glass building with text'Michael Levin article on New Colour Photography"



A Minimalist Grandeur - New Colour Photography



Michael Levin has earned the top honour as International Fine Art Photographer of the Year at the International Photography Awards three times in his illustrious career – one of only 2 people in the history of the IPAs to achieve this distinction. For many years, Levin almost exclusively worked in the black and white medium which he used to cunning effect. Eventually, Levin purposefully shifted to focus on colour photography, introducing  new layers of metaphor and potential into his images. It’s always fascinating to listen to Michael talk about what he strives to convey through his photography and this feature essay draws out that story. 

painting of man writing with text Pull Quote

 “Though cast in a soft, ethereal luminosity reminiscent of 19th century Romantic landscape paintings – or Delft seen by Vermeer on a cloudy day – the muted colours, vast perspectives and minimalist phrasing in these new photographs recognise a contemporary desire for contemplative awareness. There is a meditative aspect to each of the images, an allowance to place ourselves amidst the atmospheric effects so we can gain a better appreciation of our place in this still big and rapturous world.” 

Barry Dumka 



A Minimalist Grandeur

Both palpable and translucent – and always carefully measured – Michael Levin`s painterly use of colour becomes transcendental, an emotional device meant to trigger a more visceral awareness of beauty. Rarely does the commonplace look so captivating. In Lakeside Cottage, the morning`s first light is marked to pointillist perfection, a shimmery wash of rose pinks and warm yellows softly balancing the verdant strength of the grassy foreground. The small house at the end of the rutted path, though humble, appears bronzed and magnificent. In Remnants – reminiscent of a Rothko save for the spare ribbing of an old pier – Levin sets off the deep indigo blue of the sky against the dissipating corals and pearl grey of the sea. The colours seem limitless and hypnotic. Grand Canal proves most sumptuously the Romantic ideal of how light is a precious good. Here it silvers the clouds, rims the high hedge in twilight gold and crowns the solitary man quietly reading among all this grandeur.


These new colour photographs feel rarefied, enchanted and open up further expressive possibilities for Levin`s forever roving camera.


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