Art Review by Roger Lipsey: Martee Levi - New Work
An exuberant colorist of long experience and honed skill presents a cycle of work in just two or three colors and textures. An exuberant designer of dancing, multidirectional compositions presents work that relies for the most part on rectilinear pattern and steady flows. An artist who values the austere flatness of the collage tradition offers work that sometimes flickers with depth. Martee Levi takes us into a new world of quieter poetry, an adobe world.
Rooted in the School of Paris and now nearly a century old, the collage tradition offers the opportunity to design a world - to create a microcosm whose structures and energies tell us obliquely but unmistakably about our own experience. The pattern of a collage need not be translated into words and often resists, but the viewer can nonetheless take in a delightful or provocative rightness in how everything is arranged. Levi's work can refer beyond itself - to musical rhythms, ancient calligraphies and pictographs, or timeless pueblo villages, and equally to artist-ancestors ranging from Diebenkorn and Klee to Mondrian and Cezanne. But the true test is whether one's eyes and mind, and heart, come to rest in the world of these canvases with a sense of arrival and belonging.
As complex, quietly dynamic compositions, these works are of and about our time. But they evoke something else: an archaic world surprisingly native to us all.
- Roger Lipsey
Author of The spiritual in Twentieth-Century Art (Dove Books, Reissued 2004)