The multidisciplinary artist Levi Van Veluw (video, installation, photography, drawing) is a key figure on the young Dutch art scene. On the occasion of his first exhibition at the gallery that opens on October 17th, 2020, Praz-Delavallade is pleased to announce that it will be representing him.
For this show, Levi Van Veluw is presenting a series of geometric paintings/sculptures, whose austere, almost static shapes comprise a succession of rhythmic repetitions, which are reminiscent of relics used to glorify a higher purpose. Van Veluw highlights the similarities between the symbols of different beliefs and reveals man’s desire to give concrete form to the invisible and spiritual aspects of faith. In so doing, he casts doubt upon the latter’s credibility.
The grandson of a pastor, Van Veluw has been completely fascinated by religious rituals and the practices they involve since his childhood. This penchant goes beyond spirituality per se to reach an artistic domain where architecture plays a major role in forging a formal vocabulary that Van Veluw has studied in meticulous detail. In fact, he is particularly interested in the procedure that gives voice to an imaginary world which strengthens the faith of believers. Through his use of light, symmetry and harmony, which are often used to describe the notion of divine perfection, he underlines mankind’s need to believe and justifies the eminent role played by the artist by advocating the concept of a «Gesamtkunstwerk», a total work of art.
This term refers to an aesthetic principle of which the Romantics (a movement that appeared in Europe in the 19th century) and German Romantics in particular were very fond. It designates a synaesthetic work of art that unifies several mediums, in other words an artwork that is multidisciplinary in terms of its conception. Levi Van Veluw adopts the principle of the dissolution of the borders between life and art by mixing all the meanings in an autonomous body of work.
It is not just a reference to divine creation (as was the custom in art between the Gothic and the Baroque periods), because here the artist is asserting his own validity. Starting from the principle that the notion of sacredness is intended to be a social notion, a collective, even anthropological and secular product, he questions the way in which art itself is sacralised in contemporary times. This first show at Praz Delavallade illustrates the inherent complexity in alluding to a form of art that is to be found in many churches throughout Europe. Levi Van Veluw presents this wealth of art; works of art that are essential for a population of believers and who are supported in the complexity of their faith by art’s magnificence.
Levi Van Veluw born in 1985 in Hoevelake, lives and works in Zaandam. Since graduating in 2007, his work has been exhibited worldwide: Het Hem Museum, Zaandam, NL (2020); Rijksmuseum Twente, Enschede, NL (2019); Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Bignan, FR (2018); La Galerie particulière, Paris, FR (2017); Momentum Bienal, Norway, NOR (2017); Frac Normandie Rouen, FR (2016) – earning him a number of nominations and awards. His work is also included in both public and private collections, including the Borusan Contemporary, the Caldic Collection, the Ekard Collection and Kpmg.