Sculptures by Jill Levine. The nine sculptures exhibited here are constructed from darwi and then painted over with images of Hindu deities. Mounted to the wall, each piece juts out, articulating space in lavish knots of form and color. Brand creates images in oil and acrylic whose surfaces appear digitally rendered.
PÂ·PÂ·OÂ·W is pleased to announce its second show of sculptures by Jill Levine. The nine sculptures exhibited here are constructed from darwi and then painted over with images of Hindu deities. Mounted to the wall, each piece juts out, articulating space in lavish knots of form and color. Bulbs, cones, spheres, loops, folds, disks, cylinders, tumescent points and mobius strips all twist into each other. Their hard surfaces form impossible topologies sometimes resembling bows of ribbon, orchids, phalli, trumpets, antennae, clusters of molecules or abstracted genitals.
Over these complex geometries Levine paints an inexhaustible profusion of detail and color. She appropriates images from Hindu iconography using gouaches to represent Krishna, Ganesh, Kali, Vishnu and Shiva. The deities bear no relation to the forms that hold them. Instead, they appear to be stretched tight and molded to the shapes, manifesting as a kind of visual counterpoint.
"Double Jeopardy" gives us two Kalis woven together, her fierce tongue protruding and her many arms fanned out. In "Divine Intersection," a blue Krishna intersects the elephant headed Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. In "Back to Basics" Krishna returns against a textile pattern of moths, symbols of transformation. Levine uses these figures less for their religious significance or symbolism and more for their excess of color, detail, gesture, pattern and figure. As the art historian Johanna Drucker writes, Levine's work is a "highly transformed and synthetic production in which a visual vocabulary has been absorbed, digested and reused to a new conceptual and formal end."
Levine's is an original formalism that eschews the singular structures of Minimalism to embrace the extravagant visuals proliferating in popular culture. But Levine's sculptures are not pop art objects. While each piece flirts with the seductions of commodity culture, they are too self-referential to locate meaning there. Instead these sculptures celebrate their own exuberance with a refreshingly un-critical eye.
Jill Levine attended Yale University and the Royal College of Art in London. She has been exhibiting since 1977 and in 2000 she was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.
Image: Jill Levine, All Worked Up (detail) 2001, 15 x 19 x 14 inches
PÂ·PÂ·OÂ·W announces the U.S. premier of Dutch painter Eelco Brand, the "Image Engineer." Brand creates images in oil and acrylic whose surfaces appear digitally rendered. Painters working from photographs are prone to align their eye with the camera lens, but what would a painting look like in the post-photographic age where the digital image triumphs? These paintings present oil paint as data, where natural forms, like forests and ocean waves seduce the viewer with their smoothness and flatness. Additionally, two computer 3-D animations act to make the digital reference explicit.
Eelco Brand has been showing paintings and computer animations in Europe since 1993.
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