Larissa Goldston Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Matvey Levenstein. The exhibition will be on view from April 2 through May 9, 2009. There will be a reception for the artist on April 2 from 6 to 8pm.
The six pieces featured in the exhibition are a continuation of Levenstein’s exploration of autonomous painting. Drawing upon images of a sleeping woman, flowers in an American domestic setting, and Italian Catholic church interiors, Levenstein subverts the hierarchy of genres by stripping all of these scenes of allegorical or historicized trappings. The finished works are subsequently imbued with a paradoxically ethereal beauty.
In his last body of work, Levenstein focused on the unity of space, depicting two rooms of a small New York apartment. The new work focuses on the unity of time, representing a compressed period of his life. These paintings raise the possibility of a narrative both within the individual pieces and in the gaps in-between the paintings.
Having grown up in the Soviet Union under an officially atheist regime, Levenstein has always been curious about religion and intellectual foundations of faith. For him, the Italian Catholic churches that he is portraying have everything to do with the origins of representational painting.
Born and raised in Moscow, Matvey Levenstein received his MFA degree from Yale University, and holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Levenstein currently lives and works in New York City and has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions in New York and internationally. He has received numerous grants including the Rome Prize (2003), the Penny McCall Foundation Award (2002) and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Studio Grant (1998-99). His exhibitions have been reviewed in Artforum, Time Out NY, ARTnews, The Village Voice, Flash Art and The Miami Herald. This is his second exhibition with the gallery.