On 6 May 2010, Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Fifth Avenue location an exhibition of 1980s and 1990s works by SHERRIE LEVINE.
With her 1985-1986 knots, stripes, and checks diligently painted on bare wood, Sherrie Levine mines the generic and everyday guise of abstraction. Deceptively simple, works from these series on view, like Levine’s earlier watercolors replicating works by modern masters, challenge the concept of originality while proclaiming an earnest, hand-made quality.
In a reprise of Levine’s 1994 exhibition “Newborn”, the current show includes four castglass replicas of a 1915 Brancusi sculpture, each placed on top of an identical blacklacquered grand piano. The pianos serve as massive and extravagant pedestals that counter the delicate form of the baby’s head. Characteristic of Levine’s redoubling, this pairing itself is appropriated from a photograph of the original Brancusi marble as displayed in a collector’s home.
The exemplar of appropriation, Duchamp’s “Fountain” of 1917, serves as the inspiration for Levine’s 1996 “Fountain” (Buddha). In this sculpture, Levine provokes the idea of the readymade by casting a urinal in gleaming bronze and attaching her own title to the squat swelling form. With these gestures of transformation and naming, Levine elevates a lowly utilitarian object to one of not only artistic, but also spiritual pretensions.
The exhibition, at 745 Fifth Avenue, will continue through 26 June 2010. Grand pianos have been provided by special arrangement with Young Chang pianos, North America. For further assistance, please contact Ron Warren at the Gallery, or visit our website www.maryboonegallery.com.