Brian Tolle: Levittown
On View February 05, 2009 - March 31, 2009
In his first show at CRG, Brian Tolle presents his latest body of work, Levittown. Levittown, a planned housing community in Long Island, New York, was designed and built by Abraham Levitt (Levitt & Sons) between 1947 and 1951 and became the archetype of American suburban life in the years following the Second World War. Tolle’s sculptural works in this exhibition take their inspiration from that community.
The formal play that Tolle articulates between the colors, the shapes and textures of the objects that form the underlying supports maintain a freedom from a directly schematic or contrived disposition. A similar play engaged in by the inhabitants of Levittown through the modifying of their homes over the years has effectively erased the homogeneity that Levittown was both defined by and criticized for. Two defining cultural modes specific to American consumerism are presented in this exhibition: the seduction toward conformity or compliance with a mass-produced standard and the necessity to define one’s identity through the alteration or defiance of it.
Brian Tolle is also recognized for this public commissions including the Irish Hunger Memorial located in Battery Park, New York City, and Stronghold at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. He was recently awarded by the Design Commission of the City of New York with the Award for Excellence in Design for a new sculptural project to be installed at the entrance of the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn, New York, in 2009.