New York-based artists present contrasting mixed media

The Lockhart Gallery hosted its first exhibit of the semester titled “Aligned Works” on Wednesday Sept. 3. The exhibit displays the work of New York City-based artists Jill B. Levine and Lindsay Walt.Though not a collaborative exhibition, “Aligned Works” touts the similarities in inspiration and color between the artists’ works while still showing the differences in technique, media and style. While Walt’s abstract pieces are executed primarily in oil or watercolor on canvas, Levine’s are a series of similar, totem-inspired Styrofoam sculptures with varying patterns and colors. In her artist’s statement, Walt describes her affinity for “decorative arts, especially weaving and ceramics, both of which [she] studied.” Her works are delicate and intricate but her use of saturated, complementary colors keep them from getting lost among Levine’s sculptural and dynamic works. One piece entitled “Borrowing Time,” is especially striking, primarily because it is Walt’s largest featured work. A deep blood orange meets midway through the canvas with a light sky blue. Where the colors overlap, there are intricate brush strokes in blue that give the effect of small strings of beads. Levine’s statement describes her exploration of “the territory between painting and sculpture,” which is present in her bold, wall-mounted works. Levine incorporated her affinity for pre-Colombian art as well as Mexican ceramics, codices, totems and serapes. One particularly eye-catching piece is “Ciento Azul.” The piece features bold blocks of color that parallel those of a desert sky painted beneath bold, graphic lines of black in intricate patterns. Although the artists were not present at the opening, director of galleries Cynthia Hawkins was able to give some insight to the creative process behind the works. “Levine was very involved with Mayan iconography, but she was also a painter for a long time; you can see how well she uses color and her development of these shapes,” she said. “She doesn’t really rely completely on the original kinds of Mayan and Incan drawing or forms, but mixes them up with other things.” “[Walt] was saying some of her watercolors develop over quite a while,” Hawkins added. “She puts the paint on and then she washes it off, so it’s this sort of stain that builds up ... In order for that to happen, you have to be very physical with the canvas.” The technique behind these pieces is what makes them truly unique. The works balance each other nicely; the soothing tones of Walt’s work pair beautifully with the vividness of Levine’s. Jill Levine and Lindsay Walt’s “Aligned Works” will be on display until Oct. 9 at the Lockhart Gallery.