Photo Image taken in black & white of Western Wall (Wailing Wall) Kotel Hamaaravi in Jerusalem Israel. Hand signed, dated and titled. From very small edition of just 5 prints.
(American-Israeli) Born in New York City, Mikael Levin grew up in Israel, the United States and France. He attended Williams College and received a B.A. in Film and Photography from Hampshire College in 1976 before studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm. Levin's first published project was Silent Passage (1985), a series of romantic, reflective landscape photographs inspired by a pond in Sweden. This was followed by several other series, including Les Quatre Saisons du Territoire, a study of the changes in land use in western France; Borders, which focused on the political, practical, and conceptual transformation of national borders in contemporary Europe; and War Story, Levin's reconstruction of the journey his father, the war correspondent Meyer Levin, made while traveling with the photographer Eric Schwab during World War II. Meyer Levin wrote of these experiences in In Search (1950), which described his view of the final battles of World War II and the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps in 1944-45. Levin photographed sites his father and Schwab had visited as they appear today. These photographs and passages from the elder Levin's writings formed an installation work at ICP in 1997, and were also published as a book. Levin's most recent project, Common Places: Cultural Identity in the Urban Environment, considers the relationship between the past and present in the urban environments of four European cities: Katrineholm, Cambrai, Erfurt, and Thessaloniki.
Although inflected differently in each series, Mikael Levin's photographs have in common their interest in the emotional, intellectual, and historical significance of landscape. His work ignites landscape's capacity simultaneously to recall and overwrite the events of the past, especially in works such as War Story and Common Places. His photographs represent a new approach to landscape photography that reinvigorates this traditional genre.
Handy et al. Reflections in a Glass Eye: Works from the International Center of Photography Collection, New York: Bulfinch Press in association with the International Center of Photography, 1999
Mikael Levin has been exhibited widely in the US and in Europe, including solo exhibitions at the Jewish Museum, Paris, 2010, the Berardo Museum, Lisbon, 2009, the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, 2003, the International Center of Photography, New York, 1997, and Fundación Mendoza, Caracas, 1980. His work was included in the Venice Biannual in 2003. Judaic, Judaica.
SELECT GROUP EXHIBITS
2018 Marquee Projects, Bellport, NY: "By the Sea: Mikael Levin, Vera Lutter, Steel Stillman, James Welling"
Hohenems Jewish Museum, Hohenems, Austria: "Say Shibboleth! On Visible and Invisible Borders"
2014 Centre d'art Contemporain Faux Mouvement, Metz: "Travail d'archives"
2013 Galerie Michele Chomette, Paris. "Sleeping Beauties IV"
2011 Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme, Paris. "War Story" in "A journey through the MAHJ's Contemporary Collection"
2010 Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris. "Qumran"
2009 The Solo Project, Basel; Gilles Peyroulet Gallery. "New York Moments: Mikael Levin and Rudy Burckhardt"
1996 Galerie F-15 Alby, Moss, Norway: "James Welling and Mikael Levin"
1993 Grand Palais, Paris: "Salon Decouverts" ( Curated by Jean-Claude Lemagny)
1990 Brooklyn Museum, New York: "New Acquisitions"
Musem Ludwig, Cologne:"Vom Landschafsbild zur Spurensicherung"
1989 Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm: "Lewis Baltz and Mikael Levin"
1987 One Penn Plaza, New York: "Beautiful Photographs" (Curated by Gene Thornton)
1985 Pavillon des Arts, Paris: "La Photographie Creative" (Curated by J.C. Lemagny)
Caves Sainte-Croix, Metz, France: "Construire le Paysage de la Photographie"
SELECT PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Jüdisches Museum, Berlin (a selection from War Story in the permanent installation.)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Metropolitan Museum, New York
International Center of Photography, New York
Jewish Museum, New York
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris
Centre national d'art et de culture George Pompidou, Paris
Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, Paris
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Statens Konstrad, Stockholm
Canadian Center for Architecture, Montréal
From the David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Collection
The Ruttenbergs are longtime art lovers who have collected abstract expressionist paintings, African art, sculpture, graphics, old watches and photographs-lots and lots of photographs. They started collecting them in the 1960s when the medium was still the stepchild of the arts. They kept collecting until they had more than 3,000 prints, 99 of which are in the Art Institute exhibit, ``The Intuitive Eye: Photographs from the Collection of David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg.``The show encompasses the entire history of with black-and-white and color prints from every genre, It includes street photography by Walker Evans and Garry Winogrand, glamour shots by Edward Steichen and Richard Avedon, nudes by Robert Mapplethorpe and Nicholas Muray, painted photographs by Ellen Carey and Holly Roberts, social documentary by Margaret Bourke-White and Lewis Hine, an architectural study by Ansel Adams, portraits by Irving Penn and Arnold Newman and works by dozens of other photographers. Patty Carroll » Henri Cartier-Bresson » Louis Faurer » Ralph Gibson » Luis González Palma » Joseph Jachna » Annie Leibovitz » Irving Penn » Herb Ritts » Sebastião Salgado » Aaron Siskind » Sandy Skoglund » Jerry N. Uelsmann » Roman Vishniac » Andy Warhol » Weegee » William Wegman & others. He started his photography collection in 1965 when a client and former student of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy gave him one of Moholy`s famous photomontages, which Ruttenberg hung in his office. ``None of our friends had bought the abstract expressionists when we came home with the Jackson Pollock in 1951. Our friends said, `Are you crazy?` `` The painting by Pollock, then an unknown, was one of the first pieces in their collection. As David Ruttenberg pursued photographs, his collection remained on the cutting edge of the art world with purchases of innovative conceptual and postmodern work along with classic prints. He and Sarajean did, of course, attend Ansel Adams` black-tie 80th birthday party in Carmel, Calif., in 1982.
Provenance: Ruttenberg collection.