R.I.P. David Levine
The New York Times is reporting that famed illustrator and caricaturist David Levine passed away today at the age of 83 after complications from prostate cancer.
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. Those qualities led many to suggest that he was the heir of the 19th-century masters of the illustration, Honoré Daumier and Thomas Nast.
The above link comes courtesy of Eric Reynolds at Fantagraphics, which published a collection of Levine’s work, American Presidents, in 2008. Most of Levine’s work, however, was done for the New York Review of Books and they have a nice, searchable gallery of his work online. I would also encourage you to check out this excellent Vanity Fair article on Levine that ran last year.