US artist Jack Levine dies


This video says about itself:

“Jack Levine”: The American realist painter demonstrates his craft, technique, and political viewpoint as he creates a major painting: from the canvas to the art gallery.

From Wikipedia:

Jack Levine (January 3, 1915 – November 8, 2010) was an American Social Realist painter and printmaker best known for his satires on modern life, political corruption, and biblical narratives.

Born of Lithuanian Jewish parents, Levine grew up in the South End of Boston, where he observed a street life composed of European immigrants and a prevalence of poverty and societal ills, subjects which would inform his work. He first studied drawing with Harold K. Zimmerman from 1924-1931. At Harvard University from 1929 to 1933, Levine and classmate Hyman Bloom studied with Denman Ross. As an adolescent, Levine was already, by his own account, “a formidable draftsman”. In 1932 Ross included Levine’s drawings in an exhibition at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard, and three years later bequeathed twenty drawings by Levine to the museum’s collection. Levine’s early work was most influenced by Bloom, Chaim Soutine, Georges Rouault, and Oskar Kokoschka. Along with Bloom and Karl Zerbe, he became associated with the style known as Boston Expressionism. …

From 1935 to 1940 he was employed by the Works Progress Administration. His first exhibition of paintings in New York City was at the Museum of Modern Art, with the display of Card Game and Brain Trust, the latter drawn from his observation of life in the Boston Common. In 1937 his The Feast of Pure Reason, a satire of Boston political power, was placed on loan to the Museum of Modern Art. In the same year String Quartet was shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and purchased in 1942 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The death of his father in 1939 prompted a series of paintings of Jewish sages.

Jack Levine, Welcome Home

From 1942 to 1945 Levine served in the Army. Upon his discharge from service he painted Welcome Home, a lampoon of the arrogance of military power; years later the painting would engender political controversy when it was included in a show of art in Moscow, and along with works by other American artists, raised suspicions in the House Un-American Activities Committee of pro-Communist sympathies. …

In the 1960s Levine responded not only to political unrest in the United States with works such as Birmingham ’63, but to international subjects as well, as in The Spanish Prison (1959–62), and later still, Panethnikon (1978), and The Arms Brokers, 1982-83. …

Levine passed away at his home in Manhattan on November 8, 2010 at the age of 95.

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