Hannah Levy: Young Artists 2018

Art | Jan 2018 | BY Jessica Lynne

There is an alluring sensibility to Hannah Levy’s practice as it traverses the gap between sculpture and design. She approximates an ergonomic condition even as her forms also tease, rejecting a pure utilitarian outcome. “I think of my work as existing in a kind of design purgatory. The design strategies of impossibly sensual curved and leaning structures are pushed to a point of humor,” explains Levy. “Each sculpture references several different usable objects but doesn’t exactly match anything, rather they exist between many preexisting forms.”

Silicone and steel are materials that excite Levy. Her works engenders touch—the flesh tones of the sculptures remind you of skin, their hyperbolic curves and lines might just remind you of a body. And yet, they are still forms in flux. “A kind of ergonomic purpose is suggested, but the forms and materials indicate some anemic quality. They are medical, but they are also patients. They are exercise equipment, but they are weak.” The human body looms over Levy’s work in so much as it becomes a conduit for a reflection on the entanglement of installation, negative space, and materiality.

Hannah Levy’s untitled sculpture made of nickel plated steel, silicone, zipper, 2017 at MoMA PS1. Photo courtesy of artist and MoMA PS1.

And much to her credit, the art world is following along closely. Her work has been exhibited at Hannah Hoffman Gallery in Los Angeles, Marlborough Gallery in Chelsea, MoMA PS1 and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. Indeed, Levy, who earned a BFA from Cornell University and a graduate degree from Städelschule in Frankfurt, is only getting started. “I hope to continue to explore different aspects of the designed world and the way we relate to it by creating objects that are sleek, humorous and quietly kinky. We are surrounded by objects on a daily basis in our homes, offices, and public spaces. Sculpture is a way to give these familiar forms a new context.”

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