Levine’s work engages many of the core tenets of postmodern art, in particular challenging notions of originality, authenticity, and identity. Levine rose to prominence as a member of the Pictures Generation, a group of artists centered in New York in the late 1970s and 1980s whose work examined the structures of signification underlying mass-circulated images, and in many cases dir... more >> David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Sherrie Levine at the gallery's 24 Grafton Street location in London. This will be the artist's second solo presentation with the gallery.
Levine’s work engages many of the core tenets of postmodern art, in particular challenging notions of originality, authenticity, and identity. Levine rose to prominence as a member of the Pictures Generation, a group of artists centered in New York in the late 1970s and 1980s whose work examined the structures of signification underlying mass-circulated images, and in many cases directly appropriated these images in order to imbue them with new, critically inflected meaning. Since then, Levine has created a singular and complex body of work in a variety of media (including photography, painting, and sculpture) that often explicitly reproduces artworks and motifs from the Western art historical canon.
On view for the first time in this exhibition will be After Russell Lee: 1-60 (2016), a continuation of Levine's ongoing practice of photographing reproductions of artworks, begun in the early 1980s, and her largest grouping of works to date. Lee was a lesser-known contemporary of Walker Evans—one of Levine’s earliest and most recurrent subjects—and was also a photographer contracted by the Farm Security Administration (FSA). The FSA was an initiative of the American government created in 1935 to combat rural poverty in the wake of the Great Depression, and was perhaps best-known for its small, but important photography program, which existed until 1944 and helped bring public awareness to the challenges faced by the large number of Americans living outside of cities. Simultaneously hailed as informative and derided as exploitative, the now-iconic images taken by the eleven photographers in the employ of the government have come to be regarded as works of art in their own right. Here, Levine revisits one of Lee's most influential projects, a 1940 group of color photographs that depicts life in Pie Town, New Mexico. By debuting this work in London, Levine further complicates its layers of meaning.
A number of cast bronze sculptures that appropriate objects from outside of the Western canon will also be on view, including Gamelan Figures, Naga Effigy, and Little Dancer (all from 2017); as well as Monochromes after Van Gogh Sunflowers: 1-12 (2015) in which the artist makes use of pixelation to produce a series of monochromatic panels where the individual colors are derived from Van Gogh’s iconic paintings.
Born in 1947 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Sherrie Levine studied at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she received her M.F.A. in 1973. In 2015, the artist joined David Zwirner. Her inaugural solo exhibition at the gallery in New York was on view February 24 through April 2, 2016.
Levine’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions worldwide, most recently at the Neues Muesum, Nuremberg, Germany (2016); Portland Art Museum, Oregon (2013); Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany (2010); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009 and 1991); and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2007). In 2011, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York presented MAYHEM, a major exhibition of Levine’s work spanning three decades. Other venues include Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany (1998); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Menil Collection, Houston (both 1995); Portikus, Frankfurt (1994); Philadelphia Museum of Art (1993); Kunsthalle Zürich (1991); High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (both 1988); and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut (1987).
Major group exhibitions include America Is Hard To See, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015); Prima Materia, Punta della Dogana, François Pinault Foundation, Venice (2013); The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2009); Whitney Biennial (2008, 1989, and 1985); SITE Santa Fe (2004); São Paulo Biennial (1998); Carnegie International (1988); documenta VII (1982); and Pictures, Artists Space, New York (1977).
Work by the artist is held in major international museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Museum of Art, Osaka; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Gallery, London; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Levine lives and works in New York.