Friday, June 5, 2009

My New Favorite Artist

Jack Levine

Jack Levine Etching

Birmingham 63
Inauguration II ,1958

Portrait of Jack Levine

Massachusetts native , Jack Levine is recognized as an American Social Realist painter and printmaker, who is best known for his satires on modern life, political corruption, and biblical narratives. Levine was born the child of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants , and spent his child hood growing up in the poverty stricken South End of Boston, where he observed much of what became the inspiration for his work. By the age of 17 Jack Levine displayed a level of draughtsmanship that was on the level of masters such as Degas,  his drawings earned him a show a Harvard's Fogg Art Museum in 1932. Levine's raw and explosive style is a unique one, and his technique was  informed by the Old Masters in which he studied. Levine's work displays the same level of technical maturity as the masters, achieving astonishing use of opacity, transparency , and luminosity, all held together with  a sense of mind boggling distortion.  Along with  Hyman Bloom and Karl Zebe , Levine has become associated with the Boston Expressionist movement, and his work has continued to enlighten the world into the present day.

On Jan 3rd. Jack Levine celebrated his 93 rd birthday, and will still be found at his easel where he continues to create, and confront the world around him through his art. Levines work has been included in collections world wide including the Vatican, where his painting Cain and Abel hangs.

This summer during my final contact period at the Hartford Art School I have a class with prolific American Illustrators, Chris Payne, and Gary Kelly. We have a portrait assignment to work on , and I am hoping to work on a portrait of Jack Levine.

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