contemporary art

Les Levine /   Les Levine

Ireland 1935

Sculpture, Pop Art, Conceptual Art

Les Levine
Les Levine
January 30, 2015
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Les Levine is a conceptual artist and one of the originators of media art. He was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1935. Early on, he recognized the potential of television as an art medium and a means of mass dissemination. He was one of the first artists to use videotape. Levine regards himself as a “media sculptor” and has used outdoor advertising, posters, television, radio, and telephone conversations in his work. He studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London and exhibited and lived in Canada during the 1960s and early 1970s. In 1973 he was an artist-in-residence at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He has been based in New York City since 1964.

At the beginning of his career, Levine introduced the idea of disposable art, earning the name “Plastic man”. In 1966 he exhibited thousands of vacuum-formed plastic reliefs in various colours, selling them for between $3 and $6 each. This was considered a populist response to art world conceptions of art as unique and precious objects. Wiretap, 1970, in the National Gallery of Canada collection, consists of 12 speakers on the wall, each playing a loop of 12 hours of recorded telephone conversations that Levine made on his home phone. The audience listens to the taped document of actual inquiries and conversations about the production of artwork over a period of one year. For its time, Wiretap was radical in proposing that the activity surrounding the process of making a work of art is as valid and interesting as the end product.

Like others of his generation, Levine addresses in his artwork issues of value and consumption in North American society. In the early 1980s, his first billboard campaigns in Los Angeles and Minneapolis followed on the heels of a successful mass media project that featured 4000 images along the NYC subway system.

Levine has made over 200 videos and has had over 100 solo exhibitions.

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2011Mindful Mediarish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Irelandsolo
2005The Sixties in CanadaNational Gallery of Canada, Ottawagroup
2004Last Stop AmericaDuisburger Akzente, Duisburg, Germanygroup
2003The Self ExpressBrigitte March Galerie, Stuttgart, Germanysolo
2001Markers, God Bless AmericaVenice Biennalegroup
2000Let s Have a Show of HandsBrigitte March Galerie, Stuttgart, Germanysolo
2000Have No FearAsbaek Galerie, Copenhagen, Denmarksolo
2000Herausforderung Tier, Death Ends All PunishmentStädtische Galerie Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germanygroup
2000Construction in Process VII - This Earth is a Flower, media campaign: Mind WeedThe International Artists Museum, Bydgoszez, Polandgroup
2000Critic as Grist exhibited Group Shows Twist the Truth & Statements on the SublimeWhite Box, NY, NYgroup
1999Show Us Our MindVelan, Carignano (Turin), Italysolo
1999Billboard: Art on the RoadMASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusettsgroup
1999Making It New (The Big Sixties Show), performed CornflakesGallery of Windsor, Canadagroup
1998The Inflatable Moment: Pneumatics and Protest in 68The Architectural League, The Urban Center, NY, NYgroup
1997Art Can SeeGalerie der Stadt Stuttgart, Germanysolo
1997Selections from the Video Collection, BrainwashMuseum of Modern Art, Video Gallery, NY, NYgroup
1997See Your Mind, video installation2nd Johannesburg Biennale, Johannesburg, S. Africagroup
1996See Your MindBrigitte March Galerie,Stuttgart, Germanysolo
1996Painting the Media Cave - Public PetsTemporary Contemporary, Baltic Flour Mills, Gateshead, Englandsolo
1996Media Mind - Les Levine: A Recent SurveyThe Alternative Museum, NY, NYsolo
1996Contemporary Art at the Museum Ludwig - Acquisition 1992-1996Museum Ludwig, Köln, Germanygroup
1995Gilbert & George, Space Walkm & Diamond Mind, videotapesSaint-Gervais Geneve Dept des Art et Medias Electroniques, Geneve, Switzerlandsolo
1995Early Media Art and New WorksBrigitte March Galerie,Stuttgart, Germanysolo
1995The Media TentArt Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germanysolo
1995Media TentVideo-Forum, Art 26 95 Basel International Art Fair, Basel, Switzerlandsolo
1995MindStadt Langenhagen, Hannover, Germanysolo
1995Adding It Up, Print Acquisitions 1970-1995Museum of Modern Art, NYCgroup
1995Das Sisyphos-Syndrom, Hommage für Joseph BeuysKunstverein Schloss Plön, Germanygroup
1995Mask Change See Face, billboard campaign Uludag Universitesi and the city of Bursa, Turkeygroup
1995Media BoardsMai 36 Galerie, Zürich, Switzerlandgroup
1994Media MagicLutz Teutloff Modern Art, Köln, Germanysolo
1994Public InterventionsICA, Boston, MAgroup
1994From Beyond the PaleIrish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Irelandgroup
1994Intelligent AmbienceLong Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CAgroup
1994Monumental PropagandaSmithsonian Institution, International Gallery, Washington, DCgroup
1993Sex Won t Save You, billboard campaignKansas City, MOsolo
1993Les LevineMai 36 Galerie, Zürich, Switzerlandsolo
1993Lose Your LifeStadtRaum Remise, Vienna, Austriasolo
1993The Media CageGalerie In Situ, Aalst, Belgiumsolo
1993Bright LightInternational Contemporary Art, Schloss Presteneck, Stein am Kocher, Germanygroup
1993The Language of ArtKunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austriagroup
1993Gone Beyond GoneThread Waxing Space, NY, NYgroup
1993I Am YouMUHKA, Antwerp, Belgiumgroup
1992Ease Pain, billboard campaignLower Manhattan Cultural Council, NYCsolo
1992Public Mind: Les Levine s Media Sculpture and Mass Ad Campaigns 1969-1990MUHKA, Antwerpen, Belgiumsolo
1992Law Order, billboard campaignCincinnati, OHsolo
1992Force SightInternational Contemporary Art, Schloss Presteneck, Stein am Kocher, Germanygroup
1992Notes from the Material World: Contemporary PhotomontageJohn Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WIgroup
1991Ease Pain, Work Change, billboard in the MarienplatzWassermann Galerie, Munichsolo
1991Les Levine: Billboard CartoonsBrigitte March Galerie, Stuttgartsolo
1991Night LinesCentraal Museum, Utrecht, Hollandgroup
1990Les LevineGalerie Montaigne, Parissolo
1990Les LevineMai 36 Galerie, Luzernsolo
1990Analyze LoversCentraal Museum, Utrecht, Hollandsolo
1990Public Mind: Les Levine s Media Sculpture and Mass Ad Campaigns1969-1990Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NYsolo
1990Word as ImageMilwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WIgroup
1990Art & PubCentre National d Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris, Francegroup
1990Process und KonstruktionThe Artists Muzeum, Lodz, Polandgroup
1989Les Levine s Video: A Selection from Two DecadesInt l Center of Photography, NYsolo
1989Brand New, billboard campaignArt Frankfurt, Kunstmesse Frankfurt, Germanysolo
1989Les LevineGalerie 1900-2000, La Galerie de Poche, Parissolo
1989Consume or Perish & Pray for MoreNY Foundation for the Arts, NY Subways, NYCsolo
1989Video-SkulpturKolnischer Kunstverein, Koln, Germanygroup
1989In Other WordsMuseum am Ostwall, Dortmund, Germanygroup
1989Image WorldWhitney Museum of American Art, NYCgroup
1988Media Projects and Public AdvertisementsMai 36 Galerie, Luzern, Switzerlandsolo
1988Consume or Perish, indoor-outdoor billboard projectEspace FRAC, Dijon, Francesolo
1988Committed to PrintMuseum of Modern Art, NYCgroup
1988Computers and ArtIBM Gallery of Science and Art, NYCgroup
1988American Documentary Video: Subject to ChangeMuseum of Modern Art, NYCgroup
1987Sell Yourself, billboard Ave B and East 2 StZone, NYCsolo
1987The Real Big PictureThe Queens Museum, Queens, NYgroup
1987Art in BookformAalto Museum, Jyvaskyla, Finlandgroup
1987UnknownDocumenta 8, Kassel, Germanygroup
1987Computers and ArtEverson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NYgroup
1987This is not a PhotographAkron Art Museum, Akron, OHgroup
1986Blame GodThe Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin, Irelandsolo
1986Friends, video installationAcademie der Kunst, Copenhagensolo
1985Media Mass (Local News)Spectacolor Lightboard, One Times Square, NYCsolo
1985Blame God, indoor-outdoor billboard projectICA Gallery, London, Englandsolo
1985A New Beginning 1968-1978The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NYgroup
1985Process und KonstruktionLenbachhaus, Munichgroup
1985Biennale des FriedensKunsthaus und Kunstverein, Hamburggroup
1984New Media Projects: BillboardsLAICA, Los Angeles, CAsolo
1984Drawings Models PolaroidsTed Greenwald Gallery, NYCsolo
1984Aerogramme - Mail Art ShowStedelijk Museum, Amsterdamgroup
1983Visions from the God WorldHonolulu Academy of Art, Focus Gallery, Honolulu, HIsolo
1983Video ViewpointsMuseum of Modern Art, NYCsolo
1983Video Art: A HistoryMuseum of Modern Art, NYCgroup
1982We are not AfraidLower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York Subways, NYCsolo
1982New Narratives for Living Room ViewingArt Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canadagroup
1982OKanadaAkademie der Kunste, Berlin, Germanygroup
1981Country BillboardsRonald Feldman Fine Arts, NYCsolo
1981Instant PhotographyStedelijk Museum, Amsterdamgroup
1980AdsMarian Goodman Gallery, NYCsolo
1980UnknownVenice Biennale, Venice, Italygroup
1979Deep GossipMyers Fine Arts Gallery, State University of NY, Plattsburgh, NYsolo
1979Prayer RugPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PAsolo
1979Les Levine: Media Installation, Fotos, VideotapesGalerie Jollenbeck, Koln, Germanysolo
1979Diamond Mind and The House of GlovesRonald Feldman Fine Arts, NYCsolo
1979Biennale van de KritiekInternationaal Cultureel Centrum, Antwerp, Belgiumgroup
1978Northern LandscapesThe Station Gallery, Whitby, Canadasolo
1978Making You in Our Image: Media InstallationsRotterdamse Kunststichting, Rotterdam, Hollandsolo
1978Les Levine: Diamond MindInternationaal Cultureel Centrum, Antwerp, Belgiumsolo
1977I am not Blind: An Information Environment about Unsighted PeopleAlbright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NYsolo
1977Game Room: A Tribute to the Great American LoserM. L. D Arc Gallery, NYCsolo
1977Northern LandscapesThe Isaacs Gallery, Toronto, Canadasolo
1977Soho Poster ProjectGalerie Arnesen, Copenhagen, Denmarksolo
1977UnknownDocumenta 6, Kassel, Germanygroup
1976During the First Moment of Your Death: RememberM. L. D Arc Gallery, NYCsolo
1976I am not BlindWadsworth Atheneum, Lions Gallery of the Senses, Hartford, CTsolo
1976Starry NightNational Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australiasolo
197676 Biennale of SydneyGallery of New South Wales, Australiagroup
1975Les Levine s Magic CarpetAdler Castillo, Caracas, Venezuelasolo
1975One-Gun VideoAnthology Film Archives, NYCsolo
1975The Story of Three ChildrenMiami-Dade University, Miami, FLsolo
1975UnknownSao Paula Biennale, Sao Paulo, Brazilgroup
1974Language ÷ Emotion + Syntax = MessageThe Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canadasolo
1974The Troubles: An Artist s Document of UlsterUniversity of California at San Diego, CAsolo
1974UnknownProjekt 74, Germanygroup
1973Les LevineThe Michael C. Rockefeller Art Center Gallery, Fredonia State University College, Fredonia, NYsolo
1973Les Levine s Peggy s CoveThe Isaacs Gallery, Toronto, Canadasolo
1972The Last Sculpture ShowMETA-TV, Arlington, VAsolo
1972The Troubles: An Artist s Document of UlsterFinch College Museum of Art, NYCsolo
1972PositionThe Fischbach Gallery, downtown, NYCsolo
1971HouseGalerie M. E. Thelen, Koln, Germanysolo
1970Body Control SystemsThe Isaacs Gallery, Toronto, Canadasolo
1970Software ShowJewish Museum, NYCgroup
1970Information ShowMuseum of Modern Art, NYCgroup
1969Jack Burnham to Wed Judith BenjaminLevine s Restaurant, NYCsolo
1969Les LevineLe Prix Levine a la Sixieme Biennale de Paris, Parissolo
1969ContactInstitute of Contemporary Art, Chicago, ILsolo
1969Electric ShockUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIsolo
1969Process of EliminationNYC Dept. of Parks, New York University s vacant lot on W. 4 St, NYCsolo
1969Body ColorNew York University, Loeb Student Center, NYC solo
1969Vision and TelevisionRose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MAgroup
1969UnknownSao Paulo Biennale, Sao Paulo, Brazilgroup
1969UnknownParis Biennale, represented Canadagroup
1969Sculpture AnnualWhitney Museum of American Art, NYCgroup
1968Process of EliminationGlendon Campus Art Gallery, York University, Toronto, Canadasolo
1968The Clean MachineThe Fischbach Gallery, NYCsolo
1968New Acquisitions, Artists Under 40Whitney Museum of American Art, NYCgroup
1967Slipcover and Star GardenWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNsolo
1967Star GardenMuseum of Modern Art, NYCsolo
1967SlipcoverArchitectural League of New York, NYCsolo
1967Schemata 7Finch College Museum of Art, NYCgroup
1966Les LevineThe Fischbach Gallery, NYC solo
1966SlipcoverArt Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canadasolo
1966Les LevineUniversity of Western Ontario, London, Canadasolo
1966The Object TransformedMuseum of Modern Art, NYCgroup
1965Les LevineThe Isaacs Gallery, Toronto, Canada solo
1964Les LevineHart House, University of Toronto, Canadasolo
1964Second Canadian Sculpture ExhibitionNational Gallery of Canada, Ottawagroup