For sale here is a signed and dated original gouache on paper laid down on fabric matte over board abstract expressionist painting by American artist John Harrison Levee (1924-2017). This small but very colorful original painting is titled "Composition #23", dated 1963, signed and dated at front in the painting as shown, with a notation at back giving further information. Here is a short biography of the artist that I found online...
John Harrison Levée was one of the leading American artists in Paris during the post-war period along with Sam Francis. A prominent exponent of Abstract Expressionism or Abstraction Lyrique, as it was known in France, Levée established an international reputation with numerous museum exhibitions. These works are outstanding examples of the artist’s powerful style which uniquely combines both the American and European inspirations for this epoch-defining Modernist movement.
Having been born in California Levée attended the Institute of Art there with fellow students Mark Rothko, Clifford Still and Richard Diebenkorn, before finding himself in the Second World War fighting to liberate France in 1944. Following which he went to New York to continue at art school with Stuart Davis and Abbe Rattner, and then obtained a grant to study in Paris on the G.I. Bill. He arrived back in Paris in 1949 and enrolled at the avant-garde Academie Julian in 1950 where he met fellow American artist Sam Francis. In 1951 he held his first solo exhibition at Galerie 8, and also began exhibiting at the Salon d’Automne, the Salon de Mai and the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles. Numerous exhibitions ensued including “Peintres les Americains en France” Galerie Craven in 1953, “Dix Jeunes Peintres de l’Ecole de Paris” Galerie de France in 1956, “Antagonismes” Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 1960, and the famous annual “L’Ecole de Paris” exhibitions at Galerie Charpentier from 1958-1961.
Levée also quickly established an international reputation, exhibiting at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1957 and 1958, the Whitney Museum NY in 1957, 1959 and 1965, Carnegie Institue 1958, Museum of Modern Art Jerusalem 1963, Phoenix Museum of Art Arizona 1964, Museum of Tel Aviv 1969, Palm Springs Museum 1977. Throughout this period he also held regular exhibitions at the New York art dealer Andre Emmerich and in London at Gimpel Fils. A major retrospective of the artist’s work was held at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Toulouse in 1983.
The artist is represented in numerous major museums including: the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California; Yale University Art Gallery, Connecticut; Museum of Fine Arts, Ohio; Cincinnati Museum, Ohio; Museum of Contemporary Art, Texas; Carnegie Institute, Pennsylvania; Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; Washington Gallery of Modern Art; Walker Arts Center, Minnesota; Whitney Museum of American Art; Basel; Haifa; Tel Aviv; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
The original frame measures 17-5/8" by 20-5/8" at outside. The original painting on paper has been laid down on a fabric matte over board and framed as shown. The actual painting is about 15" by 11-1/4", and has an uneven edge in spots that is original not damage. The paper has a raised watermark that reads, "Veritable papier d'Arches. Fin." The painting is signed and dated at front in the painting as shown. Also there is a notation at back that reads "John Levee, Composition #23, 1963, This gouache shown in 1963 in one man shown, Haifa Museum of Art, Israel". There is some wear to the gold painted wood frame on the outsides of it, also the fabric matte has some light wear and staining as shown. The backpapers have been torn, and are partially missing. Should probably be re-mounted and framed sometime in the future, but can certainly be displayed in present condition. The painting itself has no damage and looks like it's colors are as original still vibrant and striking! Please view the photos, read the description, and ask all questions prior to purchase. I am open to reasonable offers from serious buyers.