Noah Dillon talks to painter Daniel Levine about monochrome painting on the occasion of Levine's exhibition The Way Around at Churner and Churner, New York, on view through February 22, 2014.
Dillon writes that Levine "said, only half-facetiously, that, 'To start with, the decision to make a monochrome painting is a bad decision. And everything proceeds from there.' But it would also seem that what follows first from the initial choice to make a monochromatic painting—naturally and automatically—is that every subsequent decision is pivotal. Levine regards the three rudimentary issues of his paintings as 'structure, surface, and support'—the intellectual and emotional foundation, the paint, and the paint’s cotton and panel backing, respectively. He takes great care in thinking about what the possibilities are in tackling each of the three elements in a given painting. Whether the paint appears as thick impasto or thin as frost, he typically applies 15-20 layers, using various whites on cotton. The various techniques create different effects, different grades of opacity, thickness, and texture. The dimensions of his canvases are always just off square, which adds to their visual dynamism."