Donnerstags ist alles gut

Arik Levy

(Israel) *1963 in Tel Aviv

The works of the Israeli artist Arik Levy can be seen in public spaces around the world, as well as in the most prestigious collections of contemporary art – from the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London or the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. After taking part in his first group exhibition in Tel Aviv in 1988, Levy moved to Europe. Today he lives and works in Paris. In Blickachsen 12, Levy is showing four of his celebrated “Rock Pieces” in Frankfurt and Kronberg, while for Bad Homburg he has created a site-specific work entitled “Giant Log”. Surrounded by trees on a meadow in the Kurpark, this monolithic mirror soars to a height of 13 metres. Though made of special high-grade and mirror-polished stainless steel, and clearly the work of man, this “Giant Log” seems nonetheless to melt into the surrounding nature. With its groundplan in the shape of an irregular triangle with cut off corners and alternating broad and narrow edges, this slightly leaning tower not only emulates the natural growth of the trees but also mirrors the natural surroundings, envelopping the visitor in ever new pictorial compositions and prompting a highly intensive perceptual experience.

For Blickachsen 12, the Israeli artist Arik Levy deliberately chose to exhibit his work not only in Bad Homburg and Kronberg, but also on the Campus Westend at Frankfurt University, where the former administrative building of the IG-Farben chemical concern stands as a reminder of the role this company played in the second world war: for Levy, art is the best way of building bridges. He has placed his work “RockStoneShift 235” by the central square of the campus, a meeting place at the heart of the university grounds. The larger than life-sized stainless steel sculpture, with its multi-faceted and mirror-polished surface, looks as if it had been cut open horizontally at the bottom. This creates the shift referred to in the work’s title, whereby the two parts of the sculpture’s body are offset and poised on top of each other in a dynamic equilibrium. The sculpture reflects its surroundings in countless detailed views, which condense into a polyphonic, constantly changing total image – stimulating the senses and the intellect in equal measure. In this respect, Levy’s work can also be understood as a symbol for the university as a point of intersection between universal human experience and scientific research.

With his unmistakeable “Rock Pieces” in different materials and sizes, Arik Levy is a firmly established name in the international art world. In Blickachsen 12, his works in Bad Homburg and Frankfurt are complemented in Kronberg by three formally diverse examples of his abstract ‘rock pieces’. Levy’s mirror-polished stainless steel sculptures are distinguished by their carefully equilibrated artistic form. Precise in their proportions and structure, they are inspired by mineral, often crystalline, forms, yet are not to be understood as imitations of nature. Their appearance changes, depending on the observer’s viewing position, the light conditions and the time of year. On the terrace of the Friedrichshof castle, now the Schlosshotel Kronberg, the two-section work “RockStoneFusion Vertical 170” dynamically reaches out into space, and with its multiple reflections becomes a connecting link between the built and natural forms of its surroundings. In the castle’s rose garden, by contrast, nature itself seems to dissolve in the alternately flat and curved concave surfaces of his “RockStoneImplosed 207”. Beside it, the finely balanced equilibrium of the multi-part “RockTower 131” intensifies the spatial experience of the observer.