Along with artists like Richard Prince, Louise Lawler or Barbara Kruger, she took part of the « Pictures Generation », a group of artists characterised by their use of appropriation in an age where society was being saturated by images. She is known for her series of re-photographed works by famous photographers like Eliot Porter, Edward Weston or Walker Evans.
Her production includes a wide range of medium such as photography, painting or sculpture. She has worked with the concept of appropriation for more than 30 years, revisiting works from various modern artists and thus questioning the set of values they represent. Notions of talent or authenticity become irrelevant – her works often being produced in series by specialized artisans following her instructions.
In her recent work After Cezanne 1-18, she does not copy the originals, but translates the fragmented surface of the modernist paintings into one of today’s way of representing the world: through a colored grid of pixels.
In Levine's series of knot paintings, she accentuated the man-made plugs embedded in each wood panel to hide its natural flaws with painting and other materials. This arbitrary and spontaneous shape echoes the notion of repetition and seriality, which are major themes of her work along with questions of originality, authorship and art commodification.
This notion of appropriation comes back throughout her body of work. For example Lega Mask, an African mask is cast in bronze and takes on another meaning as it enters the gallery space. On show in the exhibition, are also other bronzes representing animal skeletons. The work False Gold, a double-spined bronze calf skeleton, emphasize the question of the double, the original and its copy are here intertwined, while making an allusion to the biblical myth of the Golden Calf.
A glass sculpture, Pink Skull, is also included in the show and placed in a display case. This work echoes to the Brancusi sculpture New Born dating from 1915, an abstract shape evoking human anatomy. Levine than made produced a series of sculptures using various materials. Her new works often explore binary logic and seriality.
Solo exhibitions of Levine's work have been organized by The Kitchen in New York (1979), Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford (1987), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. (1988), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1991), Philadelphia Museum of Art (1993), Portikus in Frankfurt (1994), Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (1995), Kunstverein in Hamburg (1999), The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles (2001), and Georgia O' Keefe Museum in Santa Fe (2007). Her work has also been included in major group exhibitions such as Pictures at Artist Space in New York (1977), Documenta 7 (1982), Whitney Biennial (1985, 1989, and 2008), Prospect 89 (1989), São Paulo Bienal (1998), Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2004), SITE Santa Fe (2004), and The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (2009). Levine lives and works in New York and Santa Fe.