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Ellen K. Levy at TransHudson
In her work, Ellen K. Levy concentrates on the relationship between art and science. Her recent New York exhibition, titled "Shared Premises," includes nine recent paintings and a five-minute, computer-animated video titled On Display, which she produced at Skidmore College last year. The show's opening coincided with Levy's duties as theme chair for this year's College Art Association conference held in February in New York. The conference theme, "Modeling Nature: Artists Visualize the Impact of Science and its Attendant Technologies on Visions of Nature," involved over 100 speakers. In many ways the theme applies directly to the works in this show.
Most of the oil-on-wood panel paintings, and also the video images, were inspired by a museum display at the National Technical Museum in Prague, which she visited a year ago. In each work, Levy uses expressionist brushwork and vivid colors to show an imaginative collision of biological and technological forms and forces.
In works such as Damien's Gliders/Agassiz's Chart and Christo's Tusks/Loewy's Propellers, animals and machines seem to crash and fly in frantic motions and counter-motions. Elaborate architectural structures appear caught in a similar state of flux, either exploding, collapsing or disintegrating as a result of some unseen work of nature. The video also deals with the interaction of living beings and machines. In one scene, dueling combatants cavort among the fractured planes of an architectural space based on the design of the Prague museum.
Ellen K. Levy, "Shared Premises," Feb. 6-Apr. 8, 2000, at Trans Hudson Gallery, 416 West 13 Street, New York, N.Y. 10014.