“On NOT Becoming an Artist: A ‘Retro’-Spective”– Solo exhibition by Gail Levin

“On NOT Becoming an Artist: A ‘Retro’-Spective” - Solo-exhibition of collage artworks by Gail Levin 

Location: N.A.W.A. Gallery,80 Fifth Ave., Suite 1405, NYC

Dates of exhibit: May 1– 27, 2014

Best known as the biographer of Lee Krasner, Judy Chicago, and Edward (& Jo) Hopper, Gail Levin is also an artist and photographer. In her Hopper’s Places (1985, 1998) and Marsden Hartley in Bavaria (1989), she found and identified the art works and the exact places they depicted. Gail then photographed and analyzed how the painters transformed the scenes. These projects, which resulted in both books and exhibitions, she considers conceptual art, thinking along lines sketched by Sol LeWitt. “In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.” (Sol LeWitt, "Paragraphs on Conceptual Art", Artforum, June 1967.) As has happened with LeWitt’s wall drawings, others have emulated Levin’s photographs of Hopper’s scenes.

After research into the lives of other artists, Levin now brings a singular perspective to her own life in art. Even while active as an art historian and curator, Gail was producing photographs, collages, paintings, and prints. Her collage memoir, “On NOT Becoming an Artist: A 'Retro'-Spective,” begins with Gail's earliest self-portrait and then shows and tells her story of growing up in the Deep South, where her parents threatened to disown her if she became an artist. Successive collages trace her journey into the worlds of museums and art history, exploring the sometimes-blurred lines between art, art history, and criticism.

Gail Levin is a Distinguished Professor at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has lectured widely, and her writing has been translated and published internationally.

A reception was held at the N.A.W.A. Gallery on Wednesday, May 14, 2014.

                                                                        Posted by: A. Ioli