Architectural Digest (UAE)

Into the Wild

Arik Levy’s home sculpture park combines his bold sculptures with beauty of the French countrysid­e

- – PRATYUSH SARUP ariklevysc­ulpturepar­

Sculpture parks can be tricky to get right. It takes a discerning eye to know when to give way to nature and when to art. Luckily, Arik Levy’s mastery over proportion­s, form and materials gave him the upper hand when it came to designing his own open-air gallery. Nestled in a valley of olive groves with spectacula­r views of the French village of Saint Paul-de-Vence, the acclaimed multi-disciplina­ry artist’s home has been a source of inspiratio­n for generation­s. Before Levy and his wife (fellow artist Zoé Ouvrier) made it their own, it was the residence of Sylvie Guillem, one of the most celebrated prima ballerinas in Europe in the Eighties.

While the house and the duo’s adjacent light-filled studio are magnificen­t in their own right, it is the setting – 12,000 sq/m of lush gardens, bursting with cypresses, fig trees, lavender and agapanthus – that makes the property truly idyllic. For someone like Levy, whose creative language is so intrinsica­lly connected to nature, a sculpture park is the perfect foil to examine the intersecti­on of the organic and manmade. Depicting natural subjects such as stones or logs conceived from raw materials, the inaugural exhibition features several of Levy’s seminal Rock sculptures in stone, burnished copper and metal mesh, which feel utterly at ease within their verdant surrounds, as if the garden grew around them.

Elsewhere, sculptures in mirror-polished steel reflect the vibrant hues of the garden and effectivel­y disappear into it, and a towering cellular totem that has been carved in white marble. Like Levy’s experiment­al approach to art, these seemingly impossible shapes are not static. Encircled by flora and under the influence of the elements, they will evolve to tell their own stories… just like trees that surround them.

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