01/15/94 - 02/20/94
The artist installs four identical sculptures at Portikus: four black concert grand pianos turn the space into a walkable stage. A white, transparent egg-form is placed on each piano.
The installation is entitled "NEWBORN", like Constantin Brancusi's sculpture which Sherrie Levine used as a model for the oval glass objects. 'New born' describes the artist's working method. It could also designate a crucial demand made by modernism.
The installation at Portikus originated in a photograph that Sherrie Levine discovered in an art magazine. The photo showed a view of the former residence of the art collector H.S. Ede in Cambridge, England. The house is now used as a museum and demonstrates private dealings with art. On the piano, there was an oval sculpture by Brancusi.
Sherrie Levine transforms the empty white Portikus container into a real fiction, into a critical image dealing with art.
The four pianos with the applied finishing touch are appealing as surface. In the way they are formally arranged, they appear unapproachable. This powerful artistic reality is the basis for meaning and consciousness. In rediscovering and restaging important works from the history of modern art in an individual manner, Sherrie Levine at once attacks and emphasises the established dogma of modernism. The timeless autonomy and originality without origin demanded of a 20th century work of art is critically re-directed in the calculated implementation of the historical model, to be redeemed anew by Sherrie Levine's formal continuation.
Since the early 80s, the artist, who was born 1947 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, has caused irritation and fascination with her unveiled art-historical references. The alteration effected by doubling and the calculated modes of usage are reminiscent of Duchamp's 'ready-mades', of his playing with found objects of everyday use. Sherrie Levine extends this concept of working with found objects by re-directing it to art. Sherrie Levine takes up the history of modern art, defamiliarises it through seriality, and creates a new sculptural reality.
The Portikus container again becomes an ideal three-dimensional frame for a work of art. Sherrie Levine temporarily uses it as an up-to-date house of culture.