Linda Levi::
Non Objective Art

Art by Linda Levi 1994In my earlier college years I was a figurative artist, but later in upper division and Grad School (both at UCLA) my direction changed because of influential teachers (Richard Diebenkorn and Adolph Gottlieb) and friendships (fellow students and Ferus gallery guys in Los Angeles).  Later in New York I became friends with some of my heroes (William De Kooning, Phillip Guston) and that solidified my position and feeling that Non Objective Art was the only new and true art form of the 20th century.  That belief makes Kandinsky, Mondrian, Malevich, the first non-objective artists, the great artists of the 20th century.

My art followed that point of view for over thirty years.  I worked with different materials, paint, plastic, wood, sometimes geometrically, sometimes organically and often a combination of the two.  What was consistent was the non-objective subject matter.  Another primary concept was my interest in combining two dimension and three dimension.  My late 1950s paintings were gestural, thick, dense surfaces which suggested projection and the earth.  In the 1960s I painted on flat surfaces and placed the images in a three dimensional environment e.g. a box.  Finally at the end of the 1960s the art became plastic sculpture using light, sound, and movement.  In the 1970s I returned to painting using shaped plastic and canvas and images which were constructed three dimensionally.  These painted constructions continued thru the 1980s and into the early 1990s but this time the material was wood.

During the 1990s, on a sabbatical leave I re-evaluated my art and decided to explore using the computer.  The computer seemed the most relevant tool of the new century.  I had painted some large wood pieces that resembled letters in the early 90s.  So, when I started using a computer I took the letter idea and juxtaposed the letters against organic shapes i.e. A/Apple.  I realize I’ve altered my position on non-objective art but it’s a new century!

I use Painter, Photoshop and “paint” directly on a tablet with a “pen.”  Now, I’m continuing with similar subject matter but trying to suggest more abstraction and isolation, and pattern and decoration.  The images seem to work better against a decorative domestic background.  Recently I read an article about the Pattern and Decoratiion movement which began In the 1970s.  At the time I was friendly with the New York painter Miriam Shapiro who was one of the founders of the Pattern and Decoration school.  And when I wanted to create a background for the images it felt right to use domestic imagery like carpets.  So, I can thank the female and male artists of that movement who made it OK to use “female” concepts.

Linda Levi
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