Sherrie Levine (American, b. April 17, 1947) is known for her talents as a photographer and an appropriation artist. She was born in Hazleton, PA, and received her BA from the University of Wisconsin in 1969. She went on to receive her MFA in 1973. The artist then moved to Berkley, CA, for two years before relocating to New York, NY.
Levine began to work with a very direct type of re-photography during the late 1970s, which ultimately led her to produce her best work ever, the 1980 solo exhibition After Walker Evans. This exhibition was displayed at the Metro Pictures Gallery in New York, NY, which was founded the same year. The exhibition was made up of the already well-known and respected photographs of Walker Evans as re-photographed by Levine. Her method was to re-photograph the images out of an Evans exhibition catalog. This work was then presented as Levine''s artwork. The Estate of Walker Evans saw this as a copyright infringement despite its classification as "appropriation art" and went on to acquire Levine''s works and subsequently prohibit their sale. This did not stop Levine from continuing her work.
She has also re-photographed printed images of Van Gogh''s (Dutch, 1853–1890) paintings and watercolor paintings based on the work of Fernand Léger (French, 1881–1955). Some of Levine’s non-photography work includes plywood pieces with brightly painted knotholes, followed by other Minimalist works, such as striped and checkered paintings. These gradually turned into game boards for chess, checkers, and backgammon. She also created a bronze urinal sculpture titled Fountain (1991), which was inspired by Marcel Duchamp''s (French, 1887–1968) 1917 piece by the same name.
Levine has used watercolors, ink, and photolithography, as well as computer technology to create her art, and although her work generally involves the work of other artists, she is highly regarded for her own merit. Her most recent exhibition was mounted at the Whitney Museum of Art in 2011. Sherrie Levine: Mayhem consists of Levine''s best known re-photographed images as well as her 2010 Crystal Skull series. She currently resides in New York, NY, and is still actively involved in creating appropriation art.