Sherrie Levine

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Sherrie Levine
Born (1947-04-17) April 17, 1947 (age 68)
Hazleton, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Education University of Wisconsin in Madison
Known for Photographer, painter, and conceptual artist

Sherrie Levine (born in 1947 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania) is an American photographer, painter, and conceptual artist.[1]


Sherrie Levine received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1969.[2] In 1973, she earned her M.F.A. from the same institution.[2]


Much of Levine's work is explicitly appropriated from recognizable modernist artworks by artists such as Walker Evans, Edgar Degas, and Constantin Brancusi. Appropriation art became popular in the late 1970s although it can be traced to early modernist works, specifically those using collage. Other appropriation artists such as Louise Lawler, Vikky Alexander, Barbara Kruger, and Mike Bidlo all came into prominence in New York’s East Village in the 1980s. The importance of appropriation art in contemporary culture lies in its ability to fuse broad cultural images as a whole and direct them towards narrower contexts of interpretation.

In 1977, Levine participated in the exhibition Pictures at the Artists Space in New York, curated by Douglas Crimp.[3] Other artists in the exhibition included Robert Longo, Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, and Philip Smith.[3] Crimp's term, "Pictures Generation," was later used to describe the generation of artists in the late 1970s and early 1980s who were moving away from minimalism and towards picture-making.[3]

Levine is best known for her series of photographs, After Walker Evans, which was shown at her 1981 solo exhibition at Metro Pictures Gallery in New York.[4] The works consist of famous Walker Evans photographs, rephotographed by Levine from an Evans exhibition catalogue and then presented as Levine's own artwork without manipulation of the images.[4] The Evans photographs—made famous by his book project Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, with writings by James Agee—are widely considered to be the quintessential photographic record of rural American poor during the Great Depression.[5] The Estate of Walker Evans saw the series as a copyright infringement, and acquired Levine's works to prohibit their sale.[6] Levine's appropriation of Evans's images has since become a hallmark of the postmodern movement.[7]

Levine has rephotographed a number of works by other artists, including Eliot Porter and Edward Weston.[2] Additional examples of Levine's works include photographs of Van Gogh paintings from a book of his work; watercolor paintings based directly on work by Fernand Léger; pieces of plywood with their knotholes painted bright solid colors; and her 1991 sculpture Fountain, a bronze urinal modeled after Marcel Duchamp's 1917 work Fountain.

In 1993, Levine created cast glass copies of sculptures by Constantin Brancusi, held in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for an exhibition titled Museum Studies.[8] In 2009, the Metropolitan Museum of Art held an exhibition titled The Pictures Generation, which featured Levine's works.[9] In November 2011, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York mounted a survey exhibition of Levine's career titled Mayhem.[10] Sherrie Levine: Mayhem, mounted at the Whitney Museum of Art from November 2011 through January 2012, was a meticulously organized installation, ranging from Levine's best-known photographs to works including her more recent Crystal Skull series (2010).[11]

Levine showed with Baskerville & Watson Gallery, New York, in the early 1980s and began working with Mary Boone Gallery in New York in 1987. Levine is currently represented by David Zwirner in New York, Simon Lee Gallery in London, and Jablonka Galerie in Cologne.[12]

Public collections[edit]

Levine's works can be seen in a number of public institutions, including:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sherrie Levine, Getty Research.
  2. ^ a b c "Sherrie Levine", Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Fowle, Kate. "The Pictures Generation", Frieze Magazine, Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  4. ^ a b Pollack, Maika. "Will the Real Sherrie Levine Please Stand Up?, The Observer, Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  5. ^ Downes, Lawrence. "Of Poor Farmers and Famous Men", The New York Times, Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  6. ^ Jana, Reena. "Is It Art, or Memorex?", Wired Magazine, Retrieved March 21, 2001.]
  7. ^ "After Walker Evans: Sheer Levine", The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Museum Studies", Philadelphia Museum of Art, Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  9. ^ "The Pictures Generation", Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  10. ^ Smith, Roberta. "Flattery (Sincere?) Lightly Dusted With Irony", The New York Times, Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  11. ^ Lossin, R.H. (January 2012). "Sherrie Levine: Mayhem". The Brooklyn Rail. 
  12. ^ Sherrie Levine, Jablonka Galerie
  13. ^ Sherrie Levine, Art Institute of Chicago
  14. ^ Sherrie Levine, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
  15. ^ Sherrie Levine, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art
  16. ^ Sherrie Levine, Metropolitan Museum of Art
  17. ^ "Sherrie Levine", Museum of Modern Art, Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  18. ^ "Levine", Philadelphia Museum of Art, Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  19. ^ Sherrie Levine, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  20. ^ Sherrie Levine, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  21. ^ "2 Shoes, Sherrie Levine", Tate, Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  22. ^ "Sherrie Levine", Whitney Museum of American Art, Retrieved 23 November 2014.


External links[edit]