David Levine: American Presidents & Selected Paintings 1966 – 2008
August 30, 2008 New York, NY – Forum Gallery presents American Presidents & Selected Paintings: 1966 – 2008, including nearly 50 paintings and drawings by David Levine, America’s acclaimed observer of humanity and politics. For over four decades Levine has entertained readers of The New York Review of Books with his often-satirical portraiture of public figures. The current exhibition brings together these caricatures and Levine’s intimate painted portraits of the diverse characters that populate New York City.
The exhibition features a selection of more than 40 political figures from the caricatures the artist has created since he began working for the New York Review of Books in 1963. With the November 2008 presidential election upon us, Levine’s sketches of the Kennedys, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, the Clintons and their advisors and appointees are a wry and incisive reminder of how history informs and embellishes political life.
The exhibition celebrates the release of David Levine’s new book, American Presidents, 128 pages of Levine’s caricatures and anecdotes chronicling five administrations in some of their most notable and shameful moments. As Bill Moyers and Michael Winship write in their foreword to the volume:
“For more than four decades, David Levine has pierced the public image of America’s presidents and politicians with a fistful of sharpened pen nibs and gallons of India ink carefully tinctured with carbolic. “Politicians should be jumped on as often as possible,” he once told Time Magazine. Levine pounced where many feared to tread.”
David Levine’s caricatures and paintings are featured in public and private collections across the country including, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; The National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; The National Portrait Gallery, London, UK; The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; and The Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
A November 2008 Vanity Fair article will chronicle David Levine’s art and life, and Forum Gallery is producing a video interview with the artist to discuss his upcoming exhibition, his new book, and his recent retirement from 40 years at the New York Review of Books.
Watch a Video Interview with David Levine
The 128-page Fantagraphics book, American Presidents, with an introduction by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship and commentary by the artist, accompanies the exhibition and is available for $20 plus $2. S&H. An opening reception will take place on Thursday October 2, 2008 at Forum Gallery, 745 Fifth Avenue at 57th Street, Fifth Floor. The exhibition continues through Saturday November 8, 2008. For more information, images or B-roll please contact Rachel Feinberg at Forum Gallery.
Location: New York 5th Floor