Art In America

Sherrie Levine

at Paula Cooper,
534 W. 21st St.

Alexander Rodchenko understood the three monochrome canvases in red, yellow and blue that he produced in 1921 as the last paintings that needed to be made, saying, "I affirmed: it's all over." Here, Sherrie Levine has replicated Rodchenko's trio in mirrored monochrome panels, only her work goes on and on, with some dozen sets of the primary-colored works repeating on the gallery walls. If the death of painting is suspended and drawn out by the serial arrangement, other references to death populate the space, including a child's coffin cast in bronze. Two other bronzes, based on a mask from Papua New Guinea and a figurine from the same country, appear like monuments to modernism's vexed notions of primitivism.



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