Arik Levy Set of three "Rock Tables"


Arik Levy Set of three "Rock Tables"

French mathematician BenoĆ®t Mandelbrot coined the term ‘fractal’ in 1975 to describe those geometric patterns that cannot be represented by Euclidian geometry: irregular, fragmented structures which repeat at ever smaller scales. Approximate fractals appear everywhere: clouds, crystals, nautilus shells, even the buds of broccoli. Like Mandelbrot before him, French designer Arik Levy (both are expatriates) dwells on irregular structures in nature: rocks, logs, clouds. Levy began his ‘Rock’ series in 2005 with mirror polished stainless steel versions of the present lot. They resembled quartz (rock crystals) and gallium, a lustrous metal obtained through smelting. Gallium doesn’t occur naturally, nor do Levy’s faultless forms. ‘Absent Nature’, his solo exhibition held last year at Wright20 in Chicago, blazed with contradictions. ‘Fractal Clouds’, ceiling lights composed from tangled fluorescent tubes, were the antonym of ‘cloud’, neither dim nor dark. Below them, Levy displayed his ‘Log’ series, tooled tables whose unblemished surfaces undermined the notion of natural growth. He explained: “These pieces are an evolution of ‘Rock’ that also engages the absence of the parts that are removed…Every facet of these elements represents the absence of nature...” His statement is elliptical, but ‘absence’ rings clearly, and with it faint regret; Levy’s ‘Rocks’ aspire to a higher purpose than irony: they articulate our ever widening disconnection from nature and our irrepressible desire to manipulate it.

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