Levy named 2019-20 Freund Teaching Fellow

Saint Louis Art Museum, Sam Fox School welcome acclaimed artist


Dana Levy is the 2019-20 Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellow. (Photo: Whitney Curtis/Washington University)

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.

Dana Levy, from “Forget Me Not” (2019). (Photo courtesy of the artist)

“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.”

Levy (right) conducts a studio review with graduate student Liz Moore in the Sam Fox School’s new Anabeth and John Weil Hall. (Photo: Whitney Curtis/Washington University)

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.’”

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.

Levy (right) works with graduate student Damaris Dunham. (Photo: Whitney Curtis/Washington University)

Saint Louis Art Museum
The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the nation’s leading comprehensive art museums, with collections that include works of art of exceptional quality from virtually every culture and time period. Areas of notable depth include Oceanic art, pre-Columbian art, ancient Chinese bronzes and European and American art of the late 19th and 20th centuries, with particular strengths in 20th-century German art. The museum offers a full range of exhibitions and educational programming generated independently and in collaboration with local, national and international partners.
Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
The Sam Fox School supports the creation, study and exhibition of multidisciplinary and collaborative work. Offering rigorous art and architecture education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, the Sam Fox School links four academic units — the College of Art, Graduate School of Art, College of Architecture, and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design—with the university’s nationally recognized Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.
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