David Levinthal – History
182 pages, 24 x 28 cm , 1581 g.
David Levinthal – History
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David Levinthal's series, History, is a culmination of his work over the last three-and-a-half decades. Like his previous series, History speaks to the way in which imagery derived from the mass media infiltrates memory, imagination, and identity.

With vintage toy figurines and play sets he finds through his now long-established network of toy sellers and collectors he creates elaborate scenes based – in the case of History – on events in history, especially as they are depicted in movies and on TV. The compositions are reminiscent of famous images from art, literature, and visual culture, but they are not exact replicas. This both increases the realism of the scenario, in that the viewer interprets it as a moment before, after, or near the time of the iconic picture, and introduces a note of disjuncture, since the familiar image is not exactly "correct." Levinthal then photographs the constructed scenes and creates large, history-painting-sized prints.

The resulting works, in which notions of play and fantasy intermingle with historical memory, suggest, astutely and without judgment, the inevitable role that existing images play in our understanding of the past, its effect on us, and on our personal relationship to the course of history.
ContributorsDavid Hickey, Lisa Hostetler
Article IDart-45815


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