Professor’s Painting Chosen for UK Exhibition

Freezer Box by Andrew Leventis
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Work by Andrew Leventis responds to the coronavirus pandemic.

A painting by Assistant Professor of Art Andrew Leventis is one of 128 works selected from more than 3,500 entries for the 2020 Wells Art Contemporary exhibition and award show in the United Kingdom.

Established in 2012, Wells Art Contemporary is an international competition for visual art based in Wells, Somerset. Competition entries this year came from more than 50 different countries. An online exhibition opens on October 1; prizes will be awarded this winter.

Leventis’s painting, Freezer Box (Vanitas), above, is one of a new series of paintings that he has created during the pandemic based on a recurring theme that appears in art as far back as the Middle Ages.

“In a traditional sense, vanitas alludes to themes of plague, desperation, dehumanization, and loss,” he writes in an artist statement. “Although I have previously looked in this direction for inspiration, these historical paintings of the fleeting world feel more immediate to me than ever. I now see them as compassionate pictures rather than merely ones of dark, glittering glamour. I am also finding vanitas in my everyday surroundings, from the foods I wash in my sink to the items I stock in my freezer box.”

painting by LeventisFor the series, Levenits asked colleagues, friends, and family to take photographs of foods in their refrigerators and pantries, which he then used as models for his oil paintings. Another work in the series, Orderly Refrigerator (Vanitas), right, is currently on view in the faculty exhibition, Working Title, in Rowe Main Gallery through November 4 and online.

Leventis earned a BFA in Painting from the American Academy of Art in Chicago and an MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Over the past years, his work has been featured in Norway at Kunstgalleriet, in London at Matt Roberts Arts, and in Rome at The Venanzo Crocetti Museum. In the United States, his work was recently incorporated into the Mainframe exhibition at the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, and at The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists’ Coalition annual juried show in New York.