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Peter Leventhal was born in New York City in 1939 and grew up in Brooklyn. His father was a textile designer. Peter loved the museums and libraries of the city, loved his father's studio, and taught himself to draw from old masterpieces in the New York Public Library print room. His first show was of drawings at Martin Reimart's drawing shop on Christopher Street in 1959. He went to Paris in 1960, and later returned to New York and lived in Chinatown.
One of his greatest influences was German artist Max Beckmann. His early work is very polished and carefully rendered, though he gradually loosened into the expressionist exuberance he demonstrates today. One of the highlights of Peter's career was being invited to exihibit several pieces from a series dealing with Mexican history at the Alhondiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato. He's had more than forty solo exhibitions in New York, France, Florida and Mexico.
Sadly he is no longer with us, he passed recently this year of 2019.
“One of the things that made me want to be an artist was on my 10th birthday he took me to the Metropolitan where they had a huge Van Gogh show. Looking at those paintings just sealed it for me. That was when I said, "I don't know how to do this. I don't even know how to live the life of an artist, but that's what I'm going to do." I knew then that that was my direction in life and maybe as glib and as erudite as my father was, I was as obstinate so it may have been the ancient Oedipal struggle, writ small.” (Peter Leventhal)