Savannah Claudia Levin "The House that Built Us": Chinatown

26 February - 25 March 2023

Sebastian Gladstone is excited to announce “The House that Built Us,” a solo exhibition by Savannah Claudia Levin at the Chinatown gallery. The exhibition will open on Sunday, February 26 with a reception from 5-8PM, and run through March 26, 2023.

In her first exhibition with the gallery, Levin presents a series of tableaus that draw from her upbringing in the American South, offering a unique perspective on society and its collective traumas. Throughout the exhibition, a masked protagonist inhabits various scenes, interacting with and directing them in allegorical scenes of the conditions of oppression, gender roles, and violence perpetrated within Western Civilization.

Levin's work is deeply informed by her personal experiences and upbringing in post-Katrina Louisiana surrounded by destructed infrastructure, religious idolatry, and a nuanced visual language of New Orleans. Through her work, Levin seeks to challenge the cultural narratives that surround the fringes of society and to highlight the ways in which operating on the fringe shapes the lives of those who experience it. Levin’s paintings exist in an ethereal plane which crosses the various dimensions her characters inhabit. 

In “Unthinkers Two,” we see the masked protagonist mutilating a dead horse; in the background another character is directing a scene of a woman dancing for a group of American soldiers. The violence projected by the masked man seems to energize the scene in the portal. Violence in the name of service operates as perpetual forces within the scene, as if one is continually beating a dead horse.

Upstairs in the gallery, Levin has created an installation titled “Plagued with Urgency”  that acts as a literal representation of her subconscious. Levin uses the visual language of naïve decorating often found in Louisiana homes as a bridge to her aspirations, poetry, dreams, and sense of spiritual connection. The refuse, papers, fabrics, castings, and objects that make up the assemblage installation are taken from her studio and repurposed from the building blocks of her paintings into a finished and cohesive vision for her world at-large. The installation does not intend to direct into a specific focus, but rather acts as a place for reflection, intuition, and discovery within the context of Levin’s practice. 

Savannah Claudia Levin's exhibition, "The House that Built Us," is a powerful and thought-provoking artistic declaration that offers a unique perspective on American society and its collective traumas. Through her use of tableaus, installation and the allegory, Levin invites the viewer to consider the ways in which we experience our society, and have become numb to some of its more uncouth, violent, and exclusionary methods of existing.

Installation Views