April 1 Art Minute: Silvia Levenson, “Strange Little Girl #7”

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Silvia Levenson (Argentinian, born 1957), Strange Little Girl #7. Kilncast Bullseye© glass and mixed media, 2014. 41 ¼ by 16 ¾ in. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 2015.41. Gallery 29.

Born in Argentina, Silvia Levenson is of Russian–Jewish descent. Politically active already as a teenager, Levenson immigrated to Italy in 1981 with her husband and young children to escape the oppresive regime of military dictator Jorge Rafaél Videla (ruled 1976–1981), during which members of her family were “disappeared.”Her experiences during this intense and frightening time continue to inform her work.

Strange Little Girl, one of a series of sculptures in glass and mixed media, addresses issues of personal identity during childhood. Levenson notes, “My current work is related to the mysterious world of childhood. …the world of children is still far from adults until they accept their social rules: what is good and what is evil. Those years to me delineate an era where the edge between reality and dreams is very evanescent. For this series of works, I started making collages with pictures from my own childhood and masks of animals. I mixed animals’ heads and children’s bodies, emphasizing the dreamlike and unreal world of children.”

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