Une Pipe (A Pipe)
Average: 3 (1 vote)

More about Une Pipe (A Pipe)

ebrowne's picture


Une Pipe may be a shameless copy of Magritte’s The Treachery of Images but at least it’s a real pipe this time and not just some vague semiotics lesson.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Magritte. Sherrie Levine is categorized as the appropriation artist of all appropriation artists, but did anyone stop to think that she she was more of a collaborator? Sure, a lot of the time the artists whose work she appropriates are long dead, but so what? She uses the original pieces to comment on the piece in a new context and, as she puts it, “mak[es] a work that has as much aura as its reference.” Basically, Levine is the Ghost of Artworks Past and we are in no place to be the Scrooge in this situation.

This work brings up some of the same feelings of the work, One and Three Chairs by Joseph KosuthUne Pipe being the equivalent of the literal chair in that work. All of a sudden, the word “pipe” doesn’t mean anything to us anymore and all of a sudden we have more need for a drag from a pipe than ever.

Words aren’t the only things losing their meaning, though. So is art. Levine makes lack of originality an original concept in the art world, which is too meta for words. One minute you’re looking at a gold pipe and the next you’re questioning the meaning of words and art. The meaning of life comes next.



  1. "Sherrie Levine". N.p., 2001. Web. 8 May 2017.
  2. Smith, Roberta. "‘Sherrie Levine: Mayhem,’ At Whitney Museum - Review". N.p., 2011. Web. 8 May 2017.
  3. "Une Pipe (A Pipe) | LACMA Collections". Web. 8 May 2017.