A Long, Narrow Mark brings together new examples of Levin’s mirrored panels and convex paintings, two series that form the foundation of the artist’s practice. For this exhibition, the artist has modified the methodologies and parameters that guide these works’ creation, exaggerating their core characteristics of serial repetition and inherent human imperfection, and providing evidence of the conceptual and formal development of these separate but related projects. With this gesture, Levin ties the works specifically to the space itself while also highlighting the particular preoccupation with perception and spatial modification that runs throughout his practice.
Originally created in proportion to the size of the artist’s own body, the mirrored panels here are enlarged to a standard size of mirrors used in commercial interior spaces, a scale which also engages with the dimensions of the gallery space they occupy. Importantly, the printed grid on their surfaces follows this physical modification, and the compelling imperfection of the artist’s hand, translated via computer imaging from a small piece of paper to these minimalist supports, is writ large. Similarly, the convex paintings are presented here en masse for the first time in a longer multipart sequence; the particular effect of gravity on each form’s creation and their subtle tonal differences are thus amplified from a whisper to a confident visual articulation. Reflective pools installed below this group will reaffirm those sensory engagements, the dyed mineral oil contained therein offering an additional perceptual dimension. Acting as a hybrid of the panels and convex paintings, they both mirror space and project into it.
To complement these works, the exhibition includes examples of a new series of paintings. For these, the artist created computer-modeled renderings of the gallery space as he envisioned it for this show, transferred those architectural schemas onto linen via a singeing process, and lightly painted over them, shrouding the compositions in a flattening veil. The self-referential Droste effect at play here serves as a new road in Levin’s exploration of the relationship between digital mediation and the artist’s human presence.
A Long, Narrow Mark is the first time that works from these series are comprehensively exhibited together, offering the opportunity to consider Levin’s output as a whole and the various related processes and concepts within it. In this way, the environment created by this group of works signifies the culmination of Levin’s projects to date, and provides a prologue for his new projects in the future.
Dean Levin was born in Johannesburg, SA in 1988. He studied Architecture at the Pratt Institute, New York, receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in 2012. Levin has exhibited throughout the US and abroad since 2012, with solo shows at Retrospective Gallery, Hudson, NY (2014) and Bill Brady Gallery, Kansas City, MO (2015). The artist lives and works in New York.
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