Marion Lerner-Levine at the Prince Street Gallery

by Robert Sievert


Export China

Levine has always had a wonderful knack of using pre-iconized material and incorporating it into new and charming work. In her early paintings she did still life with tins and cans that had landscape implications such as those tomato cans with pictures of an Italian region on its label.

In this new work she shows that she has been able to deepen this theme substantially. EXPORT CHINA shows two pages from catalogue of some exquisite set of Chinese boxes and jars. This catalogue leans against two sets of shelves, deep blue set out with a collection of yellow ware. Yellow plates, pitchers, jars, and cups are seen as a miniature collection. Two strands of beads offset the composition's formality to give the painting an inviting casual feeling.

What is most admirable in this show is the artist's commitment to painterly values. All of these highly detail intense objects she paints are represented in a painterly manner. Levine paints with respect for detail without slavishly copying it. Throughout it all the personal touch remains the dominant visual theme.

I particularly liked Yellow ware, once again displaying the collection described above. This time she floats a yellow scarf in front of the yellow ware creating a Modriani-like minimalism in respect to the color and simplicity of form.


  Copyright © 2002 Robert Sievert