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Appropriation Modern Masters.

Sherrie Levine (American, b. 1947) After Joan Miro, 1985, Watercolor on paper, 14 x 11" (28 x 35.5 cm) Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Gift of Councilman Joel Wachs and the artist in memory of Joe Bishop. 86.63

Sherrie Levine felt frustrated by the influence other artists exerted on her work. She questioned whether any art is truly original. To provoke discussion on the issue of originality and whether it is important for an artist to spend an entire career developing a signature style, Levine appropriated modern masterpieces. She chose to copy the art of deceased, white male painters, photographers, and sculptors. Furthermore, she exhibited these appropriations as her own. After Joan Miro is a traced reproduction of a well-known drawing by the Spanish modern master. Levine added color washes to her traced work. When viewing the works in reproduction, one cannot tell the difference between the Miro and the Levine.

What makes a work of art original? Is originality important to the definition of art? Why might Sherrie Levine have chosen to appropriateonly the art of deceased, white male artist? One angry critic labeled Levine a "parasite"; what might have made him so angry about Levine's artwork?

GalleryCard submitted by Suzanne Isken, Coordinator of School and Teacher Programs, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sherrie Levine's 'After Joan Miro'
Author:Isken, Suzanne
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 1999
Words:219
Previous Article:Appropriation: An Historical Image.
Next Article:Appropriation: Traditional Folk Art.


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