FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Conclusion to the Big Ideas
A solo exhibition of new works by Alon Levin
9.3.11 - 10.8.11
Opening Reception 9.3.11 (6-8 pm)
AMBACH & RICE is pleased to present Conclusion to the Big Ideas, Berlin and Den Hague based artist Alon Levin’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. The exhibition will coincide with the U.S. release of Levin’s second monograph, Modernity in Very General Terms, a compendium that spans ten years of projects and writings by the artist. The publication will serve as an informal guide to the exhibition while providing an overview of the first stage of the artist’s career.
Levin employs common hardware store materials in a muted palette (styrofoam, plaster, plywood and cardboard) to explore themes that span socialist architecture, mathematics, Russian Constructivism, and political, social and economic theories. Together the sculptures comprise a setting where the present is positioned parallel to the past, or as Levin further suggests, where “something has happened or will happen, like a stage.” Works defy both abstraction and representation, opting instead to usher in iconoclasm, a futile and sincere attempt to cleanse “Modernism” and its utopian aspirations, a deconstruction of previous venerations, both personal and universal.
Conclusion to the Big Ideas marks a shift in Levin’s conceptual practice and a re-imagining of his exhibition strategy. Previous exhibits generally consisted of installations that addressed and explored finite themes through the dismantling and reordering of established systems. Conclusion to the Big Ideas opts instead to address the yearning for broader justification and supremacy within social and political theories and the physical manifestations that aim to declare these validations. Levin destabilizes these philosophies while implementing predetermined parameters and processes that resolve the outcome of works; resulting in what he describes as “objects attempting to understand themselves.”
What further distinguishes Conclusion to the Big Ideas from past exhibits is the artist’s willingness to embrace a greater autonomy between individual works. Here the viewer encounters seemingly disparate concepts, activated through the guise of emancipation, achievement, failure and progress. Objects reminiscent of speech podiums, towers, coliseum seating and archives amass to form a lexicon of inert triumph. Through obsessive reordering and categorization Levin manifests a horizon of unfulfilled validation, failures that Levin perceives as windows of opportunity, platforms for new possibilities.
Through what could be defined as Socratic method or oppositional dialectics, Levin seeks to upend our notions of linear history and absolutism. He would likely embrace Plato’s assertion that “I know that I know nothing.” Relentless inquiries excavate previously held assumptions to impart new perspectives that are to be adopted as quickly as they are to be discarded. Through a hierarchy of objects, a virtual taxonomy of achievement, Levin evokes the absurdity and futility of achievement in material form.
Alon Levin was born in Israel in 1975. He attended the Gerrit Rietveld Acadamie, Amsterdam, NL and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, NL. Recent exhibitions include Material World (group), Groningen Museum, Groningen, NL, Remodeling Systems (group), CCS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson, US, End to the Grand Gesture (solo), KLEMM’S Berlin, DE, Utopian Structures – New Existentialism Part 3 (group), KURATOR*, Rapperswil, CH, and History of Art the (group), David Roberts Foundation, London, UK. Upcoming exhibitions include a solo exhibition at Extra City Kunsthal Antwerpen, Antwerp, BE, Made In Germany (group), the Sprengel Museum, the Kunstverein Hannover, and the Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, DE, Acts of Refusal(group), ART IST KUKU NU UT, Tartu Art House, Tartu, Estonia and a group exhibition (TBA) at S.M.A.K., Ghent, BE. The artist currently splits his time between Den Hague, NL and Berlin, DE.