Condo New York 2018: White Columns hosting First Street Gallery

Artist: Michael LeVell

Exhibition title: Condo New York 2018: White Columns hosting First Street Gallery

Venue: White Columns, New York, US

Date: June 29 – July 27, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist, White Columns and First Street Gallery

Michael LeVell / CONDO New York

Presented in association with First Street Gallery, Claremont, CA and CONDO New York

White Columns is pleased to announce the New York debut of the Claremont, CA-based artist Michael LeVell (b. 1964.) The exhibition is presented as a part of the 2018 CONDO New York project.

LeVell, who has been diagnosed with autism, is both deaf and legally blind. LeVell is one of the eight original artists who, in 1989, helped to found the non-profit First Street Gallery Art Center in Claremont, CA. First Street Gallery supports an extraordinary community of artists living and working with mental, developmental and physical disabilities. This is White Columns’ second collaboration with First Street, following Helen Rae’s widely celebrated solo exhibition in 2017.

LeVell’s exhibition at White Columns will take the form of an intimate survey of his work produced over the past decade, and will include a group of acrylic paintings on paper and a number of hand-built ceramic sculptures. LeVell’s work draws inspiration from the mid-century architecture and contemporary domestic spaces as depicted in the pages of Architectural Digest. (LeVelll has an extensive and treasured collection of the magazine.) In his translation and editing of these photographic sources, LeVell introduces new color schemes, and his unique, reductive drawing process to create perfectly balanced, schematic images that align an extraordinary visual clarity with both formal and chromatic complexity. LeVell’s paintings are not illustrations or mimetic of his sources, rather they operate as ‘amplifications’ of both the original images and the cultures – social and aesthetic – that they represent. (LeVell is especially drawn to interiors where modern and contemporary artworks – paintings and sculptures – are on display, seamlessly incorporated within a domestic tableau.) LeVell’s ceramic sculptures of furniture – e.g. a side board, a mid-Century George Nelson-style sofa, a contemporary armchair with ottoman etc. – are modest in scale and hand-built in clay, and further explore his preoccupying and ongoing interest in the relationships between design, modernity, taste, and domesticity.

White Columns would like to thank everyone at First Street Gallery and at Tierra Del Sol for their enthusiasm and collaboration with bringing Michael LeVell’s work to New York.

Michael LeVell’s work was the subject of a retrospective in 2014 at First Street Gallery, Claremont, CA on the occasion of the organization’s 25th Anniversary.