Talia Levitt


acrylic on canvas
48 x 60 inches

Consistent with the past themes she explores in her work, Brooklyn-based artist Talia Levitt returns to women’s bodies and labor, reminders of death, the history of painting, and her own story. The personal narrative revolves around the four generations of her family working in garments and her walks in New York and its history. Her family inspires her love of fabrics and the need to create with her hands. The background of Levitt’s paintings combines colorfully painted trompe l’oeil swatches of fabrics using children’s stencils and free hand rendering to give the illusion of a quilt. The patches are “stitched” together with the double- or triple-stitch. Atop this patchwork are “embroidered” figures, often in silhouette. The canvas is even “sewn” onto the edge of the frame with the single-stitch. The artist uses ziplock bags to squeeze thicker lengths of acrylic paint to produce this “faux embroidery” effect…The comforting playfulness of Levitt’s work eases viewers into the serious topic of death. Her paintings contain small replicas of 17th-century Dutch vanitas oil paintings and nod to their other oft-seen elements like the flies and skulls. She also paints dead pigeons, discarded masks, and “Greek” paper coffee cups, and manipulates acrylic paint to fashion three-dimensional bones, teeth, and small tools on her canvases. Talia Levitt received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI in 2011 and an MFA from CUNY Hunter, New York, NY in 2019. Levitt also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2019. She was a New York Foundation of the Arts Painting Fellow, a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Painting Fellow, and received a Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist Grant.

[text by Sophia Ma, excerpted from Rachel Uffner Gallery website: www.racheluffnergallery.com]