David X. Levine uses a heavy application of colored pencils and ink on paper to create painterly works, a painstaking process that takes tens to hundreds of hours of manual labor depending on the size of the piece, which can range from six inches to five feet.
Levine’s abstract art has vibrant, striking colors, and his unusual method of millions of pencil strokes gives his work a duality of being hard and soft, straight and curved. His illusory forms can seem neither two- nor three-dimensional.
His work has been described as rhythmic, and indeed it is at a fundamental level. Many of his pieces are inspired by specific songs, usually rock and jazz, and the artist has even been commissioned by individuals to create art based on a particular song. Levine’s art sometimes includes hand-written passages from the songs that inspire them, uniting the sensory experience of listening with the visual language of abstraction. Many of his works walk the line between figurative and abstract, while his somewhat anthropomorphic figures and the contrast of his bright colors can seem surrealistic.
His most recent work has embraced right-angles and sharpened edges, creating sleek surfaces of such precision that only close viewing betrays the artist’s manual mark-making. These works are often named after artists that have affected Levine’s life and work, representing his interest in memorializing.
Levine uses a specific brand of paper that will not absorb too much color, so that layers of color can give the paper a certain finish which he accentuates by buffing the art down to a smooth finish. On some of his artwork, the wear from buffing is allowed to show.
Levine has had twelve solo exhibitions since 2001. His work has been shown at the University Museum of Art in Albany, New York, and the Boston Center for the Arts. The artist lives and works in New York City.
2012 "DAVID X. LEVINE: DRAWINGS", Eight Modern, Sante Fe, NM
2012 AMY WINEHOUSE, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA
2012 THE BEATLES ARE DULL & ORDINARY, Know More Games, Brooklyn, NY
2010 She Kept Her Heart Parked on a Hill, Eight Modern, Santa Fe, NM
2009 Brian Wilson Loves You, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA
2006 Drawings, John Davis Gallery, Hudson NY
2005 Drawings, Dust Gallery, Las Vegas, NV
2005 Drawings, OSP Gallery, Boston, MA
2003 Recent Drawings, OSP Gallery, Boston, MA
2003 Drawings, Bodybuilders & Sportsmen, Chicago, IL
2002 Teenage Symphonies to God, Cynthia Broan Gallery, New York, NY
2001 Paintings and Drawings, Gallery Bershad, Somerville, MA
2011 Given a Miniscule Ledge, Norwood, New York, NY
2008 Ceci n’est pas un dessin, Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York, NY
2007 Thinking in Color, Lemberg Gallery, Ferndale, MI
2007 Group Show, Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, New York, NY
2006 Getting it Right, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA
2006 Group show, John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY
2005 Paper Beats Rock, Cherrydelosreyes, Los Angeles, CA
2004 Group Show, Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MA
2004 The First Happiness, University Museum of Art, Albany, NY
2004 Summer Show, OSP Gallery, Boston, MA
2004 I Want To Take You Higher, McKenzie Fine Art, New York, NY
2004 PaintDraw, Dust Gallery, Las Vegas, NV
2003 Where Nobody Knows Your Name, Overtones, Los Angeles, CA
2003 New York Cross Cut, Kunstverein Firma, Paradigma, Linz, Austria
2003 The Musikshow, Gallery Lombardi, Austin, TX
2003 Recession 2003 $99 Show, Cynthia Broan Gallery, New York, NY
2002-1 The Drawing Show, Boston Center for the Arts, Mills Gallery; Juror: Bill Arning, curator of the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston, MA
2000 To Each His Own, Gallery Onetwentyeight, New York, NY