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.
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: 745 5th Avenue at 57th Street, 5th Floor
Our pal Jenn Chan sent us these awesome photos of a weekend baking jag inspired by Krazy Kat (and perhaps even Chris Ware's design). Her husband was "feeling really bummed about the Mets so I made these to cheer him up." Lucky man. Well, aside from those Mets, anyway. At least he's not a Mariners fan. Back to the Kupkakes. Mmmmmm:
I don't mean to necessarily suggest the above is a swipe -- I think it could be entirely coincidental. But I was just struck by not only the design similarities (down to the sans serif fonts), but the similarly nihilistic titles the designs serve. Did the tone of each title drive the design to similar, bleak places independent of the other, or did the designer of Rock Bottom look to Misery for similarly bleak inspiration? And what was Ivan riffing on when he designed his book? I have no answers, I just saw the cover to Rock Bottom at LitMob and immediately asked myself these questions. There's probably some famous art manifesto from the 1930s that has this same design that is obvious to everyone but me.
Flog!'s North Carolina Bureau Chief Rob Clough attended the opening of the Dash Shaw show at Duke this past Friday night and was kind enough to provide us with this exclusive report:
Dash Shaw's show BOTTOMLESS at the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University debuted on Thursday, September 25th. The well-attended opening was a multi-media affair that was as much about process as it was about a final product. The way that curator Diego Cortez designed the show gave a unique glimpse into Shaw's method. By juxtaposing Shaw's original pencils against his color sheets on the walls of the exhibit, the viewer could see the way Shaw composes color for his pages is unusual. On display were pencils and color pages from his webcomic BodyWorld and MOME short stories "Train" and the upcoming "Satellite CMYK". That latter story may well be his best effort yet.
There were also some other unusual entries, like a drawing Shaw made of himself and Barack Obama as surfers.
SUNDAY 12PM: Paul Karasik & Miss Lasko-Gross 1PM: Lilli Carré 2PM: John Kerschbaum & Tim Krieder 3PM: Paul Karasik & Dash Shaw 4PM: Dash Shaw
Sat. 1:00PM: Kim Thompson: Vingt Sur 20 Sat. 1:30PM: Critics' Rountable with Gary Groth Sat. 5:00PM: Herge and the Clear Line with K. Thompson and Joost Swarte Sun. 1:30PM: Cartooning in Collaboration, with Dash Shaw Sun. 2:ooPM: Spotlight on Joost Swarte, moderated by Paul Karasik
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