Robert Levine's vividly colored, abstract paintings employ a lush and idiosyncratic system of structure and form. Through the use of geometry combined with biomorphic asymmetry these paintings teeter between a banal awkwardness and a poetic elegance. Having devoted many years to making sculptural objects Levine turned to painting around 2002 with a series of works (The Broken Pencil Paintings) inspired by Robert Irwins Late Line Paintings. These works set in motion Roberts current investigation of geometric structure, form and color.
Critic Jerry Saltz recently wrote: The history of modernism reads like an aesthetic Book of the Dead. At the first glimmering of photography, painter Paul Delaroche fretted, From today, painting is dead. In 1912, Duchamp mused, Painting is washed up. Aleksandr Rodchenko pronounced his 1921 monochromes the end of painting. Critic Harold Rosenberg was fond of a line, popular among the AbEx crowd, declaring that the painting of Newman had closed the door, Rothko had pulled down the shades, and Reinhardt had turned out the lights. And Reinhardt himself once said, I am merely making the last painting which anyone can make.
Painting is dead, long live painting! Artists like Robert Levine continue to infuse wonder and meaning into the ongoing dialogue of abstraction.
Robert Levine was born in Pittsburgh, PA, received his BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University and his MFA from California Institute for the Arts.
Robert lives and works in Los Angeles