After Walker Evans: 2

Artist: Sherrie Levine (American, born 1947)

Date: 1981

Medium: Gelatin silver print

Dimensions: 9.6 x 12.8 cm (3 3/4 x 5 1/16 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Gift of the artist, 1995

Accession Number: 1995.266.2


In 1981, Levine photographed reproductions of Depression-era photographs by Walker Evans, such as this famous portrait of Allie Mae Burroughs, the wife of an Alabama sharecropper. The series, entitled After Walker Evans, became a landmark of postmodernism, both praised and attacked as a feminist hijacking of patriarchal authority, a critique of the commodification of art, and an elegy on the death of modernism. Far from a high-concept cheap shot, Levine's works from this series tell the story of our perpetually dashed hopes to create meaning, the inability to recapture the past, and our own lost illusions.