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Fountain (Buddha)

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cast bronze
12 x 15 7/8 x 18 in. (30.48 x 40.32 x 45.72 cm)

About This Artwork

Sherrie Levine is often labeled as part of the pictures generation. Coined by critic Douglas Crimp in 1977, the title defined how the concerns of photography fed into and informed painting and sculpture. Levine’s work was central to Crimp’s claims, especially her use of editions and copies to undermine long-held beliefs of originality in art. Levine copied famous artworks directly, reprinting photography and remaking sculptures. The pioneer of art appropriation was Marcel Duchamp, whose seminal work Fountain, 1917, a standard urinal put on display in an art exhibition, bluntly demanded to be approved as “art.” Fountain (Buddha) is Levine’s homage to Duchamp’s renowned readymade. Adding to Duchamp’s audacious move, Levine turns his gesture back into an “art object” by elevating its materiality and finish. As a feminist artist, Levine remakes works specifically by male artists who commandeered patriarchal dominance in art history.

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