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Sherrie Levine

b. 1947

Sherrie Levine, “La Fortune” (After Man Ray: 4), 1990. Felt and mahogany, 33 × 110 × 60 in. (83.8 × 279.4 × 152.4 cm) overall. Edition of 6. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Eugene Schwartz, and Robert Sosnick  92.1a-h
© 1990 Sherrie Levine
Sherrie Levine re-presents images by famous artists in her work, transforming them in some way. For example, in La Fortune (After Man Ray): 4 (1990), Levine constructed the billiard table pictured in Man Ray’s (1890–1976) two-dimensional painting of the same name as a three-dimensional sculpture. Using a broad range of media, including photography, painting, drawing, collage, and sculpture, Levine’s work poses some basic questions about art: What is an original? What is a copy? Her work asks us to look critically at what we see.
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“I always make things that I want to look at. Objects that help me understand something or experience something that I didn’t before.”

—Sherrie Levine

“It is something that artists do all the time unconsciously, working in the style of someone they consider a great master. I just wanted to make that relationship literal.”

—Sherrie Levine

About the artist
Sherrie Levine was born in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, grew up in St Louis, Missouri, and in 1975 she moved to New York City. In 1979, Levine began to draw upon famous works by other artists to make her own artworks, naming them “after” the artists.

For example, Levine’s After Walker Evans: 1-22, (1981) is based on famous images by Walker Evans, who took photographs of people during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Many people experience art through reproductions (images of artworks printed in books, magazines, and posters) rather than in person. Levine’s work brings to mind questions about where we see art and how that affects our understanding of it.

Levine’s WORKS