transformative states in which objects are interchanged with ideas. His sculptures are specific items that have been altered in some way, but that ultimately live as doppelgangers of real things. The origin for Havel’s sculpture Twins, 2007, is two bed sheets, stiffened and modeled using wax, then cast in bronze. Bonded in the center with a knot, they defy gravity and logic as they stand freely and are pulled between earth and sky. The sculpture is intentionally ambiguous, able to be viewed abstractly, literally or as a metaphor for human relations.

Sculpture Interaction Guideline: Look, But Do Not Touch


Joseph Havel was born in Minneapolis in 1954. He earned his B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota and his M.F.A. from Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Havel is currently the director of the Glassell School in Houston. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1987 and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation in 1994. His work has been shown nationally and internationally at institutions including the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; The Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth; the Stedlijk Museum, Amsertdam; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Soros Center for Contemporary Art, Kiev. His works are in collections at the Portland Art Museum; the Musée Arte, Roubaix, France; the Contemporary Art Museum, Honolulu; the Dallas Museum of Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Havel had a solo exhibition at Laumeier in 2006 entitled Drinks are boiling. Iced drinks are boiling.