The aesthetic indicators pointed to a late eruption of some hugely influential branch of modernism, inseparable from the philosophies of its early founders. Yet nothing resembling a manifesto was in evidence. Levenson thus isolates these images from the presumed ideologies from which they descend, while—in a nod to his own history—locating them in the same year Levenson himself earned his M.F.A.
Past projects by this artist have used the fictional academy and its students to explore how ideas about art are created and disseminated. Here, Levenson bridges the praxes of earlier art movements and the arguably corporative structures of art schools today, raising serious questions regarding an individual’s ability to be creative within academic, commercial, or collective structures.
A version of this story originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of ARTnews on page 91.