Each series of Victor Levai’s work is rooted in contemplative observation and obsessive collection of natural phenomena: the density of a puddle, the transience of cast shadows, the exact composition of plants… With names like ‘The chestnut’ or ‘The little green one’, he gives titles to his works that are simultaneously rudimentary and descriptive. The artist plays on his lack of botanical knowledge, which in no way obstructs a keenly felt sense of his love of nature. Fascinated by the diverse aesthetics and shapes of plants, Victor Levai sculpts a flowerless flora inspired by his contemplations whilst walking or leafing through botany books. The leaves and branches are made by hand in ceramic and then allowed to move freely thanks to long metal rods.
"I only know what I see by painting it." These words of Alberto Giacometti resonate throughout Victor Levai's work. His empirical approach to sculpture allows him to better understand the structures and patterns that make up the lichens, herbaceous plants and weeds of the natural world. Inspired by wabi-sabi, the Japanese philosophical concept that finds beauty in the humble and the imperfect, Victor Levai captures the beauty of plants. Through his work, we experience a living world that we don't often pay much attention to and, in accordance with the principles of wabi-sabi, we come closer to the art of living in harmony with the world.
Victor Levai (1991) graduated from the Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2017 and is currently participating in the House of Mimmo 2 residency in Paris. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions including at the Grandes Serres de Pantin (2021, 2019) and 100% L'Expo at La Villette (2019). He regularly collaborates with architects on commissions, such as La Ponche Hotel, Saint-Tropez with Fabrizio Casiraghi in 2021.