NARRATOR: Levine has made six of these billiard tables—we’re exhibiting four. Levine has based them on Man Ray’s 1938 Surrealist painting, La Fortune. That painting is on view on the second floor. In Man Ray’s painting, colorful clouds float over a billiard table as it projects into a barren landscape. In her sculptures, Levine extracts the billiard table and presents it in three dimensions—turning a pictorial image into something we can experience in real space. Richard Flood.
RICHARDFLOOD: I think the kind of wonderful fantasy of Man Ray’s backdrop is almost normal compared to the rather alienating space of a gallery, which I always find to be a very problematic way of looking at art that’s created in a studio. There is something about an object in a clean white space that implies that it’s there for inspection as much as to create a kind of seduction between the viewer and the object in the space.
NARRATOR: Levine accentuates the experience of these fantastical objects within the space of the gallery by lining them up in a matter-of-fact way. The results are valid for an installation of Minimalist sculpture or for a pool hall.
RICHARDFLOOD: It’s something that she has always done in her work it’s very rarely an object set off as if it’s this precious thing on a pedestal under a spotlight.
No, you might have works on the pedestal, and they might be under spotlights, but normally they are there in bulk. They are there to echo each other so when you walk around the room, there’s almost this kind of fever in the air that is brought there by the grouping of pieces rather than the isolation of a piece.