David Levine, the great caricaturist, dies at 83

I was sorry to read of the death of David Levine today. How many Book Reviews were illustrated with his wonderful caricatures? I couldn’t count.

I started enjoying Levine’s work almost fifty years ago when I was a freshman in prep school.

The NY Times, whose Book Review he decorated for decades, said:

Mr. Levine’s drawings never seemed whimsical, like those of Al Hirschfeld. They didn’t celebrate neurotic self-consciousness, like Jules Feiffer’s. He wasn’t attracted to the macabre, the way Edward Gorey was. His work didn’t possess the arch social consciousness of Edward Sorel’s. Nor was he interested, as Roz Chast is, in the humorous absurdity of quotidian modern life. But in both style and mood, Mr. Levine was as distinct an artist and commentator as any of his well-known contemporaries. His work was not only witty but serious, not only biting but deeply informed, and artful in a painterly sense as well as a literate one; he was, in fact, beyond his pen and ink drawings, an accomplished painter.

The Times compared him to the 19th Century greats Honoré Daumier and Thomas Nast, and I think they are correct.

Farewell David Levine.

About btchakir

Retired Theatre Producer, Graphic Designer, Usability Tester and General Troubleshooter with a keen interest in Politics and The Stage. Currently heard on WSHC, 89.7 FM (on line at www.897wshc.org) and occasionally dabbling in Community Theatre.

Posted on December 29, 2009, in Art, Arts, editorial, humor, News, Obits, Politics, Word from Bill and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. So sad. He’s one of my all time favorites.

  2. Sorry to hear this. Levine’s drawing of LBJ showing off his gall bladder surgery scar (shaped like Vietnam) was a classic.

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