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 John Harrison Levee  (1924 - )

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Lived/Active: California/New York / France      Known for: abstraction, collage, graphics, water painting

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John Harrison Levee
from Auction House Records.
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These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Resident of Beverly Hills in 1954. 

Exh:  Calif. Watercolor Society, 1954.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

Biography from Westbrook Galleries:
John Harrison Levee (b. 1924)

Born 1924 in Los Angeles, California, he is an American abstract expressionist painter.  Levee received his Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the University of California in Los Angeles.  He fought in the Second World War as an aviator and participated in the Liberation of France in 1944.  He has lived and worked in Los Angeles, Paris and New York.  He currently lives in Paris, France since 1949. 

After the war he decided to stay to work as a painter in Montparnasse, France.  He studied art at the Art Center School in Los Angeles and at Academie Julian in Paris from 1949 to 1951.  His early painting was inspired by the New York School of Abstract Expressionism, which included Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Ad Reinhardt, Willem de Kooning and Philip Guston, among others.  After a period of hard-edge painting based on geometric abstraction in the 1960s, Levee returned to his more spontaneous Abstract Expressionism style, often using collage elements with loose brush work typical of lyrical abstraction.

In recent years, the artist became interested in the use of mixed media on cardboard, assuming an abstraction further away from the geometric art to which he devoted much of his work. 

He taught at the University of Illinois, NYU, Washington University, and the University of Southern California.  

Awards and Fellowships:
Awarded Purchase Award, Commonwealth of Virginia, 1966
Ford Fellowship, Tamarind Workshop, 1969
Woolmark Foundation; Grand Prix, First Biennial des Jeunes Artistes, Paris, 1959 Academie Julian, 1950
Exhibitions Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1957, 58 
Brooklyn Museum, New York 
Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut 
Salon d'Automne, Paris, 1951  
Salon de Mai, Paris, 1954 
Salon des Realites Nouvelles, Paris, 1954-94 
Salon Comparaisons, Paris, 1978-1992 
Musee Thomas Berry, Cherbourg, France 
Carnegie Institute, 1955-58 
Corcoran Gallery Biennials, Washington, D.C., 1957-1963 
Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York City, 1957-59, 62, 66 
Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, 1970  
Gimpel Fils Gallery, London, England, 1958, 60, 66 
Galerie de France, Paris, 1962, 64, 69
Museum of Modern Art of Jerusalem and Haifa, Israel, 1963 
Museum of Tel Aviv, Israel, 1969 
Palm Springs Museum, 1977
Museum of Nice, France, 1980 
Galerie Closerie des Lilacs, Paris, 1983, 86
Galerie Le Gall, Paris, 1986 
Retrospective at Museum of Toulouse, France, 1983
Galerie Callu Merite, Paris, 1989, 90 
Galerie 1900-2000, Paris, 1990  
Phoenix Museum of Art, Phoenix, Arizona, 1964
Amerikanische Kunstler in Frankreich, (Exhibition of American Artists in France), Germany, 1956
Les Peintres GIs (The GI Painters), Paris, 1994, with John Franklin Koenig and Joe Downing to celebrate the Liberation's 50th anniversary
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PAFA Annual), 1964 
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1957, 59, 65
Hanina Fine arts, London. 1990-2007
Galerie Le Musée Privé, Paris 1994-2007  

Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs 
Seuphor, Dictionary of Abstract Art  
Lambert, La Jeune Ecole de Paris (School of Paris Painters) 
Reed, A Concise History of Modern Art 
Ragon & Seuphor, History of Modern Painting 
Falk, Who was Who in American Art 
Falk, Annual Exhibition Record of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts   Cummings, Dictionary of Contemporary American Artists
Stebbins, American Paintings at Yale 
Barr, Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art
University of Illinois, Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture 
Walker Arts Center, Abstract Expressionist Painting of the Fifties  
Museum of Modern Art, Barcelona, Spain,” El Arte Moderno en los Estados Unidos” 
Tate Gallery, Modern Art in the United States
Baur, Whitney Museum of Art: Catalogue of the Collection

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