Sphere of influence: Sherrie Levine displays works inspired by past masters

Art gallery featuring white walls, while ceilings and brown laminated flooring. On display are 5 colourful fridges (pink, light blue, orange and light green) spread across the room against the white wall with plain coloured wall art on the walls
Photographer, painter and sculptor Sherrie Levine’s latest creative endeavours are on display in an eponymous exhibition at David Zwirner’s Chelsea gallery, New York
(Image credit: David Zwirner)

Photographer, painter and sculptor Sherrie Levine has long blazed an idiosyncratic path. In reflection of this, Chelsea's David Zwirner gallery is celebrating her latest creative endeavours in an eponymous new show.

Appropriation is key to Levine’s practice – she frequently references 19th and 20th century artists for her art. In fact, she’s photographed Van Gogh paintings from a text on his work, based watercolours on Fernand Léger’s paintings and even turned out cast-glass copies of Brancusi sculptures.

This time, Levine has developed a more unlikely pairing. In doing so, she's also taken cues from a somewhat unconventional source – an ad for SMEG refrigerators plucked from the British magazine The World of Interiors. In this case, Levine sets the scene with four actual SMEG refrigerators in saturated shades of pink and punchy orange. (‘The World of Interiors is my favourite shelter magazine,’ the artist confesses.) In a bizarre juxtaposition, she offers up 12 monochrome paintings after Renoir's Nudes on mahogany, a nod to the very hues found in the iconic 19th century painter’s works. Three paintings and a single refrigerator constitute an individual work.

‘Sherrie looks to Donald Judd when it comes to minimalism and repetition but now she is incorporating found objects which happen to be in a retro style,’ says Larry List, who penned the show catalogue and knows the artist personally. ‘She’s fusing contemporary culture and the notion of impressionism,’ he adds in reference to the Nudes. ‘It’s about pushing the boundaries of painting [and] sculpture as well as both installation and conceptual work.'

But what’s Levine's intent in such an unlikely provocative pairing? ‘I’m hoping some sort of synergy results,’ she has said.

If that's not enough, also on display are works 'after' Joseph Victor Chemin, Walker Evans, Man Ray and, most alluringly, a gleaming beach ball drawing on the work of pop art supremo Roy Lichtenstein.

Pink SMEG Refrigerator on display against a white wall featuring 3 plain nude coloured wall arts

Appropriation has long been key to Levine’s practice – her oeuvre contains frequent references to 19th and 20th century artists. Pictured: Pink SMEG Refrigerator and Renoir Nudes, 2016

(Image credit: David Zwirner)

Pastel Blue SMEG Refrigerator on display against a white wall featuring 3 plain coloured (shades of brown) wall arts

Only this time, Levine has developed a highly unlikely pairing – SMEG fridges and Renoir’s Nudes. Pictured: Pastel Blue SMEG Refrigerator and Renoir Nudes, 2016

(Image credit: David Zwirner)

Art Gallery featuring white wall, white ceiling and brown laminate flooring. On the right are 24 square framed fall art. In the center of the room are 2 white box displays with a gold reflective beach ball and a white boar

Pictured from left: Wild Boar After Chemin, 2016; African Masks After Walker Evans: 1–24, 2014; Beach Ball after Lichtenstein, 2015

(Image credit: David Zwirner)

Dark brown frame with wood design art photographer against a white background

Levine’s practice is about ‘pushing the boundaries of painting [and] sculpture as well as both installation and conceptual work’, explains catalogue author Larry List. Pictured: Yellow Moonlight After Man Ray: AP1, 2016

(Image credit: David Zwirner)

Gold reflective beach ball on display a white box platform, photographed against a white background

If that’s not enough, consider snapping up her gleaming gold Beach Ball after Lichtenstein, 2015

(Image credit: David Zwirner)


‘Sherry Levine’ is on view until 2 April. For more information, visit David Zwirner's website

Photography courtesy David Zwirner, New York


David Zwirner
537 West 20th Street,
New York, NY 10011