Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s

Feb 11–Jun 3, 2012

Sherrie Levine’s Chair Seat: 7 recalls Frank Stella’s (American, b. 1936) “stripe paintings” of the 1950s and sixties. Levine’s comingling of modernist painting (the flatness of the stripes) and readymade sculpture (the store-bought chair seat) creates an uncomfortable union between the abstract and the physical, between geometric composition and everyday objects. If modernist painting aspired to be purely visual, Levine slyly undermined this aspiration through her use of furniture, which, by definition, is intended for bodily use. Yet by ironically borrowing such lofty painterly ideals, Levine may also have been staking her claim to them.