BEATRICE LEVY

 

BEATRICE S. LEVY was born in Chicago, and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her outstanding teachers were Vojtech Preissig, Charles Hawthorne and Ralph Clarkson. She has painted in France, Corsica, Italy, England, Germany, Switzerland, North Africa, .Spain and Canada, and in this country in New Mexico, Massachusetts, California, Louisiana and Kentucky. She is a member of the Chicago Society, of Artists, the Chicago Society of Etchers, The Arts Club of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago Alumni Association and the Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago. She has exhibited in Paris, London, the Carnegie International, in Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Academy and the Print Club, in Philadelphia, the Brooklyn Museum. in Brooklyn, N. Y., and in Boston, New York City, Washington, D. C., Milwaukee, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Florence, Italy. One-artist exhibitions of her work have been held in New York, Boston, the Philadelphia Print Club, the Washington, D. C., Art Club and the Smithsonian Institute of Washington, D. C., the Art Institute of Chicago, the Layton Gallery of Milwaukee, and in .San Francisco and Grand Rapids. She was awarded a gold medal by the Chicago Society of Artists in 1928, the prize of the Chicago Society of Etchers in International Etching Exhibition in 1930, honorable mention in Exhibition of American Art at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1930, the Robert Rice Jenkins Prize at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1923, and honorable mention in the Panama Pacific Exposition for etching in 1915. Pieces of hers are included in the Art Institute of Chicago Print Collection and the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institute, the Los Angeles Museum, the Library of Congress and the Bibliotheque Nationale of France. Her work has been written about in various American newspapers and in The Arts and the American Magazine of Art, by C. J. Bulliet, Marguerite B. Williams, C. H. Bonte of Philadelphia, Leila Mechlin of Washington, and others. 

My life as an artist is a constant struggle to put down adequately on canvas or paper what I think and feel about what I see and learn. As I am constantly seeing and learning, this life, like that of an explorer, is filled with thrilling adventure, for every painting, drawing or etching is a fresh and exciting experience. Subject matter in my work is usually a starting point and it may or may not continue important as the work progresses. Sometimes the interest in subject matter is intensified as I develop my design. Although most of the time my design begins as an abstraction and could again be resolved into one, I do not do any pure abstractions. Illusion of volume and illusion of distance are of interest only when they take their place in the area prescribed for the picture; and are the result of relationships of spaces, shapes, lines, textures and colors. If this is what writers and artists term form, then I am immensely concerned with form. I admire the work of the great French moderns and I love the works of the Italian primitives and of the Renaissance. I have also felt the influence of the spirit of such intensely American artists as Bellows and Davey. Ancient Mexican and African forms hold my interest at present. The art of the past has always been of tremendous value to society and probably the art of today will be found, upon future examination, to have a great value in the development of the culture of our time. However, I paint because of the thrill of fresh vision and independent thought I derive from it. Inasmuch as the work of an artist, if it be sincere, is an expression of his time and country so my work, because I am an American and a Chicagoan must have something in it of the quality of America and of Chicago. Quite sincerely I can say that I have not been the least bit influenced by the demands of galleries, the art market, or by the opinion of current criticism. Beatrice S. Levy