Current Exhibit

LAUNCH SITES LA: EZRA ORION REVISITED WORKS, PROPOSALS, AND MODELS 1965-2001

DAN LEVENSON, SKZ MONOCHROME DIPTYCHS

EZRA ORION, DAN LEVENSON | CURATORS: UDI EDELMAN, ROTEM ROZENTAL
NOVEMBER 19, 2017-FEBRUARY 5, 2018

This ambitious exhibition expands unto two sites in Los Angeles, several countries and a number of potential universes.

Co-presented with the Israeli Center for Digital Art, the Platt and Borstein Galleries at AJU will become a temporary home for selected parts of Orion's archive, including drawings and photographs that document past projects, plans, diagrams and correspondence. A VR station positioned in the space will take visitors on a tour of Orion's sculptural installations in the desert.

At AJU's Brandeis-Bardin Campus (Simi Valley), artist Dan Levenson presents a site specific project at the House of the Book, a hidden architectural masterstroke that bears intriguing similarities with Orion's visual perspective.

Ezra Orion (1934-2015) was an Israeli sculptor, poet, and thinker. In his work, he sought to exceed the dimensions of institutions, gallery walls and urban space, and focus on sculpture that would envelop the spectators, contain them, and evoke a spiritual, existential experience. During his art studies, Orion focused on iron and stone sculptures in dimensions suited for gallery spaces. In 1967, after he completed his studies at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art in London, he moved to Sde Boker in the Negev (southern Israel). In the desert, he began creating situations, moments, and environments designed to serve as “launch sites” for human consciousness, to explore the transcendent and the cosmic. This exhibition presents Orion's principal fields of action: from desert expanses, through movements and changes in the Earth's surface, to outer space. All these are examined through original works alongside documents from Orion's archive, which were presented for the first time in the Israeli Center for Digital Art (2016).

Desert andscape painting by Ezra Orion

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Dan Levenson's practice centers on the SKZ, as an academy of his own invention. In his studio, Levenson fabricated schoolroom furniture, visual experimentations, curriculum and creative guidelines. The SKZ is modelled in the spirit of modernist art schools of early twentieth century, and as such, the students are carefully trained in its strict style and visual perspective. This most recent iteration of the project exposes an empty classroom. Perhaps the students had just left for a break, perhaps they deserted it long ago. They have been practicing monochromes, we can see on their tables. The paintings are in different stages of decay. It is a frozen scene that invites the viewer, the visitor, to wander through an open rip in space and time.

Here, at Brandeis-Bardin, Levenson examines the nuanced complexities of Orion's viewpoint, its complicated relationships with space, vision and bodily experience, positioning it between local and international meeting points, between concrete and wood, between the forces of nature and the decaying, inevitably mortal, qualities of matter.

Photo of Dan Levenson exhibit

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The exhibition is supported by Artis Grant Program

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