Sherrie Levine. Untitled (Mr. Austridge: 2). 1989

Sherrie Levine Untitled (Mr. Austridge: 2) 1989

  • Not on view

This is one of a series of paintings, identical except for the grain of the wood support, in which Levine copied Mr. Austridge from Krazy Kat, a comic strip that ran in American newspapers between 1913 and 1944. The character, an ostrich, avoids the challenges of the world around him by burying his head. Drawn by George Herriman, a cartoonist from a Creole African American family whose death certificate identified him as Caucasian, the cartoon series depicts a love triangle whose protagonists shift gender and color.

Through her repeated appropriation of Herriman’s comic character, Levine questions ideas of originality and authorship. The ostrich itself is open to a range of interpretations; its willful blindness may serve as a metaphorical counterpoint to the conventional notion of painting as a source of unique visual experience. "Every word, every image, is leased and mortgaged," Levine has claimed. "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."

Gallery label from Contemporary Art from the Collection, June 30, 2010 - September 12, 2011 .
Medium
Casein on wood in artist's frame
Dimensions
47 1/8" x 27 1/8" (119.7 x 68.9 cm)
Credit
Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds
Object number
601.2009
Department
Painting and Sculpture

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.