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INFORMATION SOCIETY: THE ART OF LES LEVINE

Les Levine with his All-Star Cast (A Place), 1967, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1967. © Les Levine/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

TWO MEN PEER THROUGH the glass panes of a revolving door, the lights of a nocturnal Manhattan street visible behind them. The man on the right, sporting a fedora and a blank expression, is instantly recognizable as Andy Warhol. The man on the left, looking through horn-rimmed glasses directly at the camera, is less familiar. But back in February 1969—when this photograph appeared in New York magazine, illustrating the article “Plastic Man Meets Plastic Man” by David Bourdon—many readers would have recognized Warhol’s bespectacled double as Les Levine.1 In fact, between 1967 and 1970, Levine was one of the most visible artists in New York. A soft-spoken provocateur and self-proclaimed “theoretic artist,” he issued press release after press release, occasionally sported a white vinyl suit, and produced work at a feverish clip.2 And like Warhol, he had no qualms about mass

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