David Leventi | Intermission


David Leventi | Intermission
April 16 - 30, 2022
RECEPTION: Saturday, April 23, 2-5 PM. Artist in Attendance.
350 Dundas Street West, Toronto

Bau-Xi Gallery presents Intermission, a collection of photographs from New York–based photographer, David Leventi. Expanding on his seminal series, Opera—the title and contents of the artist’s first monograph—Leventi now turns his gaze to the world’s rare trompe-l’œil painted curtains.

The tradition of hanging a curtain in the liminal space between performance and spectator—art and reality—has existed for centuries. The curtain has become a fourth wall that both veils in-house preparations and heightens the desire to see the action that is about to unfold.

The painted theatre curtain takes on a particular magic by conflating that separation and presenting another layer of trickery. These deceptive masterpieces derive from an ancient Greek tale of two artists, Parrhasios and Zeuxis. In competition to show who had more illusionary skill, the two artists each created their own distinct trompe-l’œil paintings. While Zeuxis’ depicted a still life with grapes that fooled nearby birds, Parrhasios triumphed by painting a curtain that appeared so real it needed to be drawn back to reveal the still life partially concealed behind.

In his signature typographic style, Leventi has lensed architectural portraits of these curtains, fashioning yet another mask over the theatrical box of illusions. Captivated by the rich hues that occupy these spaces, this series of color studies is a microcosm of his opera houses and a restaging of the palpable anticipation felt prior to the curtain’s initial pull.




About the Artist

David Leventi is an established American photographer, recognized for his ability to capture meticulously detailed architectural interiors. Leventi is best known for his acclaimed series OPERA, which has been exhibited internationally.

Leventi's photographs have been widely published in TIME, The New York Times Magazine, ESPN The Magazine, FT Weekend Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, among others. In 2007, Leventi was selected by Photo District News as one of their Top 30 Emerging Photographers. His work has been included in the 2008 Communication Arts Photography Annual and in the 2008, 2012 and 2013 editions of American Photography. Leventi is the recipient of two Graphis Gold awards, has been a two-time Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50 Finalist and was a participant at Review Santa Fe in 2010. 

Leventi's photography is included in prestigious private and public collections including The Sir Elton John Collection and The Cleveland Museum of Art.

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