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'David Levinthal: War Games' at the Corcoran Gallery of Art extended to October 27
David Levinthal, Untitled from the series Hitler Moves East, 1973. Kodalith print. 8 x 10 inches. Private collection. © David Levinthal.
WASHINGTON, DC.- The Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design exhibition David Levinthal: War Games, the first exhibition to bring together all of the artist's work on the subject of war, has been extended and will now close on Sunday, October 27. The exhibition coincides with the Corcoran’s major summer exhibition, WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath, a survey of the history of conflict photography from the mid-1800s to the present, organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on view through September 29.

For nearly forty years, the New York-based photographer has simulated historic war zones with action figures and dioramas, producing work that comments on the representation of conflict in photography, cinema, and other media. War Games invites reflection on the intersection of war and play. Each photograph juxtaposes the inherent humor of toys with the horror and spectacle of war, exploring the boundaries between simulated reality and historical truth. Since his groundbreaking book Hitler Moves East in 1977, Levinthal has retold the history of war as a series of toy stories, from the Civil War to Iraq, from Abraham Lincoln to Saddam Hussein.

Including recent grand-scale photographs, the retrospective shows seven different bodies of work created between 1972 and the present. Wild West (1987–89), Levinthal’s best-known body of work, explores the American frontier and the American Indian Wars, filtered through the lens of Hollywood westerns and late-20th-century advertising. Mein Kampf (1993–94) luridly re-enacts Adolph Hitler’s theatrical rallies as well as horrifying scenes from the Holocaust. Levinthal’s I.E.D.(2008) echoes contemporary news imagery of our military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.



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