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Jack Levine
American Modernist "Feast of Pure Reason" Aquatint Mezzotint Etching WPA Artist

1970

$1,800

About

Jack Levine, American, 1915–2010 The Feast of Pure Reason, 1970 Etching, mezzotint and aquatint on copper in black ink. 20 w. 25 in., sight overall: 27 x 31.75 in., matted. Depicting three figures smoking; signed in pencil lower right, edition: "Artist's Proof" lower left Provenance: from the estate of the late centenarian Joseph S. Blank, Jr., well known collector and board member of The Neuberger Museum of Art. In 1935, shortly after its formation, Levine joined the WPA’s Federal Art Project, where he was employed intermittently until 1939. In 1937, while with the WPA, Levine painted The Feast of Pure Reason, the work that catapulted him to fame. The painting, which depicted a politician, a policeman, and a ​“gentleman” of wealth, was interpreted by the press as an indictment of police corruption and its connection to wealth and organized crime gangsters. Born to 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 worked in oil painting, gouache, watercolor, drawing, lithograph and etching prints. Levine's early work was most influenced by Bloom, German expressionist artists, such as George Grosz and Oskar Kokoschka, Chaim Soutine and Georges Rouault. Along with Bloom and Karl Zerbe, he became associated with the style known as Boston Expressionism. He was included in the show “American Modernism – Paintings from the Dr. and Mrs. Mark S. Kauffman Collection,” along with 30 leading masters of American modernism, which captured the essence of a revolutionary era in American art. As the 20th century began, American painters became increasingly involved in avant-garde developments in Europe. Different styles from international sources developed concurrently, making the years between the World Wars a dynamic period of artistic exchange and cathartic change. Faced with the fast-moving, machine-driven technology of the 20th century, American artists began to explore different ways of representing the world: through the influences of Cubism, structurally fracturing the picture plane into angular prisms, and through the expressionist application of bold, unnaturalistic color. Collectively, these first American modernist experiments with abstraction were to change the direction of the art world. Artists included were Stuart Davis, Lyonel Feininger, William Gropper, Robert Gwathmey, Jack Levine, William Meyerowitz, Abraham Rattner, Ben Shahn, Moses and Raphael Soyer, Konrad Cramer, Charles Sheeler, Abraham Walkowitz, and Max Weber. The exhibition also showed at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota and the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio. The Brooklyn Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (New York City), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Phillips Collection (Washington, DC), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City) are among the institutions holding works by Jack Levine.

Details

  • Creator
    Jack Levine (1915, American)
  • Creation Year
    1970
  • Dimensions
    Height: 27 in. (68.58 cm)Width: 31.75 in. (80.65 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
    image is great. margins where it was under mat have extensive toning. will be shipped without the mat. please see photos.
  • Gallery Location
    Bal Harbour, FL
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU3827220032

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Ships From: Bal Harbour, FL
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
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