Systems Esthetic

Systems Esthetic

"Methodologically Les Levine is possibly the most consistent exponent of a systems esthetic. His environments of vacuum-formed, modular plastic units are never static; by means of experiencing ambulation through them, they consistently alter their own degree of space-surface penetrability. Levine's Clean Machine has no ideal vantage points, no "pieces" to recognize, as are implicit in formalist art. One is processed as in driving through the Holland Tunnel. Certainly this echoes Michael Fried's reference to Tony Smith's night time drive along the uncompleted New Jersey Turnpike" Yet if this is theater, as Fried insists, it is not the stage concerned with focused upon events. That has more to do with the boundary definitions that have traditionally circumscribed classical and post-classical art. In a recent environment by Levine rows of live electric wires emitted small shocks to passersby. Here behavior is controlled in an esthetic situation with no primary reference to visual circumstances. As Levine insists, "What I am after here is physical reaction, not visual concern." This brings to mind some of the original intentions of the "Group de Recherches d'Art Visuel" in the early 1960s. The Paris-based group had sought to engage viewers kinesthetically, triggering involuntary responses through ambient-propelled "surprises." Levine's emphasis on visual disengagement is much more assured and iconoclastic; unlike the labyrinths of the GRAV, his possesses no individual work of art deflecting attention from the environment as a concerted experience. Questions have been raised concerning the implicit anti-art position connected with Levine's disposable and infinite series. These hardly qualify as anti-art as John Perreault has pointed out. Besides emphasizing that the context of art is fluid, they are a reductio ad absurdum of the entire market mechanism that controls art through the fiction of "high art." They do not deny art, they deny scarcity as a legitimate correlative of art".

Systems Esthetic

  • Brigitte March Galerie's Exhibitions 3
  • Related Exhibitions

Looking for available works from this exhibition? Let us help you!

No artworks for sale are added to this exhibition. If you are interested in seeing available works we
will get in touch with the gallery and get back to you with the available works.