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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Sherrie Levine

Dates:  1947, 17 April -
Born:  US, PA, Hazleton
American photographer and conceptual artist.

Preparing biographies

Biography provided by Focal Press 
Levine earned her MFA degree in photo/printmaking at the University of Wisconsin in 1974. She became a lightning rod for charged criticism in the early 1980s after she was thrust into the forefront of the new post-modernist vanguard by an influential essay by Douglas Crimp in October called "The Photographic Activity of Post Modernism" (Winter 1980). She was nominated by Crimp to represent the art gesture of "appropriation" whereby an artist uses (transforms, re-contextualizes, adds text to) existing art or photographs to make a commentary or create "critical discourse." Levine had made photographic copies of well-known images by Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, and Walker Evans (all made from existing book reproductions) and exhibited the copies, uncropped and only altered by the act of photographic reproduction with titles like "After Edward Weston (by Sherrie Levine)." Levine’s intention was to offer her art that questioned originality, the patriarchal system of art "masters," and the fundamental nature of any art that utilized a photographic process to inscribe creativity and aesthetic value onto an art object (as Walter Benjamin had outlined in the 1930s). The debate, carried on in art journals and in universities for the next two decades, influenced a new generation of artists and critics for whom "the gesture" (often informed by Marxist and Feminist theories) superseded the modernist "object." 
(Author: Ken White - Rochester Institute of Technology) 
Michael Peres (Editor-in-Chief), 2007, Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th edition, (Focal Press) [ISBN-10: 0240807405, ISBN-13: 978-0240807409] 
(Used with permission) 

Further research

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Family history 
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Visual indexes

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Internet biographies

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Wikipedia has a biography of this photographer. Go to website
Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
Grove Art Online ( has a biography of this artist. 
[NOTE: This is a subscription service and you will need to pay an annual fee to access the content.]
 Go to website

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Hoy, Anne H. 1987 Fabrications: Staged, Altered and Appropriated Photographs (New York: Abbeville) p.190 
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