N I N A  L E V Y   :     S C U L P T U R E     A N D    P H O T O G R A P H S
  NEW, CURRENT, & RECENT               OLDER  WORK                 BIO & CONTACT INFO  


metaphor contemporary art is pleased to announce the exhibition;  Nina Levy; Family Resemblance, an installation of large scale sculptures and photographs February 17, March 19, 2006. The reception is Friday, February 17, from 6-9 pm, at 382 Atlantic Avenue between Hoyt and Bond Streets in downtown Brooklyn. Gallery hours are Thurs-Sun:12-6 pm.

  Nina Levy is an extraordinary hyper realistic figurative sculptor whose inventive use of the human form is turned to an examination of the physical and the psychic, often focusing attention to the sometimes mutual discomfort of one with the other. Through precise modeling, skillful use of polychrome, fragmentation, and disjunctive scale, Levy works the volatile side of the mind/body connection. Her well known sculptural installations and photography have explored alienation and loss, identity, and parenthood through a sharply focused, wry and reductive sensibility. It is a strength of her work that a single figure can both surprise and startle while eliciting a strongly sympathetic response in the viewer.

Nina Levy models her sculpture from observation and then introduces a distortion, alteration in scale, or fragmentation,  they do not involve life casting. Previously, Levy took herself as the point of departure in her work using her own body as source material. In her recent work, and in this exhibition in particular, she has shifted the focus to her family and the psychological complexities of parenting. The central sculpture installation Toss was created specifically as a response to the space of the gallery, the height of the ceiling and the potential to see an installation from multiple perspectives; from below and above from the mezzanine floor as well as from outside through the glass façade of the gallery. Toss  consists of three components, two headless adults and a giant child's head. The adults are approximately life size, the child's head is about 5 feet tall and hangs slightly overhead. His expression is ambiguous, but he is engaged. The two parents are frozen in mid swing on facing trapeze swings anchored from opposite ends of the gallery as if they are tossing the child’s head between them. The head is slightly beyond both of their grasp and clearly dwarfs them. The three pieces are cast in polyester and painted with oil paint. Husband and Son was conceived for the front window, and is a life-size sculpture of Levy’s husband and son, the son sitting on the shoulders of the father, however the father’s head is missing. The child has replaced the adult head. The pose is companionable, and the lack of a head is not perceptible from certain views. The adult body is both literally and metaphorically a plinth for the child.  The son has supplanted the father, perhaps in relation to his mother or spouse, or perhaps in the father’s relation to himself.  Monster in a Box was designed to sit in the area near the stairs, out of the way a bit, so that one would have to walk around it to see it. It depicts a life size sculpture of Levy’s husband crouched in a box. As Levy explains it; “The cardboard box for this piece was originally Archer’s “house,” a box altered for the most “peek-a-boo” potential.  It played a role as the Dad-as-Monster game that Archer enjoys so much, when we discovered that Dad just fits inside the box the result was remarkably creepy. I am somewhat bemused by how much Archer, and most children his age, enjoy, and seem to need to be frightened by their father. But an adult squeezed into a child’s space, and dismembered into various peek-a-boo windows is rather monstrous even from an adult perspective.”

  Additionally, Levy is presenting a new series of  fujiflex photographic prints of herself interacting with sculptural prostheses. Unlike so much contemporary photography, these photographic images are not digitally manipulated. Close inspection reveals that the disjunctive body parts are in fact real, three-dimensional objects that are sculpted out of resin or plaster.  The odd combinations and scale disjunctions create a dream like logic. Like the tour de force sculptures in the exhibition, these works also explore the role of the individual ego in relation to the empirical demands of family.

Nina Levy has exhibited widely in the United States. In 2003 metaphor contemporary art premiered the exhibit of her widely acclaimed portrait series of sculpted art world heads titled ‘Other People’s Heads’. Reviewed in both Art in  America and Sculpture Magazines these were subsequently exhibited at the Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut, the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, and are slated for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. in 2006. Additionally Levy has exhibited at the Neuberger, and DeCordova Museums, and made site-specific outdoor installations at the Aldrich Museum and the MCA in San Diego. Upcoming shows will include an individual project at the reopening of the National Portrait Gallery in D.C. in 2006 and an installation at the inaugural exhibition for the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago. Her work has been featured in numerous publications. Most recently an extensive interview with Levy was published in the November 2005 issue of Sculpture Magazine. A detail of her sculpture ‘Stroller’ 2004, was used for the cover of the December 2004 issue of ARTnews illustrating their cover story on new figurative sculpture. Additionally Levy has had reviews and articles in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Art in America, the New York Observer, TimeOut NY, the New York Sun, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Sun-Times, the New Art Examiner, and many other publications. Nina Levy received her BA from Yale in 1989, and her MFA from University of Chicago in 1993.

metaphor contemporary art
is located between Hoyt and Bond Streets in downtown Brooklyn, 10 minutes from Manhattan near the B.A.M. cultural center.  by subway:  F train to Bergen St., A/C/G train to Hoyt – Schermerhorn,  4 or 5 to Nevins St., 2 or 3 to Hoyt  by car: from Manhattan via Brooklyn Bridge: exit Brooklyn Bridge and continue straight ahead to Atlantic Ave., from Manhattan via Manhattan Bridge: exit Manhattan Bridge and continue straight ahead on Flatbush Ave, turn right to Atlantic Ave. other points of departure: BQE to Atlantic Ave exit parking: easy street parking with inexpensive meters right on the block or with no meters around the corner