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 Noah Phyllis Levin  (20/21st century)

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Lived/Active: California/New York      Known for: painting

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Quail Lodge 3, oil on panel, 30" X 40", 2006
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Noah Levin received her Masters Degree in Painting from San Francisco State University in 1980.  Before leaving San Francisco for New York in 1982, Noah Levin was painting large images of bare walls and floors suffused in light and shadow.

Of her work, Charles Shere wrote: "She is painting super-realistic architectural details, highlighting them with a saturated palette of strong mauves, ochres, blues and oranges, but the real subject of her painting is the space and light filling those interiors.  Her work recalls that of Gordon Cook and Jan Vermeer."

Levin returned to San Francisco in 1998, and took her camera to Stow Lake, a few blocks from where she lives.  Using photos as a springboard, she developed a series of paintings about light and shadow on water.  To bring in more color, Levin found a school of koi that she visited regularly in the Japanese Tea Garden. As she worked her way through the series, she pared down until only parts of the fish were seen fleetingly as they swam off the edges of the paintings--glimmers of light passing through a watery darkness.

Since 2003, Levin has been painting the varying blue waters of motel swimming pools--from the geometric minimalism of motels to the lushness of garden pools.  The series has distilled a "film noir" sense of light and shadow in the figureless pools.  What all her paintings share is a sense of stillness and mystery.  The more time spent with them, the more there is to see.

Submitted by: Adam Beck

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