PHOTO: Herbert Mitgang



Wednesday, December 30, 2009

David Levine's passing is generating a tremendous outpouring of love, admiration, shock, sorrow and gratitude. This blog is for everyone to maintain a connection to him and to each other. Please send your posts to and we will do our best to keep up with them and to keep you informed of David Levine related developments, or post your comments to this thread.

This blog is maintained by his children. Look for more posts after we emerge from this delicate period.

His last moments were peaceful. While his last few years were tough and his last months tougher, he lived them with grace and humor and kept coming forward with ways of looking at life and art that only he could generate. He was working on a large Coney Island beach painting that was interrupted by the loss of his sight to macular degeneration. But he would sit in front of it for hours, finding new approaches in his mind, and this gave him endless pleasure. Even in the hospital, his eyes closed, dreaming, speech no longer available to him, he made elegant paint stroke movements with those gnarled hands of his. He was always an artist at play.


  1. As his longtime friend, sometime co-conspirator, and perhaps the last 'student' David mentored, I'd like to express my condolences to David's family and friends. I had the unique pleasure to paint with David at Coney Island, to play tennis with him at 'the bubble,' to dine with him at Teresa's for several years, to visit 'His Museum' at what was formerly Chang's Restaurant, and to become a member of the fabled Painting Group. To me, David will always be the playful child who experimented with paint, unafraid of failure, and with words, meant to stun and provoke. He was, above all else, a humanist who believed in the dignity of the human creature and treated everyone he met with respect, even if he thought their views were moronic.

    We will never see the likes of him again. I, for one, am just so thrilled to have known him.
    Stephen Wilson

  2. Your coy self sang the joy
    in rhapsodic sketches
    burnished as the bon mot
    to literary legions.

    --D. Levine was one of the primary reasons I stayed loyal to NYR
    through the latter 60s, 70s and 80s. No one else comes close to his wit!

    My deepest gratitude and fond memory of your skill…