The American landscape buckles and cracks. Rivers and forests, flora and fauna, deserts and mountains — all are overtaken by new topographies of oxidation and decay.
In “Forget Me Not” (2019), artist Dana Levy deploys antique “magic lantern” slides to explore how photo-based media shape the ways we see and understand the world — as well as what happens when those media succumb to age and corrosion.
“My practice is primarily concerned with man’s relationship to nature and the tension between the man-made and natural world,” Levy said. “I’m fascinated with the domestication of nature, with classifying mechanisms and cataloging — with material evidence of the human instinct to control the environment and to subdue the ‘wild.’”
This fall, Levy was appointed the 2019-20 Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. The fellowship, which is jointly sponsored by the Saint Louis Art Museum and the university’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, is designed to promote the creation and exhibition of contemporary art as well as the teaching of contemporary art principles.
“Dana’s work is visually rich, conceptually sophisticated and formally inventive,” said Patricia Olynyk, the Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art and chair of the Sam Fox School’s Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art program.
“Her multimedia practice ranges across video, installation, animation and photography, and balances research and a deeply psychological view on issues that range from archival memory, entropy and the Anthropocene to the rise of non-human worlds,” Olynyk added. “We are very pleased to welcome her to the Graduate School of Art and to campus.”
The Freund Teaching Fellowship is supported by the Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Endowment Fund. It centers around two core components: teaching in the Graduate School of Art and producing work for a solo exhibition for the museum’s Currents series. Works by the 2018-19 fellow are currently featured in “Currents 117: Dave Hullfish Bailey,” which remains on view at the museum through March 8.
“Dana has had an impressive career as a video and installation artist,” said Hannah Klemm, associate curator of modern and contemporary art at the Saint Louis Art Museum. “She creates beautiful, poetic works that examine the domestication of nature through human intervention. Her poignant video installations bridge natural history and musicological history, looking at the ways lived experience can be decontextualized and isolated once on display on shelves or museum walls.
“We are excited to work with her on her installation for ‘Currents 119: Dana Levy.’”
Born in Tel Aviv, Levy earned her bachelor’s degree from Camberwell College of Arts in London and her master’s degree in electronic imaging at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee, Scotland.
Levy’s work has been featured in more than a dozen solo shows and film screenings, most recently at the Fridman Gallery in New York and the KADIST foundation in San Fransisco. She has participated in more than 60 group exhibitions and screenings, including shows at the Tate Modern in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Art Basel Miami and the Israel Museum and the Museum for Islamic Art, both in Jerusalem.
Now based in New York, Levy previously taught in the Department of Multidisciplinary Art at Shenkar College in Ramat Gan; Musrara, the Naggar Multidisciplinary School of Art and Society, in Jerusalem; Oranim College in Tivon; Tel-Hai College; and the Camera Obscura School of Art in Tel Aviv. Her numerous honors include the Israel Museum’s Beatrice S. Colliner Award for Young Artists, the Dumbo Arts Festival’s best studio award, and the Hamburg International Short Film Festival’s jury award, as well as residencies with Everglades National Park, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Florida’s Atlantic Center for the Arts.