Dean Levin: Soul Spirit Body

21 March - 11 May 2019 Main Space

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present an exhibition of new work by LA based artist, Dean Levin. Soul Spirit Body is the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery following a site-specific installation in The Box project space (2015). The exhibition will run from 21 March to 11 May 2019.


Soul Spirit Body develops the artist’s preoccupation with the construction of human perception and our contingent encounter with the physical environment. Levin’s practice focuses primarily on installation and wall-based work that initiates a dialogue between two and three-dimensional space. Using a minimalist vocabulary of simple form and monochrome, Levin isolates and thereby magnifies the structures that contribute to our phenomenological experience. In Soul Spirit Body he applies this language to the all-pervasive reach of visual culture and our subsequent hyper-awareness of self-image. The exhibition will include a site-specific installation comprising two convex works hanging in the centre – a man’s suit modelled to the artist’s body and a woman’s bathing suit. Levin will also present new wall-based mirrored and convex works – two core series in his practice. The gallery’s location between Savile Row and Regent Street lends resonance to these alterations that transform the space into a retail environment. 


Levin’s convex works are created by pouring fiberglass reinforced plaster into framed, stretch lycra – a process that uses gravity to create an organic, three-dimensional form. Here, the artist develops the symbolism of earlier circular paintings to create a new three-part shape that represents harmony between soul, spirit and body. The surface is painted with thinned layers of oil paint resulting in a matt colour. Disrupting the eye’s ability to identify a curved face, these works form an ironic take on any neat comprehension of human well-being. 


Activated by the viewer and the space that contains them, the artist’s mirrored works are made with a three-step process: lines are hand-drawn in ink then translated from paper to computer and finally to print across the stainless-steel surface. Human ‘errors’ are faithfully reproduced by technology, offering an insight into the relationship between human and mechanical modes of production. In Soul Spirit Body, chequered lines reference patterns favoured by punk rock, ska and mod subcultures. The works form a reflection on the impossibility of counterculture in the digital age, given the widespread dissemination of new movements and their rapid absorption into the mainstream. 


Dean Levin (b. 1988, South Africa) lives and works in Los Angeles. His artistic practice is informed by an architectural background – he received a Batchelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute, New York in 2012. Levin is represented in New York by Marianne Boesky Gallery. Solo exhibitions include Marianne Boesky, New York (2017, 2015); Super Dakota, Brussels (2018); Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles (2016); Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London (2015) and Bill Brady Gallery, Kansas City (2015). Recent group exhibitions include those at Luhring Augustine, New York; COMA Gallery, Sydney; Sean Kelly Gallery, New York; Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London; Frederic Snitzer Gallery, Miami and Jeffrey Stark, New York.  A monograph on the artist featuring essays by Alex Bacon and Norman Rosenthal was published by Circle Books, New York in 2017. With special thanks to Mary Mitsch at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York.