new-york

Hannah Levy, Untitled, 2018, nickel-plated steel, silicone, 71 x 30 x 30".

Hannah Levy

Clark House Initiative

Hannah Levy, Untitled, 2018, nickel-plated steel, silicone, 71 x 30 x 30".

“Full fathom five thy father lies / Of his bones are coral made / Those are pearls that were his eyes / Nothing of him that doth fade / But doth suffer a sea-change / Into something rich and strange.” This passage from Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1610–11), describing a human body undergoing an underwater metamorphosis, has particular significance for twentieth-century art. In 1947, Jackson Pollock made Full Fathom Five the title of one his most materially dense drip paintings, suggesting a kind of transubstantiation. The nails, tacks, and cigarette butts embedded in the canvas had been raised up into the visual field of high modernism. Now, in the twenty-first century, we read these words differently. It jumps out to us that coral is the external skeleton of a marine invertebrate, and that pearls are sand particles coated in what is essentially oyster saliva. The scene thus speaks

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