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.