SHERRIE LEVINE: MAYHEM Audio Guide Playlist
This audio guide highlights selected works from the exhibition SHERRIE LEVINE: MAYHEM and features commentary by Johanna Burton, guest curator, critic, and art historian; Thomas Crow, art historian; Richard Flood, chief curator at the New Museum; Howard Singerman, critic and art historian; Carrie Springer, senior curatorial assistant; and Elisabeth Sussman, curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography.
NARRATOR: Crystal Newborn and Black Newborn are made in sandblasted glass. They take their form from a sculpture called The Newborn by Constantin Brancusi. Levine has installed them on top of grand pianos, something she began doing after seeing a photograph of a Brancusi exhibited this way in the home of a British collector. This display foregrounds the ways art is shown differently in the domestic sphere and reveals much about the operations of class.
Levine made the sculptures with the cooperation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which owns a version of Brancusi’s Newborn.
HOWARD SINGERMAN: The work itself, The Newborn, is a remarkable work.
NARRATOR: Howard Singerman is an art historian and critic.
HOWARD SINGERMAN: It is compact, it is smooth, it is aerodynamic: it's a kind of wonderful abstraction or encapsulation, on Brancusi's part, of a kind of birth, an origin, that first cry in the world of the newborn. And indeed the idea of an origin was a crucial idea for Brancusi that he works over and over again in this egg‑like form. The fact that he works it over and over again is, in a sense, where he issues the invitation for Sherrie Levine to make the work after Newborn, to continue his series of newborns.
NARRATOR: The casting process that Levine used to make these sculptures bears a certain resemblance to photography. Once the mold is made a number of identical copies can be made from the mold, a number of identical versions for which in fact there is no original because the mold is a sort of negative out of which these multiples can come.
So there is a play here both within Brancusi's practice and within Levine's of taking that which is the emblem of the origin and to allow it to continue to spread, to stretch out across the century and into the twenty-first here in this exhibition.
- 300 Introduction to SHERRIE LEVINE: MAYHEM
- 301 Sherrie Levine, After Walker Evans 1–22, 1981, printed 2010
- 302 Sherrie Levine, Fountain (After Marcel Duchamp), 1991, and Fountain (Buddha), 1996
- 303 Sherrie Levine, Knot Paintings, 1987–2002
- 304 Sherrie Levine, Broad Stripe paintings, 1985
- 305 Sherrie Levine, Newborns (Crystal Newborn, 1993, and Black Newborn, 1994)
- 306 Sherrie Levine, Crystal Skull 1–12, 2010
- 307 Sherrie Levine, After Blossfeldt 1–20, 1990
- 309 Sherrie Levine, Bachelors 1–6, 1989–90
- 310 Sherrie Levine, L’Absinthe, 1995
- 311 Sherrie Levine, Melt Down paintings, 1990
- 312 Sherrie Levine, After Courbet 1–18, 2010
- 313 Sherrie Levine, Equivalents (After Stieglitz): 1–18, 2006
- 314 Sherrie Levine, Red and Grey Check: 7–12, 2000