Home > Art, Magazines > Farewell, David Levine

Farewell, David Levine

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

[David Levine, from the NYT, courtesy of Forum Gallery, New York]

We have spent the year with David Levine, thanks to The New York Review of Books‘s David Levine 2009 Calendar. Some months have been better than others. Eleanor Roosevelt April — good. Edouard Manet May — better. George W. Bush November — well, at least we were in Italy, Paris, New York, and Chicago through the evening of the 16th.

Our time with David was due to end tomorrow. But with his death yesterday, we must sadly say a double farewell.

Be sure to review the slide show that accompanies his NYT obituary.

Mr. Levine was as distinct an artist and commentator as any of his well-known contemporaries. His work was not only witty but serious, not only biting but deeply informed, and artful in a painterly sense as well as a literate one; he was, in fact, beyond his pen and ink drawings, an accomplished painter. Those qualities led many to suggest that he was the heir of the 19th-century masters of the illustration, Honoré Daumier and Thomas Nast.

Especially in his political work, his portraits betrayed the mind of an artist concerned, worriedly concerned, about the world in which he lived. Among his most famous images were those of President Lyndon B. Johnson pulling up his shirt to reveal that the scar from his gallbladder operation was in the precise shape of the boundaries of Vietnam … .

And see too the very short note at the website of his long-time home, the New York Review. I join many in missing his commentary and his vision.

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Categories: Art, Magazines
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