THE TERM APPROPRIATION often seems too simple to describe Sherrie Levine’s practice—or at least renders her operations too static. For if the artist’s reuse of objects, images, and words (now often her “own”) is a common thread throughout her oeuvre, it’s important to remember that such a through line also reveals the complexity of the changing contexts it traverses. This is certainly the case in Levine’s project for Artforum, in which the source to which she returns is her “Untitled (After Walker Evans)” series—twenty-two images selected and rephotographed from the hundreds of pictures Evans produced for the Farm Security Administration between 1935 and 1938. Levine’s works premiered in 1981, in the artist’s first and only solo show at Metro Pictures gallery in New York; the initial reaction was a mixture of excitement and outrage, leaving behind a feeling of anxiety that I would argue

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2009 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.