SNC Zipper Cup
5.75 x 6 in. (14.605 x 15.24 cm)
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation
SNC Zipper Cup is part of Marilyn Levine’s career-long investigation of old leather objects—luggage, jackets, gloves, hats, and boots—and mimetic approach to ceramic sculpture. Levine painstakingly reproduces scratches, stains, stitches, handles, and zippers in stoneware to create hyper-realistic sculptures of everyday objects. The leathery skin of Levine’s hand-built cup retains an unfeigned humility in its visualization of time: The lifespan of the materials she uses and references, as well as the artist’s time-consuming and laborious skill-based practice.
Levine was born in Alberta, Canada in 1935. Her interest in materials stems from her early studies in chemistry at the University of Alberta, where she earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in the late 1950s. Levine studied ceramics at the University of Regina before attending graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley in 1969. While Levine was denied the first time she applied to UC Berkeley, she was eventually accepted on the recommendation of Jim Melchert. After graduating with an Master of Fine Arts in sculpture in 1971, Levine taught art at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, and UC Berkeley. For most of her career, however, Levine primarily worked as a full-time artist based in Oakland, California.
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