Mon Levinson, Op Art Sculptor, 1926–2014

Mon Levinson in his studio. Photo: courtesy D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc.
Mon Levinson in his studio. Photo: courtesy D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc.

An Op art sculptor known for his use of nonart materials such as plexiglas, Mon Levinson died at age 88 in Manhattan on March 25, reports the New York Times.

His work was unique in its merging of painting and sculpture. Levinson, unlike many of his peers, did not hire specialists to fabricate his art, creating his kinetic-looking optical illusions by personally and carefully layering, scoring, and shaping the Plexiglas.

Levinson was inspired to become an artist after a series of psychotherapy sessions Richard Huelsenbeck, a founder of Dada in the late 1950s. Huselsenbeck introduced Levinson to artwork by Jean Arp and the Russian Constructivists which influenced the artist’s later use of nontraditional materials and geometry.

He first achieved success in the 1960s, receiving a 1961 solo show at New York’s Kornblee Gallery and appearing in an early Op Art survey at the Museum of Modern Art, also in New York, in 1965.

Over the course of his career, Levinson was the subject of 28 solo exhibitions at museums and galleries across the country. Most recently, he showed 13 sculptures in a group show at D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc., in 2012. Museums such as New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., include Levinson’s work in their collections.

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