Halt! Remembering the Holocaust
Artwork by G. Roy Levin
On Display through October 31, 2023
While serving on the faculty of Goddard College in 1980, G. Roy Levin received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities which resulted in a book containing interviews with documentary filmmakers. Through this research, he came upon the documentary Shoah directed by Claude Lanzmann. He began to create artwork based on images from the film using various mediums.
“Though I grew up in a kosher Jewish household, I heard little about this event as a child…. It is one thing to say x number of millions were killed; it is another to read about the specifics of what happened to specific people at specific times in specific places.”
Levin started with paintings in color using discarded fruit and vegetable crates with wire and unframed canvases. He eventually switched to black and white photographs on boxes, reminiscent of the railroad cars that carried passengers to the concentration camps. The light in his paintings has a shimmering quality so that remembering becomes an “act of empathy and compassion for the unspeakable pain that was endured by so many.” Levin wanted his paintings to not necessarily show what the Holocaust was like, but to stimulate the viewer’s imagination to think about what it was like.
“The use of boxes/crates as the medium is meant to remind the viewer of the railroad box cars. The wood is literally trash -- broken, cracked, could fall apart -- adds to the meaning of images which are about a vision of people as disposable as trash.”
In 1991, G. Roy Levin founded the low-residency Master of Fine Arts Program in Visual Art at Vermont College. He remained director of the program until he retired in 1999. He passed away on July 22, 2003.
G. Roy Levin | Educator & Artist