Sherrie Levine
Fountain (Buddha), 1996
Sherrie Levine (1947)
Fountain (Buddha), 1996
Cast bronze
32 x 40 x 46 cm
Sherrie Levine uses reproductions, editions and copies to undermine long-held beliefs of authorship, authenticity, and originality in art. She often appropriates the work of canonical male artists, as is the case in Fountain Buddha. Here, Levine reproduces Fountain (1917), the work that positioned Marcel Duchamp as the pioneer of art appropriation. Levine’s Fountain (Buddha) is equally her homage to Duchamp’s renowned readymade and her critique of the commodification of the art object, and the male-centered nature of the art-historical canon. Levine collapses multiple associations within this work, as the low-culture urinal is presented as a bronze masterwork. Not without humor, the title points to the visual similarity of the upturned urinal with Buddhist reliquary sculptures, offering many pathways for reconsidering the original work.