Books by Gail Levin

LEE KRASNER by Gail Levin
Released: March 22, 2011

"Levin deftly connects Krasner's biography to the social and political upheaval of the time. Her long experience in the art world gives insight into the landscape of 20th-century artists, art dealers and museums."
First biography of Lee Krasner (1908-1984), Jackson Pollock's wife but also a significant artist in her own right. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 6, 2007

"A gift for those interested in the history of American art and the history of feminism."
An engrossing, vivid study of the life and work of one of America's most important feminist artists. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 29, 1995

This sprawling study of his career and marriage sets the great painter of modern bleakness in an important new light but fails to fully illuminate his psyche. Writing on Hopper's (18821967) youth, Levin (Art/Baruch College and Graduate School, CUNY) works up hints about his early cultural milieu and hypotheses about his family into tentative psychological sketches. Hopper, she suggests, was a puritan chauvinist whose rectitude masked deep insecurities. In perhaps her strongest sections, Levin treats Hopper's better-documented student years. A protÇgÇ of the legendary teacher Robert Henri, Hopper struggled to assert himself as a serious artist in the tradition of older contemporaries such as John Sloan. Sojourns in Paris shaped his erotic sensibilities while undermining his allegiance to the cultural nationalism then dominant in the American art world. At age 41, just as he began to receive serious recognition, Hopper married painter Jo Nivison. The diary that she kept during the remaining 40-plus years of Hopper's life serves as Levin's key source. While Edward produced his most successful works, Jo played a crucial role as model, collaborator, and goad. Her own career, however, remained stalled. Jo's resentment of Edward's crueltiesfrom his refusal to allow her to drive to his physical attacks on herreinforced her bitterness toward him and the art world generally for belittling her work. Jo's diary records the agony that Edward's painter's block brought them both. The deep motivation for his torturous pace remains an enigma here, however. While reporting Jo's diagnoses of Edward's sadism, Levin never really fleshes out the psychological profile that her early chapters promise. All the same, Levin provides a crucial reference work for further research on the master. Depressing, at times tedious, yet nonetheless compelling, this book bears well the inevitable comparison to one of Hopper's signature tableaus. (100 drawings and photos, not seen) (Author tour) Read full book review >