Sherrie Levine (born 1947, lives and works in New York). At the beginning of the eighties, Levine produced a series of photographs that placed her work at the forefront of a new artistic current, the appropriation by artists of other artists’ work. By reproducing identically the photographs of Walker Evans and Edward Weston, Levine questioned the notion of originality in art, its status and the way in which reproductions of art are perceived. Following the photographs, Levine made water-colours afterreproductions of the works of Kandinsky, Matisse and de Kooning that were intended to pose questions about the way the work of established artists is treated by the media. She went on to work in three dimensions making, for example, 3D representations of 2D drawings by Duchamp from his celebrated Grand Verre and from Man Ray’s La Fortune. Levine’s work offers an imaginative answer to the question of ‘the death of the author’.
In this exhibition New Photography, here on the London leg of a European tour, Levine returns to her early concern with direct quotation. The exhibition consists of five photographic series, one after Cezanne, two after Monet, one after Degas and one after Van Gogh. This exhibition, while it deals with many issues to do with authorship, originality and reproduction, is about looking. A pure, visual experience that resonates through the history of Post-impressionism but is a contemporary work of art.