Baskerville + Watson
Our experience of most artworks is through reproductions—transparencies, photographs, magazine or book illustrations—and to an extent we unconsciously accept them as equivalent to the original. But what is the “truth” of an image? What constitutes the difference in psychological investment between an original artwork and that of its reproduced image—and what precisely does the latter reproduce? While Sherrie Levine’s is not the only work which invites us to consider these issues through the annexation of preexisting images, it is among the most austere, beginning with her presentation of photographs “after” those of such paternalistic figures in the history of photography as Edward Weston and Walker Evans. The qualitative difference between Levine’s product and the original photograph is barely perceptible. Their contents are virtually identical. But this displacement of the image from
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