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marty levin and tom klein: our dynamic duo

We at The Art Hall are pleased to present a joint exhibit of geometric string and metal art by Tom Klein and Marty Levin, long-time anthroposophists whose lifelong passions for experimenting with dynamic form and space have drawn them together in recent friendship and artistic collaboration.

Please join us this coming Thursday, March 08th, for the opening of their show titled String and Metal; Movement in Space. Doors open at 5:00 and we’ll enjoy a talk by the artists at 6:00 p.m.

Marty and Judy Levin’s second stop when exploring Portland as a possible new home was the opening reception for MJ Davison at The Art Hall in January 2016 after a welcoming dinner with Jannebeth Röell and James Lee. Since then, the Martins have become regular attendees providing invaluable support at events at The Art Hall and others in Portland’s anthroposophic community. In addition, last Fall Marty had a stunning exhibit of his geometric sculptures at the Multnomah Art Center. Warm and gentle by nature, he has had a rich and rewarding career as a mathematician and Waldorf teacher.

From Marty:

After receiving my Ph.D. in mathematics from Johns Hopkins University, I met Georg Unger in 1970 in Dornach, Switzerland. He introduced me to mathematical work based on indications from Rudolf Steiner, in particular the geometrical work of George Adams. Dr. Unger also suggested the Platonic solids as forms worthy of contemplation. I spent most of my career teaching mathematics in Waldorf high schools, where the students’ ability to visualize forms and the movement of forms was developed through geometric drawings and models. After retiring, I further perfected my techniques for making the geometric models, exhibiting them in math conferences and art galleries.

The ancient Greeks found that there are exactly five convex regular polyhedra, called the Platonic solids.  In modern times we have found that these same forms represent all possible types of finite three-dimensional symmetry, thereby showing once again that they are fundamental to the nature of space.  The geometric sculptures, exhibited here, show some of the geometric relationships between the different Platonic solids, and are designed to suggest planes and lines coming in from the infinitely distant periphery. They are made with a minimal amount of physical material; what’s important is not what is there, but what is not there, which the viewer sees with their inner eye.  When viewing a piece, if you close one eye and move slightly, you will find positions in which various lines suddenly coincide, giving startlingly beautiful and different views.

Tom Klein, together with his dear wife, Ruthi, have been pillars in our Portland anthroposophic community for over 40 years. At the helm of the start of the Portland Waldorf School, manager of the former Steiner Storehouse, Cedarwood School’s first administrator, anthroposophic library keeper, board member of PCCI (a local Camphill-inspired initiative)…the list goes on. We at The Art Hall can always count on Tom (and Ruthi!) to pitch in, take the lead, sell books, set up, man the registration table…yes, that list goes on, too.

As a twelve-year graduate of the Rudolf Steiner School in NYC, Tom has been building and creating his entire life. Many of the chairs, tables and play stands in the local Waldorf schools have come from Tom’s workshop. And he does beautiful custom orders for dining tables and outdoor furniture. Your home may already be graced by Tom’s extraordinary string art which he clearly elevates to new levels: large or small in scale, colorful and intense, these creations are beautiful and mesmerizing. Tom has been a guest teacher locally, sharing his process and forms with young student-artists as part of their Waldorf school geometry blocks. Having worked for 28 years at Head Start, Tom’s dedication and love for children and their well-being is contagious.

From Tom:

I first met string art in sixth grade geometry and again in eighth grade when studying conic sections. I have actively pursued this interest for the last 50 years. In elementary school I worked with circles with 12-points. In the 1960’s I worked with 48-point circles and in the 1970’s started working with 96-point circles. I also developed and worked with spirals. In the conic sections work, which also began in the 60’s, I worked in lines consisting of…points placed as close as possible.

When invited to exhibit together there was no hesitation from either of these two new friends. They began meeting to collaborate on how they would share the space in the hall with great joy and excitement: a match made in heaven…and manifesting here, for us!

Again, please join us this Thursday, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., for the opening, with a talk by the artists at 6:00 p.m.

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