I recently heard a buddhist monk and a neurologist both agree to the idea that “everything has a construct” at a talk they gave together, titled “Beyond The Self” . We understand that a construct does not have to be an object and there lies a space between these two that has occupied the thoughts and endeavours of many and distinguishes much thinking from Mono-ha, the ideas of Joseph Kosuth and material creations of Carl Andre, just to begin.
The South African born artist, Simon Levy, came to Mexico from London establishing himself in the village of Valle de Bravo.
Levy’s incursion into “land based” work is sculptural, with shapes so primary, that they evoke the organs and deep tissue of the innermost confines of the human body and being. The “organs” pulse in a visceral expression with primary emotions. The strokes on the large canvases appear to have been executed with his entire body.
The rational processes that inform Levy’s work echo in the background. They are elaborate and sharp, it is as if these more distilled functions had stepped aside or been restrained, to give testimony to the throbbing movement of shape and condensed masses of colour.
The artist worked intensively in the manufacture of adobes – earthen blocks bound with pine needles (ocojales) and the sap of nopales – with his friend and collaborator Don Cresensio. Through this intricate work process Levy learnt from the richness of Indian culture that survives and transcends subjugation and exploitation. Simon Levy’s respect for his collaborator is evidenced in his paintings through his highly developed skill in mixing and grinding his own pigments and his use of texture, exploring the inner body and its relation to the exterior landscape.
Simon Levy uses “re-inscription” as a means of contextualising his work conceptually. As he distills his ideas about painting and technique he engages the listener because his process is reflective.
Gobi Stromberg, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico