Cindy Sherman – Preview

An extensive retrospective highlighting the career to date of Cindy Sherman opens today at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Cindy Sherman - Untitled #512 - 2011
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #512, chromogenic color print, 2011.

Cindy Sherman has often traversed the line that separates fine art from popular culture so she has for some time enjoyed minor celebrity status. Still, it can’t hurt to offer a bit of reference to her motives and methods.

Cindy Sherman - Untitled #425 - 2004
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #425, chromogenic color print, 2004.

Sherman works alone in the studio to create these mesmerizing photographs. She is a photographer, surely, but that is only part of the work that she invests in her finished products. The authority over model, scene, makeup and lighting have been the strength behind her success for decades.

Cindy Sherman - Untitled #175 - 1987
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #175, chromogenic color print, 1987.

It was a real privilege to experience, under one roof, the wide range of permutations that the artist has undergone through the years. Major pieces from her most compelling series work are presented including all sixty-nine black and white prints from “Untitled Film Stills” (1977–80) which the museum added to the permanent collection back in 1995.

Cindy Sherman - Untitled #216 - 1989
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #216, chromogenic color print, 1989.

Cindy Sherman has long stood for many things that she never intended to rally for or against. Her obsession and brilliance began in the fantastic world of “dressing up.” The childlike playfulness has not been lost through it all. She still likes to engage the camera as though it were a mirror and knows that the photo is right when she has lost herself.

Cindy Sherman - Untitled #264 - 1992
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #264, chromogenic color print, 1992.

Visitors are met at the entrance to the exhibit with a monumental photographic mural. Five characters, eighteen feet tall each, stand guard over the retrospective in a scene that recalls the small temple at Abu Simbel. MoMA has produced the short video below detailing the installation of the mural. In a departure from her normal method, Sherman has tastefully employed the use of digital techniques to alter her facial appearance for the piece. It is clear that she is considering some new directions and they could be huge.

Cindy Sherman
26 February – 11 June 2012
Museum of Modern Art

Images and video courtesy the Museum of Modern Art.

Filed under:   Magazine

About Scott Lickstein, Look Into My Owl

Scott Lickstein is a visual artist and was the founder / primary writer for the art news source, until January 2013 when it merged with NOWhere Limited’s Magazine.

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