Geoff Levitus : Past the Studio
Born in 1951, Geoff Levitus grew up during the 1970s and was inspired by the artistic culture of the time. The art sphere of the 1970s was characterized by a wish to grow and strengthen itself, as a response to the many conflicts of the previous decade. One of the most important movement of the 1970s was Conceptualism, which emerged as an offshoot of Minimalism, while the experimental, creative voyage of Process art materialized by combining essential elements of Conceptualism with further considerations on art itself. The earliest ideas of environmentalism sprung from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, carving the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the regression of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly resurfaced and regained its prominence, predominantly in Germany through the works of critically acclaimed figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. The city of New York remained as the most prominent artistic hub of the decade, with global artists wandering through the downtown scene, visiting bars and art galleries, strengthening the idea of New York City as a cosmopolitan and refined cultural capital. Artists such as Jannis Kounnelis, Mario Merz, and Michelangelo Pistoletto attained international success, as they were widely acknowledged as renowned members of the Italian movement Arte Povera, critically acclaimed in the 1970s (from the Artland Gallery website).
The Work of Art
Past the Studio may come across as a somewhat disturbing and distressing image to those that see it for the first time. But when you delve into the themes and ideas Geoff Levitus is inspired by the viewer can see and make sense of the image. The image uses expressionism and expressive figurative painting to convey a landscape in turmoil. The picture may be a scene from the 1960s and 1970s. Could this be a reflection of the Vietnamese conflict or events such as Cyclone Tracy?