Sherrie Levine - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Monday, November 11, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
    Devin Borden Hiram Butler Gallery, Texas

  • Exhibited

    New York, Paula Cooper Gallery, Sherrie Levine, March 29 – April 26, 2003

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Every word, every image, is leased and mortgaged…. We know that a picture is but a space in which a variety of images, none of them original, blend and clash. A picture is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centers of culture…. We can only imitate a gesture that is always anterior, never original.” – Sherrie Levine, 1981

    Through Levine’s iconic treatment, a prosaic piece of plywood panel is transformed into a gilded icon. In these Parchment Knot series, the missing natural knots of the wood grain are filled with aureate ovoids in scattered places throughout. While the placement is arbitrary, the ovoids cascade across the grain like raindrops, with a single knot in the top left corner, a second and a third in the center, and fourth and fifth in the final register. With this deluge of golden drops, one can imagine that beneath the picture plane lies a gilded and shimmering pool of pigment. The knots in the natural wood panel are of course a byproduct of nature itself; but here, they have been solidified by the artist’s Midas touch, forever captured in their wooden frames. With this minimal and subtle gesture, Levine has reimagined the impassive and steadfast medium as a canvas with infinite possibilities.

    Following their festooned treatments, the plywood panels are encased in shadowbox frames, matching the neutral wooden tone of the panel itself. The framing device serves to literally display the work as a formal composition in the most traditional of formats. Through this transformation of a banal material into a prescribed traditional painting, Levine alludes to the found objects of Marcel Duchamp—the readymade. The standard interpretation of Levine’s work has subsumed the classification of appropriation; like Duchamp, Levine has taken a found object and declared it an intellectual form. Levine, however, is not a mere appropriationist, but a kind of new art historian and critic, breaking apart and putting together critical and aesthetic key discussions about art forms and their contemporary exegeses. The present lot, Parchment Knot 5, 2003, transformed from a wooden panel to adorned icon, perfectly captures Levine’s ability to elevate the most ordinary of objects to glorious art form.



Parchment Knot 5

acrylic paint on plywood in the artist's wood and Plexiglas frame
frame 98 5/8 x 50 5/8 x 3 1/2 in. (250.5 x 128.6 x 8.9 cm.)
Signed, numbered and dated "Sherrie Levine 2003 5" on the reverse.

$250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for $269,000

Contact Specialist
Zach Miner
Head of Evening Sale
+1 212 940 1256

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York 11 November 2013 7PM