SHERRIE LEVINE “PRESIDENT PROFILE” 1979
Sherrie Levine (b. 1947) is a celebrated American conceptual artist, whose vast body of work includes photography, painting, and sculpture. In the 1980s, Levine emerged as a part of the Pictures Generation alongside prominent contemporaries such as Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, and Barbara Kruger.
Levine is widely recognized for her appropriative style, explicitly reproducing works and imagery by prominent male artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Edgar Degas. In most cases, Levine’s recreations are nearly identical to the original, raising the question of authorship and originality in art, which was famously, and successfully, challenged by Walker Evans’ estate.
“President Profile” features the image of a glamorous woman from a magazine editorial, the perimeter of which has been cut to resemble George Washington’s silhouette. “President Profile” is part of a larger series of similar works featuring the silhouettes of equally recognizable presidents, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.
“President Profile” along with the other works in this series, are unmistakably Levine. Each president represented in this series is also featured on U.S. currency, in Washington’s case, the quarter. The combination of the two images re-contextualizes the magazine editorial, this time highlighting the woman as the commodity.
On a broader scale, it can be interpreted that the woman restricted to the confines of Washington’s silhouette, is symbolic of America's oppressive patriarchal history that stems back to the Founding Fathers.
Sherrie Levine has exhibited internationally at prominent art institutions including Neues Museum, State Museum for Art and Design in Nuremberg, Portland Art Museum, Oregon, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.
This limited edition print was included in a 1993 portfolio by October Magazine alongside works by Richard Prince, Laurie Simmons, Cindy Sherman and more.
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Gelatin Silver Print
Signed, dated, titled, and numbered in pencil by artist
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