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Helen Levin: Artist's Book "V" (Interior) (2001, 16" x 16", acrylic on paper)

Helen Levin: Flag Flux (book, interior) (2002, 12" x 12", computer print)

Helen Levin: Athena Series Collage (2003, 26" x 26", acrylic on paper)

Helen Levin: Athena Series Collage (2003, 16.5" x 16.5", acrylic on paper)

Helen Levin: Athena Series Collage (2003, 26" x 26", acrylic on 100% cotton watercolor paper)


Helen Levin

by Robert Sievert

In her new show of paper constructions at the Ceres gallery, Helen Levin strikes out in new directions. Longtime practicioner of open ended direct abstract painting, Levin now turns her attention to a more defined and orthographic method of work.

In her new Athena series she takes large papers, some painted, some elegant handmade papers and cuts and pastes her way into some rather powerful images. There is still the commitment to non-figurative abstraction but now it takes a more solidified, defined character. One peers through layer upon layer of images as bits and pieces assemble themselves. The work has exciting spatial content as one is moved back and forth through planes of color and light.

When asked about the relationship between the work and her naming it for Athena Levin replied: About Athena, in the Odyssey.She appears as a generous, personal guiding spirit to Odysseus, a compassionate one. Yet she has a twinkle in her eye, a sense of humor What a way to be! I was reading the Odyssey at the time and loved the character of Athena so much that I had to memorialize her!

Of additional interest were her Flag Books. Paper constructions roughly in the shape of a book standing up, but they take off…they become interlocking structures in which color and form are interwoven into a spatial dialog. While realized in small scale it is easy to imagine these works upsized into larger monumental work

Levin comments:”The flag books that were on the pedestals were modifications/readaptations of a Victorian flag book; I learned of it in a course at the Center for Book Arts in 1992. It is flaps attached to an accordion folded backing. I applied my abstract painting to this format. Within three of the relief collages were accordion folded papers (you noticed for sure). I call them dimensional collages or relief collages.

What ever she calls them they are wonderful to look at. Levin's show is excellent. She puts forth work that is inventive and varied.


Helen Levin's Web Site
Helen Levin on ETAOIN

copyright © 2006 Robert Sievert
Images copyright © Helen Levin




June 11, 2006