Daniel Levine’s paintings speak (sometimes quietly, sometimes less so) about color, surface, material and light. But mostly his monochromes—which is the only kind of painting he makes, and he’s been making them for over 25 years—speak about the unremitting pleasures of long looking.

“You may begin…thinking of Robert Ryman,” Roberta Smith said about the kind of looking Daniel Levine’s paintings invite. She was writing about his solo exhibition last February at Churner and Churner in Chelsea—a show that was in large part about nuance and difference —close examination of which is not the only reward of seeing his paintings hang side-by-side, in relatively large numbers, and—as they did so well at Churner and Churner—annexing that gallery’s wonderful light. And also like Ryman, there’s more to Levine’s paintings than the way he puts down paint. Again, Smith:

“He works in minute, nearly invisible brush stroke…and you can almost count the layers of paint. He seems almost to love the cotton as much as the paint, and their tenderly maintained balance is a palpable strength.”

This is what I saw first when I saw his paintings in Chelsea, then later, in Greenpoint, in process on his studio walls: that he makes such good use of painting’s metaphysical qualities, that his paintings transcend the materials of their making. It’s what make Levine’s paintings entirely his own.