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opening reception: Thursday, January 9, 6-8pm

Monochrome  a severe program, which on a bad day can seem myopic, self-righteous and beyond reproach, but on a good day reminds me of Tuesday Weld at her best: cold, controlled, an ethereal and sexy beauty on the surface, but with an obsessive, tragic and gap-toothed core, slightly uncomfortable with and misunderstood by the world, somewhat tangential to popular culture, and absolutely not boring.    —Daniel Levine

Churner and Churner is pleased to present its first exhibition with artist Daniel Levine. “The Way Around” brings together nineteen paintings from 2006 to 2013.

Since 1990 Daniel Levine has created monochrome paintings. By slowly building up layers of paint, he exploits difference: for each work the canvas is often a slightly different color, tone, or weave, stretched at different depths, creating thinner or thicker profiles; the shapes are almost but not quite square; and thin borders amplify the paintings’ varying surfaces. The process, which can take several years, is documented on the back, creating a kind of diary for the works’ growth.

While they are almost always white, they are never immediate. Nor are they, in Levine’s words, “outwardly friendly … like the ‘A’ side of a great single.” They are the “‘B’ side, in a minor key.” As Chris Ashley has recently written in reference to Levine, “The minor key doesn’t call attention to itself; it’s content to take a back seat, to deliver the goods on the sly, to engage the listener more contemplatively. … The sound and message may ultimately be no less momentous or epic than a typical I, IV, V three major chord head-nodding, toe-tapping basher, but it’s a lot less in your face, and invites a less visceral and more sensitive physical and emotional engagement requiring the listener’s awareness, observations, and reflection.”

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Daniel Levine was born in New York City in 1959. He earned a BFA in 1981 and an MFA in 1983 from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Levine has been awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, and his work is in numerous institutional collections, including The Panza Collection, Italy; The Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano, Switzerland; The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson

In addition to exhibiting his paintings in Europe and the United States since 1984, he curated “Amerikarma” (1989), exhibiting John Currin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Cady Noland, Steven Parrino, Jim Shaw, Allen Ruppersberg, Raymond Pettibon, and others. He also curated “World View” in 1985, exhibiting Jennifer Bolande, Richard Prince, Peter Nagy, Meyer Vaisman, Ger Van Elk and others. Levine lives in New York City.

 

For images and information, please contact Rachel Churner at 212-675-2750 or rachel@churnerandchurner.com.

“You may begin this quietly forceful exhibition of meticulously made white-on-white paintings thinking of Robert Ryman, but chances are he will have faded by the end. Mr. Levine applies a few thin coats of oil paint on fine cotton. He works in minute, nearly invisible brush strokes most of the time, and you can almost count the layers of paint. He seems almost to love the cotton as much as the paint, and their tenderly maintained balance is a palpable strength.”

Roberta Smith, Museum and Gallery Listings for Feb. 21–27, The New York Times (February 20, 2014)

“Daniel: Pursuing a program in monochrome for three decades did not start as a love of monochrome painting; it was more a way to learn how to paint (and what better way to start painting ‘seriously’?). What it became, however, once you fall deeper and deeper into the ascetic well, was a life-long endeavor, a hope for some small transcendence, an attempt to make paintings that work.”

Brent Hallard, “White Things: Daniel Levine” (interview) Visual Discrepancies (February 9, 2014)

Daily Dose: “Daniel Levine, ‘The Way Around’ (Churner and Churner)” Chronogram (February 5, 2014)

“Levine regards the three rudimentary issues of his paintings as “structure, surface, and support”—the intellectual and emotional foundation, the paint, and the paint’s cotton and panel backing, respectively.”

Noah Dillon, “’Some of the paintings are smarter than me’: Daniel Levine Talks Monochrome” Artcritical (January 30, 2014)