Sunday, May 3, 2009

Avner Levinson

Avner Levinson's quest to explore the gap between every day, mundane life and the human aspirations, leads him to create abstract forms with faint (and some would say obvious) hints of figurative shapes. As many sculptors do, Levinson is shaping and reshaping the outcome of his ideas as he goes along.

As much as he is leading the sculpting process, so does the material he is working with; its responsiveness adding much to the outcome as if it has its own will. This has also prompted Levinson to shift from plaster and clay to paper mache mix. "This (material) allows me the freedom to cut, break and change the piece with ease while also working quickly. Paper mache has qualities that interest me; it's very light, fluid, flexible and frankly, more environmentally sound than many other materials". Another quality that attracts Levinson is the fact the only tools he is using with this material are his bare hands. One can't get more personal than that.

The works are laid out on steel armatures that Levinson welds himself, some at the beginning of the work, some during - as if an afterthought. As he works on a seemingly completed section of his sculpture, he may suddenly stop, break off a hardened piece of paper mache, then make a change to the underlying armature, and rebuild new layers of paper mache on it. Build, pat, sculpt, dry, break, rebuild and so on.

Levinson's Thesis exhibition opens this coming Wednesday, May 6th (6-9pm) at the New York Studio School gallery (8 W. 8th st, NY, NY) and will run through May 21st. You can see two additional works at the silent auction of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) on May 9th, and on his website at Avner Levinson lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

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