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Installation view of ARIK LEVY’s “Manmade (Human) Nature” at Pékin Fine Arts, Hong Kong, 2015, with CraterAir C80 (2013) in the foreground. Courtesy Pékin Fine Art.


Manmade (Human) Nature

Arik Levy

P├ękin Fine Arts, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Israel

Israeli-born, Paris-based artist and designer Arik Levy is showcasing his work for the first time at Pékin Fine Arts’s outpost in Hong Kong. “Manmade (Human) Nature” features a selection of Levy’s sculptures and paintings from his expansive oeuvre, which link his visual art practice with industrial design.

Visitors immediately encounter a negotiation taking place between the natural and artificial world, as they make their way through the exhibition. Three flowing forms, Solid Liquid – Gold, Solid Liquid – Pink and Solid Liquid – Smoky Grey (all 2012), catch the viewer’s attention as they reflect daylight off their highly polished, mirrored surfaces. Made from blown metalized glass, each sculpture takes on a unique shape during the fabrication process, whereby varied densities of the glass lead to the formation of individual indentations and curves. Perched on treated oakwood bases, the pieces embody Levy’s interest in replicating nature and its process of rendering organic, uncontrolled forms.

ARIK LEVY, (left) Solid Liquid – Gold and (right) Solid Liquid – Pink, both 2012, metalized glass and oakwood base, 45 × 67 cm each. Courtesy Pékin Fine Art, Hong Kong. 

Further explorations of fluidity are seen in a more recent work, entitled Mercury (2014). Like globules of glossy metallic color, three pieces of blown glass glisten on the wall. Their smooth, undulating surfaces refract light from their candy-colored exteriors.

Elsewhere in the show, CraterAir C80 (2013), part of the “Crater” sculpture series (2012–13), stood out from other objects in the exhibition, owing to its complex sinuous shape inspired by crater formations. Adopting an industrial process called FiDU (free inner pressure deformation), the sculpture is fabricated from two sheets of stainless steel that are subsequently deformed under internal pressure, which causes the piece to inflate. From a distance, CraterAir C80 resembles a helium balloon. As the stainless steel transforms from its two-dimensional state to a three-dimensional object, the metal stabilizes to become a lightweight object that is, nonetheless, more rigid and durable than its original form.

 

ARIK LEVY, Mercury (detail), 2014, mouth-blown sliver glass, 50 × 50 × 10 cm. Courtesy Pékin Fine Art, Hong Kong. 

ARIK LEVYRock Growth Painting (Pink), 2010, acrylic on wood board and Chinese ink, 90 x 139 cm. Courtesy Pékin Fine Art, Hong Kong. 

In contrast to the silver metal objects are the bursts of colors seen in Levy’s paintings. Two works from his “Rock Growth” (2010–14) series are presented in the exhibition, showcasing his deftness in translating ideas between the two- and three-dimensional forms. Painted in acrylic and ink on wooden board, Rock Growth Painting and Rock Growth Painting (Pink) (both 2010) depict sharp, geometric forms that are based on the “Rock Growth” sculptural series and also draw from natural, crystal formations.

Seamlessly weaving between painting and sculpture, as well as acrylic and industrial processes, “Manmade (Human) Nature” demonstrates Levy’s take on how the worlds of art and design could overlap. Levy considers “creation [as] an uncontrolled muscle,” an idea that is communicated in the diversity of his works and his wide-ranging choice of materials.

 

“Manmade (Human) Nature” is on view at Pékin Fine Arts, Hong Kong, until May 9, 2015.