Jack Levine, ‘Untitled’, 1970, Baterbys Art Gallery

Jack Levine was an social realist artist known for his caricatures of American businessmen and politicians. This print comes from a different body of work. It is part of a portfolio of images created from sketches the artist made during a trip to Japan. Like his earlier paintings, these images reflect the attention Levine gave to observing people. However, his Japanese images are fond recollections of his journey abroad instead of biting social commentary.

From Facing East, 1970
original color; original color lithographs were printed from the presses of The Bank Street Atelier, New York

About Jack Levine

A painter and printmaker best known for political and social commentaries, Jack Levine drew inspiration from satirical German expressionist artists, such as George Grosz and Oskar Kokoscha, and took stylistic cues from the paintings of Titian, Diego Velázquez, and Francisco de Goya. Rejecting the formal qualities and ideologies of contemporary art movements, Levine caricatured 20th-century issues—inequality, big business, militarism, racism, political corruption, and human folly—to express disappointment in American culture. His painting Welcome Home (1946), which features an armchair general flanked by businessmen and socialites, was denounced by President Eisenhower and caught the attention of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1959. During a trip to Europe after World War II, Levine was exposed to the mannerist style of El Greco, and he started creating figures with exaggerated, distorted, taffy-like faces to suggest the effects of excessive power.

American, 1915-2010, Boston, Massachusetts, based in New York, New York