Peter Leventhal: A Baroque Artist for the 21st Century

By Kahren Jones Arbitman

Peter Leventhal’s remarkable series The Thirty Six will be on display this weekend for two days only. Every one of its two dozen paintings testifies to his 60 years as a thoroughly Baroque artist. Leventhal’s distinctive style courses with movement and color, coaxed along by brushstrokes loaded with paint. His canvases are neither calm nor quiet, even when their subjects might call for contemplation. Over the years, Leventhal’s innate ability with a brush has kept him from the day job his grandfather insisted he pursue when he handed the young artist a barber kit.

The Thirty Six: A Series
By Peter Leventhal
Sat, Feb 28, 4-7pm
Sun, Mar 1, 4:30-7pm
Casa de la Noche
Órganos 19

While Leventhal brings a well-developed style to The Thirty Six, the passing years have left their mark. Inexorably, the artist has moved toward what can best be called an Old Age Style. This style shift has long been recognized in artists whose diminishing physical stamina is matched by their desire for greater psychological intensity. The resulting paintings display real fervor. It is expressionism before it turned abstract. Late works of Rembrandt, Titian, and Goya brilliantly illustrate the point. Leventhal suffers from Parkinson’s disease. Tremors are constant. Right handed, he initially compensates by steadying the right hand with the left. When that proves insufficient, the artist begins painting solely with his left hand. That Leventhal’s artistry is undiminished shows in no small measure the true level of his talent. His old age paintings crackle with life. It is Leventhal’s signature style but played in a much higher key. Surrounded by these paintings, one is caught in a whirl of intense physical and psychological action. Their discourse forms a storied tapestry that marks the capstone of the artist’s distinguished career. Don’t miss this short opportunity to experience the mystical Thirty Six through Leventhal’s distinctly Baroque lens.


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