Sherrie Levine is a feminist and postmodern, American artist. She is a photographer, painter, and artist, part of the Pictures Generation, which includes Sarah Charlesworth, Laurie Simmons and others. A neo-conceptualist photographer, Levine reproduces or copies art works of glorified twentieth-century male artists to attack traditional art history that has long ignored or undervalued the works of female artists. She said, “I felt angry at being excluded. As a woman, I felt there was not room for me. . . . The whole art system was geared to celebrating . . . . male desire.”
She is best known for her reproductions of modernist mainstays. Her 1981 “After Walker Evans” is a series of rephotographed Evans’ images. Because of legal issues, she gave the entire series to his estate. It now resides in the Metropolitan Museum of New York. She has also worked in bronze appropriating Marcel Duchamp’s 1917 work into her own “Fountain (After Marcel Duchamp)” 1991. To dismiss these works as mere copies would be a mistake. Levine’s projects are examinations of the very meaning of originality and ownership. By appropriating images by men associated with innovation, Levine is suggesting that all art and thought are derivative.
Her photographs have been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum in 2009 and in the Whitney Museum in 2011-2012. Her art is part of the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, LACMA, Menil Collection, Metropolitan Museum, MoMA, Guggenheim N.Y., Whitney, and Tate Gallery in London.