Peter Leventhal is a storyteller.  Having had the fortune to be born and raised in New York City with all of its stimulation and access to the greatest artwork of the Western World, Leventhal soaked in every opportunity he was given to learn from the old masters and to mingle with the new.  Primarily a self-taught artist, Leventhal credits the hours he spent in the New York Public Library, which houses drawings of some of the world’s greatest masters where he would copy and learn from their every mark, for the basis of his art’s education.

One of the early painters who peaked Leventhal’s interest was Raoul Dufy, a French Fauvist painter.  It has been nearly 40 years since Leventhal has been inspired by and has conversely interpreted some of Dufy’s philosophies into his own work.  Most recently, he finds that as his physical ability to hold a paintbrush in his dominant hand is no longer an option due to the Parkinson’s, he is now able to more fully embrace Dufy’s concept of allowing color to override the edge and follow into the adjoining figure and not be confined to a spatial context.  This has created more dynamic activity in his newest body of work, which is markedly more abstract than anything Leventhal has previously painted. This marked evolution also includes broader brush strokes and a generalization of the light/dark contrast of the composition as well as a particularization of the color.  The outcome is a series of vivid paintings that reference common Leventhal themes – love, lust, envy, exhibitionism, artistry – and characters – the sculptor, etcher, dice player and accordionist – while offering the viewer a new glimpse into the evolution of his work.

The public is invited for a cocktail reception with the artist on Friday, July 6 from 6-8 PM.  The work will be on exhibit until August 1, 2012.

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