Evan Levine - Numbers As a Cheap Formal Device
American, b.1984
Numbers As a Cheap Formal Device, 2007
Acrylic on linen, 48 x 48 inches

Gift of Debra and Michael Gelband (MBA '83)

Levine is informed by a mixture of influences including modern and contemporary American abstraction, folk art, popular culture, 80's neo geo painting, video games, maps, painted signs, cartoons, music, and the digital computer age.

Levine's earliest abstract forms were pictographic and Levine took an interest in exploring the possibilities of a more literal use of language by incorporating words, letters, and full sentences into some of his art in 2007. In Numbers as a Cheap Formal Device, Levine recalls a distinctly American pop art lineage originating with painters like Stuart Davis, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Roy Lichtenstein who incorporated text into their work. This painting calls upon typography to map the transformation of a symbol from its everyday context towards an abstract geometrical form. This piece by Levine can be linked to popular culture as well. For instance, the large 6 might be interpreted as being from a professional sports jersey.