Artist
Sherrie Levine
American photographer

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Sherrie Levine
American photographer
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Birth Date

April 17, 1947

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Contributor

Sherrie enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in 1965, one year after Bruce Nauman graduated.

While in school, she at first did a lot of Minimal paintings, but moved on to photography pretty fast. She thought Minimalism was repetitive and boring. (She is right.) One day she made a Minimal grid-drawing and her teachers absolutely loved it. When she saw an article on Brice Marden (minimalist and king of squiggly grid paintings) it left her heartbroken and disillusioned. There was no way she could ever do it better than the NY minimalists, but then again, why would you? She decided to turn this into a virtue. Instead of reinventing the wheel over and over again, she started copying this wheel and made a career out of it. Appropriation art at its finest!

It took years for her work to be accepted by the almighty NYC art scene. Sherrie finally had her first, well deserved solo show at Metro Pictures in 1981. She exhibited her photographic series, “Untitled, After Walker Evans.” Walker Evans once took (now very famous) photographs for the Farm Service Agency. Sherrie Levine took photos of the photos Walker Evans took for the FSA. Possibly some visitors, at their turn, took photos of those photos of photos as well. Obviously the show was both a scandal and a success. Many said, “Is this even art?”

People have always been divided about her artwork. When she moved to Los Angeles she moved into this beautiful house overlooking the water. Her landlords were Sunday painters, so they knew a thing or two about art. Or at least they were convinced they did. When they found out Sherrie was an artist she immediately got the house. But then, she moved in some of her Bill Leavitt paintings. “Is that your work??” they asked. They were disappointed to find out they were made by a friend. When Sherrie pointed them to her photographs (the Walker Evans ones) they said, "Oh, those are beautiful.” Amateurs.

 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Sherrie Levine

Sherrie Levine (born 1947) is an American photographer, painter, and conceptual artist. Some of her work consists of exact photographic reproductions of the work of other photographers such as Walker Evans, Eliot Porter and Edward Weston.

Early life and education

Sherrie Levine was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania in 1947. She received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1969. In 1973, she earned her M.F.A. from the same institution.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Sherrie Levine.