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Archive for Wednesday, December 30, 2009

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December 30, 2009

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New York Review caricaturist Levine dies

David Levine, an artist whose witty caricatures illustrated The New York Review of Books for more than 40 years, has died. He was 83.

Levine died Tuesday at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan of prostate cancer and complications from other ailments. His death was confirmed by Robert Silvers, editor of The New York Review, who called Levine “the greatest caricaturist of his time.”

Levine’s drawings of politicians, celebrities, writers and historical figures typically had large heads and exaggerated features — Albert Einstein with a nimbus of hair, Richard Nixon all 5 o’clock shadow and ski-slope nose. In one well-known image from 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson pulls up his shirt to reveal a gallbladder-operation scar shaped like Vietnam.

The drawings defined the look of The New York Review, which sold them on calendars and T-shirts.

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