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 Isadore Levy  (1867 - 1949)

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Lived/Active: New York / France      Known for: country landscape, figure, interior view

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Isadore Levy studied in France and at the Pennsylvania Academy. An American ex-patriot, he left America for Europe after receiving an art scholarship at age 20. Continuing his studies in Paris, Levy exhibited with the School of Paris circle, then in New York. After a 15-year return to America with his French wife during the European Fascist years, he returned to France in 1950.

His widow held a retrospective in Parisian suburb Maisons-Lafitte in 1990. His exhibits included the Salons des Independants; Salons d'Automne; Galerie Vignon (Leger's major gallery and the first gallery to showcase Calder's mobiles), Wildenstein, and Charles Egan (a leading post-war NY gallery first to show the work of DeKooning and other NY Abstract Expressionists).

Levy was an American French modernist painter, noted for painting country scenes and towns, figures, interiors, still-lifes, realite-poetique, and later adopted painterly abstraction in the American Abstract Expressionist vein.

His work is held largely in private collections in Europe.

1916 - 1920 studied Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
1918 - obtained a Cresson Travel scholarship, 6 months to Paris, Italy, Spain. followed the trail of Gauguin to Brittany. Joined the circle of School of Paris. Attended L'ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris.
1925 Salons des Independents; Salons d'Automne Exhibition
It was at this time Levy helped another Cresson fellow and PAFA artist Abraham Rattner secure a unique Gauguin fresco in a Brittany inn in 1924, one of several Gauguins left to Marie Henry, owner of the Le Pouldu where Gauguin stayed before his eventual move to Tahiti. This discovery by Rattner is now legendary, along with its eventual sale in 1965 by Levy and Rattner, the co-owners.1
1929 Expo Galerie Vignon (Kahnweiler)
1932 Paris Expo of American Artists in Paris
1934 returned to the US with wife Marie-Joseph Renie amid the period of Fascism. Returned to France in 1950.
1937 Wildenstein Gallery, NYC.
1951 - 1965 Charles Egan Gallery, New York
1951 Penn. Academy Annual. Exhibited "Interior No. 1"
1953 Galerie Craven, "Peintres américains en France"
1965,1969,1973 NY Shows/Expositions
1989 Retrospective - Galarie de la Poste, Paris.
1990 - Memorial Exposition, Maisons Lafitte Centre, France.
Literature: Tétes de Montparnasse. Nesto Jacometti
Oreste Zeluk 1930 - Isadore Levy
Catalogue de L'exposition retrospective, Centre Cuturel, Maisons Lafitte, 1990

1 (See Abraham Rattner and Esther Gentle papers, Smith. Arch. Amer. Art, Series 5 on Gauguin's Joan d'Arc fresco; Wildenstein's Gauguin Catalogue Raisonné)


Biography was submitted April 2005 by Michael Wied of the firm Herzbach & Wied

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