A compendium of craft masquerading as art, art masquerading as craft, and craft extending its middle finger.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Marilyn Levine - 1935-2005


What's up with the huge deathwave that we seem to be locked into at the moment? I could barely deal with the passing of Terry Schiavo and the Pope, but now one of my favorite ceramic artists has joined them. Marilyn Levine, master of ceramic Trompe L'oeil realism passed away on April 2nd at age 69. Levine moved to the Bay Area in 1969 during the peak of the "Funk" movement. She earned her MFA from University of California, Berkeley in 1971, where her faculty included Peter Voulkos. Though the circles she moved in were largely ceramic ones, she held her own in the big-boy art world alongside figurative sculptors like Duane Hanson. Her work was included in the "Sharp-Focus Realism" show at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York in 1971. I still remember the first time I saw her work in person, a leather briefcase in a show at the Mint Museum in Charlotte. The object was rendered in hyper-detail, down to the wear, schmutz, and stray fibers on the straps. Marilyn Levine's contribution to modern ceramics can not be overstated, and she will be missed.
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