Joseph Havel is a modernist American sculptor who is a master of transforming the domestic and mundane into the poetic and timeless. His latest exhibition “451” at features new bronze sculptures and debuts a body of paintings, which began at his studio in Ménerbes, France, earlier this year. After witnessing enormous fires set by protestors in Paris this spring, Havel made fire the subject of his paintings and drawings. This subject took on a different significance a few months later when upon his return to Houston, lawmakers passed new standards on banning books in Texas schools. Havel’s title makes reference to Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel from 1953, “Fahrenheit 451”, which figures book burning as a central theme. Sharing the material qualities of burning paper, Havel’s method of direct casting for his bronze sculptures necessitates that the object being cast—in this instance, cardboard boxes—is burned away before filling the remaining cavity with molten bronze.