Diaries and journals have a long, complex history within visual culture. In this beautiful leatherbound book, published in a limited edition, American artist Sherrie Levine (born 1947) continues the tradition by making the private public. Levine’s work engages many of the core tenets of postmodern art, challenging notions of originality, authenticity and identity. Since the late 1970s, she has created a singular and complex oeuvre using a variety of media, including photography, painting and sculpture. Here, inspired by Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz’s Diary and its famed opening entries, written in 1953—"Monday: Me. Tuesday: Me. Wednesday: Me. Thursday: Me." Levine prints the word "Me" on each calendar page in Diary 2019. This diary is a playful riff on autobiography amid our narcissistic culture.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Edited by Martin Hentschel. Text by Howard Singerman.
American Conceptualist Sherrie Levine (born 1947) took one of the central tenets of modernism--artistic originality--and systematically dismantled it. In 1979, she photographed pictures by master photographer Walker Evans directly out of catalogues and then exhibited them as her own; similar outright appropriations were made of works by Van Gogh, Léger and Duchamp. Again and again, Levine's works pose questions of aura, authoriality and, perhaps most importantly, value. Pairs and Posses is the first monograph to focus exclusively on the sculptural duos and trios that the artist has been making since 1992. Here, objects found on eBay and in junk or antique shops might be cast in black glass, crystal or bronze. The transposition of these objects into worthier material automatically renders kitsch objects works of "high" art. Where Levine's early work debunked modernism's aura of irrefutability, the pieces in Pairs and Posses perform an opposite inversion of cultural worth.