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Sherrie Levine
American photographer

Sherrie Levine

Sherrie Levine
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American photographer
Is Photographer Painter
From United States of America
Field Arts
Gender female
Birth 17 April 1947, Hazleton
Age 75 years
The details (from wikipedia)


Sherrie Levine (born in 1947 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania) is an American photographer, painter, and conceptual artist. She is best known for her reproductions of significant male artists' works through the medium of photography, so as to discuss notions of authenticity and originality. In particular, Levine's reproductions focus upon idolized male artists in order to critique limiting ideas of 'Artist Genius' in which Art History has traditionally undervalued the role of female artists.


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


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 Artists Space in New York, curated by Douglas Crimp. Other artists in the exhibition included Robert Longo, Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, and Philip Smith. 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.

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. 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. 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. The Estate of Walker Evans saw the series as a copyright infringement, and acquired Levine's works to prohibit their sale. Levine later donated the whole series to the estate. All of it is now owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Levine's appropriation of Evans's images has since become a hallmark of the postmodern movement.

Levine has rephotographed a number of works by other artists, including Eliot Porter and Edward Weston. 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. In 2009, the Metropolitan Museum of Art held an exhibition titled The Pictures Generation, which featured Levine's works. In November 2011, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York mounted a survey exhibition of Levine's career titled Mayhem. 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). During the winter of 2016, Levine exhibited new work of monochrome paintings paired with refrigerators at David Zwirner Gallery. This was her first show with the Zwirner Gallery after being represented for seventeen years by the Paula Cooper Gallery.


Levine showed with Baskerville & Watson Gallery, New York, in the early 1980s and worked with Mary Boone Gallery in New York between 1987 and 2015. She is currently represented by David Zwirner in New York, Simon Lee Gallery in London, and Jablonka Galerie in Cologne.


Solo exhibitions

  • Sherrie Levine, David Zwirner, New York (2016)
  • African Masks, Jablonka Maruani Mercier Gallery, Brussels (2015)
  • African Masks After Walker Evans, Simon Lee Gallery, London (2015)
  • Sherrie Levine - Man Ray: A Dialogue Through Objects, Images & Ideas, Jablonka Maruani Mercier Gallery, Knokke, Belgium [two-person exhibition] (2015)
  • Red Yellow Blue, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2014)
  • Sherrie Levine, Portland Art Museum, Oregon (2013)
  • Sherrie Levine: Newborn, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; The Menil Collection, Houston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1993-1995)
  • Sherrie Levine: La Fortune (After Man Ray), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1991)
  • Sherrie Levine, Metro Pictures (1981)

Group exhibitions

  • The Campaign for Art: Contemporary, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2016)
  • MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture, Vancouver Art Gallery (2016)
  • Ordinary Pictures, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2016)
  • Physical: Sex and the Body in the 1980s, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2016)
  • America Is Hard To See, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015)
  • The Inaugural Installation, The Broad, Los Angeles (2015)
  • Open This End: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Blake Byrne, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (2015) (traveled to The Ohio State University Urban Arts Space, Columbus, Ohio; Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York; and Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon)
  • 2014 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2014)
  • No Problem: Cologne/New York 1984-1989, David Zwirner, New York (2014)
  • Transforming the Known: Works from the Bert Kreuk Collection, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands (2013)
  • The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2009)

Public collections

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

  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark
  • The Menil Collection, Houston
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • The National Museum of Art, Osaka
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Sammlung Goetz, Munich
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • Tate Gallery, London
  • Whitney Museum of American Art

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