David Levinthal: Playland

January 8 - March 10, 2018

One of the most prolific and acclaimed photographers of his generation, David Levinthal uses toys and miniature figures to restage significant moments or cultural milestones throughout history. Considered one of the earliest postmodern photographers, Levinthal uses these images to question the role of photography as a reliable presentation of historical fact, while also exploring the ways in which toys can influence socialization.

The majority of works from David Levinthal: Playland come from an anonymous gift, consisting of 59 large-format Polaroids, to the AEIVA Permanent Art Collection. The donation includes images from several series by the artist spanning multiple decades, including Barbie, American Beauties, Blackface, Wild West, Mein Kampf, and Passion.

David Levinthal, BarbieDavid Levinthal, Untitled from the series Barbie, 1998; Polaroid Polacolor ER Land Film; 20 x 24 inches

David Levinthal: Playland also features six large-format Polaroids from Levinthal’s Baseball series, on loan from several private collections in Birmingham, Alabama.

Born in San Francisco, California, Levinthal received his bachelor of arts degree in studio art from Stanford University and his master of fine arts degree in photography from Yale University. He received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1990 and a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1995. Levinthal’s works have been exhibited extensively nationally and internationally, and featured in national publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice, Artforum and the New Yorker. His works reside in numerous public collections including The Whitney Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art and the Birmingham Museum of Art.

Wild West
Mein Kampf