New York

Matvey Levenstein

Jack Tilton Gallery

Like Gerhard Richter, Matvey Levenstein makes paintings from photographs, engaging the formal languages of both media and exploiting the link between the photographic and the documentary. The subjects of his works, like those of Christian Boltanski’s, are those whose lives were altered or destroyed by circumstance. In his most recent show, Levenstein, himself a Russian Jewish émigré, reconstitutes the day-to-day existence of Eastern European Jewry through found images—of prewar beauty queens, his own family, and the uninhabited, professional-class apartments, clean and neatly furnished, where they might have lived. The photos of bourgeois interiors were selected from an anonymous scrapbook, and those of the beauty queens from archives at the New York Public Library. For most artists appropriation becomes a means of looking outward—a form of commentary that implicitly extends beyond the

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