Procession Root in its shadowbox frame


Ditmas Park Root


Procession Root


For more information, visit Kathy's Website



Kathy Levine


We love these two cast paper sculptures, displayed in shadowboxes in the gallery. Kathy says she cast the paper over the bulging roots of trees in her Ditmas Park neighborhood, then transfered photos onto the paper and painted the rest with oil paint. They are truly objects to be experienced in person.


Artist's Statement

The artificial environment dominates the natural one in New York City. However, human and other forms of life are flourishing in what seems like a hostile concrete, metal and asphalt setting filled with acrid air and contaminated soil. My primary interest is to explore this uneasy, complex relationship between nature and the urban/industrial environment.


Even though the natural environment is disappearing, getting pushed into smaller and smaller spaces, it is still there underneath what we construct, waiting for a time when it can once again be viable. In the “Cell” pieces (seen on her website here), there is a natural form in relief that can be seen below the surface of a photo-transferred image of the urban environment. The rectangular shape of the pieces is that of the living cell as well as the city block.


The human figure combined with other natural elements in my work convey the idea that we all share similar qualities. Even a small, insignificant leaf, tree or plant, like a person, is important in that it has the ability to grow, reach out and affect an area greater than itself.


Natural and urban environments have been integrated in many of my pieces in an attempt to create a new synthesis and understanding of the spaces I inhabit. I want my work to raise questions about our relationship and connection to the natural world as well as what we can do to restore it to a more balanced and important place in our lives.


Biography

Kathy Levine was born in Queens, New York but grew up in Spain and England. She studied art at Maria Grey College in London, received a B.A. from the State University College at Potsdam and a M.F.A. from Pratt Institute. Her early influences were the people and art from different cultures she saw while traveling with her family in Europe, parts of the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to art and culture, both her parents instilled in her a love of the natural world.


She now lives and works as an artist in New York City. Her awards include a Community Arts Regrant from the Brooklyn Arts Council, an Artist-in-Residence at the Millay Colony for the Arts, an Artist-in-Residence Fellowship from Yellowstone National Park, an honorarium from the Women’s Caucus for Art and a Graduate Fine Arts Fellowship from Pratt Institute. She was also selected to be in the Who’s Who of American Women in 2008/9 and 1998.


Process and Materials:

My pieces are made from recycled paper, paint, photo-transfers (using a water-based medium), pastels, graphite, wood, branches and other materials. The paper becomes three-dimensional after it is cast over a natural or artificially constructed mold. Using recycled paper conveys the regenerative, cyclical quality of life in addition to saving trees.




Detail of Procession Root