Jill Levine | NOW
November 14 - December 29, 2019
High Noon is pleased to present a new body of sculptures and tablets by native New York artist Jill Levine in her second exhibition with the gallery, entitled NOW. Levine’s current work carries with it the immediacy of bringing various art historical influences to a present context, with various subtle political undertones. While in the past borrowing directly from sources such as Indian iconography, Pre-Columbian codexes, or Mexican cylinder seals that often contrasted the sculptural contours, Levine has in recent years allowed her rolodex of influences to organically develop it’s own vocabulary of mark-making--- in both the context of the artist’s hand as well as the shapes and lines that now envelop the animal-like forms, serving to energize rather than obscure the shapes.
Black bands of generally consistent width create a skeletal-like warpaint highlighting existing nuances within the structure and creating new ones. The negative spaces are punctuated by a carefully chosen color palette that seem to imbue the work with a biological narrative, placing each work within hypothetical environments ranging from icy wonderlands to radioactive deserts. Created of styrofoam, plaster-dipped gauze, and modeling compound, Levine’s recent sculptures have taken on distinctive personalities as totemic figures. The sculptural work is accompanied by tablets created of the same material--- slab-like objects of organic, hand-worked surfaces that bear diagrams and icons referencing the figure in various postures, perhaps a ceremonial arrangement or Paleolithic restroom sign.
Formally, the curves and crannies of the sculpture, which reveal their complexity as one moves around them, starkly contrasts the instantaneous graphic nature of the tablets. Taken together, they seem to imply a prehistoric narrative, as if the tablets stand as records of the sculpture’s existence, the patterns captured and flayed across a flat, stone-like surface. NOW’s curious fiction is a playful non-linear account of cultural intersections and histories both real and invented, brought into focus through Levine’s wildly inventive application of influences and masterful rendering of her craft.
Jill Levine received her BA from Queens college and her MFA from Yale, including a semester at the Royal College of Art in London. She is the recipient of both a Guggenheim and NYFA Fellowship, and her work is included in prominent collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Dorothy and Herbert Voel collection at the National Gallery of Art in D.C., and Art in Embassies collection in Mumbai.
Two Coats of Paint | Studio visit with Jill Levine by Susan Wanklyn
I Art New York | Episode 12: Interview with Jared Linge and Jill Levine produced by Izabela Gola and Rebecca Major