Before leaving San Francisco for New York in 1982, Noah Levin
was painting large images of bare walls and floors suffused
in light and shadow. Charles Shere wrote, "She is
painting super-realistic architectural details, highlighting
them with a saturated palette of strong mauves, ochres,
blues and oranges, but the real subject of her painting
is the space and light filling those interiors. Her work
recalls that of Gordon Cook and Jan Vermeer."
Levin returned to San Francisco in 1998 and took her camera to Stow Lake, a few
blocks from where she lives. Using photos as a springboard, she developed a series
of paintings about light and shadow on water. To bring in more color, Levin found
a school of koi that she visited regularly in the Japanese Tea Garden. Over two
years the koi paintings evolved into Koi Nocturne, an expression of her fascination
with light in dark places. As she worked her way through the series, she pared
down until only parts of the fish were seen fleetingly as they swam off the edges
of the paintings--glimmers of light passing through a watery darkness.
Since 2003 Levin has been painting the varying blue waters of swimming pools--from
the geometric minimalism of motels to the lushness of garden pools. What all
her paintings share is a sense of stillness and mystery. The more time spent
with them, the more there is to see.
Noah Phyllis Levin's Artist Page