Diaries and journals have a long, complex history within visual culture. American artist Sherrie Levine continues the tradition with Diary 2019 by making the private public. Inspired by Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz’s Diary and its famed opening entries, written in 1953— “Monday: Me. Tuesday: Me. Wednesday: Me. Thursday: Me.”—Levine prints the word “ME.” on each calendar page in Diary 2019. Levine’s diary is a playful riff on autobiography amidst our narcissistic culture.
Sherrie Levine’s (b. 1947) work engages many of the core tenets of postmodern art, incisively challenging notions of originality, authenticity, and identity. Since the late 1970s, she has created a singular and complex oeuvre using a variety of media, including photography, painting, and sculpture. Many of her works are explicitly appropriated from artworks within the modernist canon, while others are more general in their references, assimilating art historical interests and concerns rather than specific objects. Some of Levine’s earliest work was included in Pictures, an important exhibition at Artists Space in New York in 1977 curated by Douglas Crimp that came to define The Pictures Generation—a group of artists examining the structures of signification underlying any image.