Cindy Sherman has assumed countless roles over the course of her 35-year career, becoming recognized in the process as one of the most important and influential figures in contemporary art. Mining a limitless supply of images from movies, TV, magazines, the Internet, and art history, she captures herself in an astounding range of guises and personas—from screen siren to clown to aging socialite—in work that is by turns amusing and disturbing, distasteful and affecting. Besides model and photographer, she also acts as makeup artist, hairdresser, stylist, and wardrobe mistress, working with an arsenal of wigs, costumes, prosthetics, and props in creating her work. The resulting images offer a sustained, eloquent, and provocative exploration of the construction of contemporary identity and the nature of representation.
Featuring some 160 photographs, the exhibition Cindy Sherman traces the artist’s career from the mid-1970s to the present and covers dominant themes such as artifice and fiction; cinema and performance; gender and class; horror and the grotesque; and myth, carnival, and fairy tale. As her first retrospective in a US museum in 15 years, the show features in-depth selections from her key series, including the groundbreaking “Untitled Film Stills” (1977–1980); the ornate history portraits (1988–1990); the larger-than-life society portraits (2008); and an example from her newest series of photographic murals (2010).
A major catalogue accompanies the exhibition.