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, Madison
Known for Photographer, appropriation artist

Sherrie Levine (born April 17, 1947 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania) is an American photographer and appropriation artist.

Early life and education[edit]

Sherrie Levine was born on April 17, 1947 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.[1] Levine received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1969.[1] In 1973, she earned a Master of Fine Arts from the same institution.[1]

Style and career[edit]

Much of Levine's work is in the form of a very direct version of re-photography. A larger category of re-photography and collage is the impulse of artists using this kind of appropriation as its own focus—someone who pulls from the works of others and the worlds they depict to create their own work. Appropriation art became popular in the late 70’s although its tendency can be traced from the early Modernist works specifically 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 lay in its ability to fuse broad cultural images as a whole and place them toward narrower signs of personal interpretation.

In 1977 Levine participated in an exhibition, entitled Pictures, at the Artists Space in New York curated by Douglas Crimp.[2] The other artists included in the exhibition were Robert Longo, Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, and Philip Smith.[2] Crimp's term, "Pictures Generation," was later used to describe the generation of artists in the late 70s and early 80s who were moving away from minimalism and towards picture-making.[2]

Levine is best known for her series of photographs, After Walker Evans, which were shown at her 1980 solo exhibition at the Metro Pictures Gallery.[3] The works consist of famous Walker Evans photographs, rephotographed by Levine out of an Evans exhibition catalog, and then presented as Levine's artwork with no manipulation of the images.[3] 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 the rural American poor during the Great Depression.[4] The Estate of Walker Evans saw it as copyright infringement, and acquired Levine's works to prohibit their sale.[5] Levine's appropriation of Evans's images has since become a hallmark of the post-modern movement.[6]

Levine re-photographed a number of works by other artists, including Eliot Porter and Edward Weston.[1] Further examples of Levine's art includes 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 plugged knotholes painted bright, solid colors; and her 1991 Fountain, a bronze urinal, modeled after Marcel Duchamp's 1917 Fountain.

In 1993 Levine created glass copies of sculptures by Constantin Brancusi from the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in an exhibition entitled Museum Studies.[7] In 2009, the Metropolitan Museum of Art held an exhibition, entitled The Pictures Generation, which featured Levine's works.[8] In November 2011, the Whitney Museum of Art in New York City mounted a survey exhibition of Levine's career entitled Mayhem.[9] Sherrie Levine: Mayhem, mounted at the Whitney Museum of Art from November 2011 through January 2012, was a meticulously ordered installation, ranging from Levine's best-known photographs of photographs to her more recent Crystal Skull series (2010).[10]

Public collections[edit]

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

Art market[edit]

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

See also[edit]


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


External links[edit]