Robert Levin - Mixed Media Sculpture
Over the years I have been working on a series of pieces that have marked a departure from my studio glass work. These began by using glass, wood, and other materials in a very basic, visceral way. I have always felt intuitively that materials carry their own metaphors, or a resonance to an emotional level, and have used this as a point of departure. In these pieces, it seems important to maintain the integrity of the various materials, to let them "speak for themselves". Some of the pieces are largely the result of an interest in using these materials together, and in how the working process can leave its own documentation: the wood charred by the once-hot glass, showing the creative and destructive possibilities of fire within the same moment; or the ways in which materials may be bent or constricted. I continually find certain themes emerging: with many of the pieces, the working process has involved an exploration of pressure and constraint, balance and gesture.
Employing these materials together has allowed me to work at a larger, more satisfying scale than with my previous work. There is also an element of craftsmanship in these pieces that speaks of the importance of the materials themselves, as well as the importance of the hand that acts upon them. Often the work has begun by following an intuitive path dictated by a sense of form and balance, or an exploration of how forms and materials might work together. But inevitably I see other themes cropping up. So there is a sense of having a dialog with the work, of learning about some hidden aspects of my own sensibilities by having made a tangible object. For me, this dialog is an important aspect of the exploration involved with the work.
Some pieces have been informed by other concerns which have connotations of constraint, including the ways in which we place limits around our own experiences. Some of the sculptures use the image of the bridge, perhaps as a metaphor for how we can span the gaps or walls that we create. I also find that art acts as a bridge between the invisible and the visible, between thoughts and form.
In all of these pieces, I've created problems for myself to solve. Hopefully, the pieces offer solutions to problems while at the same time raising more questions. I want them to be ambiguous and evocative at the same time.
Passage - Glass, Wood, Rope, Copper 25” tall x 53” wide
Nangyo - Glass, Wood, Rope, Lead 36” tall
Kincho - Glass, Wood, Rope 41” tall x 22” wide
Implement - Glass, Wood, Rope, Lead 20.5” tall x 46” long
Oak Bridge - Glass, Wood, Rope, Gold Leaf 12” tall x 32.5 wide
Tusk - Glass, Wood, Rope 38” tall
Diviner - Glass, Wood, Rope, Copper 33” tall x 9.75”