walk towards the light in chris levine’s exhibition, the geometry of truth
Opening at The Fine Art Society Contemporary today, Chris Levine’s latest exhibition uses the geometry of lasers and lights to convey stillness.
If you haven't already seen Chris Levine's holographic image of the Queen, now's the time to type "Lightness of Being" into your search bar. This is the image which many see as the touchstone of Levine's career, however, as the years have passed, it has become only one of many iconic projects. Other collaborations include shooting with Mario Testino, creating visuals for Massive Attack at Glastonbury, directing a music video for Grace Jones and creating a laser installation at the Eden Project. In many of these projects he has used an icon, such as The Queen or Kate Moss, as the canvas for his lightworks. However, in his new exhibition The Geometry of Truth, opening today, he is focusing on forms instead of people.
All variations of lasers and lights are used throughout Levine's body of work, so we are presented with a luminous series of transcendently beautiful optics. He has also pioneered a series of new light technologies such as blipverts; using lines of light to create a full image which is only visible once you relax; or lenticulars and holograms; which are two different ways of using multiple analogue images to create a three-dimensional effect.
Levine's main ambition for these visuals is for them to convey a sense of stillness in the viewer, as he explains, "Stillness is a portal to the divine. In my work - my journey with light - I'm only starting to realise this is increasingly my prime objective - to enter this state and to bring people with me."
His creations demands of us a moment of peace, which is unexpectedly tangible. His new exhibition is no exception to this theme, but this time his concern is to convey that stillness in the purest possible way, using geometry, "If numbers are the purest form of thought as Plato states, then geometry is a translation of this purity into visual form. Sacred geometry has inspired artists for millennia. From Nano through to celestial, nature unfolds and life as we know it adheres to principles of divine order and sacred geometry."
Sacred geometry is the mathematics used specifically for the purpose of constructing religious buildings such as pyramids or temples. These mathematical rules are also found naturally in the patterns and cycles of nature. Through studying the mathematical constants that make up our universe, Levine has taken this information and transposed it into his favourite medium - light. Even the 2D pieces in the show are made from light, either having been laser cut or using ultra-violet paint.
Levine was in part inspired by this quote by Keith Critchlow from his book The Hidden Geometry of Flowers; "The Higher purpose of geometry is to participate, body, soul and spirit, in the objective universal laws that govern and cohere our universe. This activity can lead us directly to the center of our own understanding which unifies us with the whole."
It's easy to see how this links in with Levine's desire to connect people with stillness. Pared down and simplified, the imagery of this show is particularly abstract so that we can respond instinctively rather than intellectually. During everyday life it is easy to feel like we are constantly absorbing new information from a million different sources. Levine offers us relief from this by choosing to communicate in the form of waves of light which are insanely beautiful in their simplicity.
The Geometry of Truth runs from April 24 - May 23, 2015 at The Fine art Society, Bond Street.