Cindy Sherman - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Friday, May 11, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Metro Pictures, New York

  • Exhibited

    Washington D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Directions Cindy Sherman: Film Stills, March-June 1995 (another example exhibited)
    New York, Museum of Modern Art, Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills, June 26–September 2, 1997 (another example exhibited)
    Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cindy Sherman Retrospective, November 2, 1997-February 1, 1998; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, February 28-May 31, 1998; Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, June 25-August 23, 1998; Barbican Art Gallery, London, September 10-December 13, 1998; CAPC Musée d'art Contemporain, Bordeaux, February 6-April 25, 1999; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, June 4-August 29, 1999; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, October 1, 1999-January 2, 2000 (another example exhibited)
    New York, Museum of Modern Art, Cindy Sherman, February 26–June 11, 2012 (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    R. Krauss, Cindy Sherman 1975-1993, New York, 1993, p. 56 (illustrated)
    D. Frankel, ed., Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills, New York, 2003, p. 125 (illustrated)
    J. Rouart, ed., Cindy Sherman, Paris, Jeu de Paume, 2006, pp. 54, 245 (illustrated)
    E. Respini, J. Burton, and J. Waters, Cindy Sherman, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, p. 94 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Cindy Sherman’s Film Stills series, made between 1977 and 1980, comprises the most formative and groundbreaking work of her early career. Much of the series aims to portray a fictional actress, played by Sherman herself, at varying stages of her career. Sherman intentionally uses developing techniques to slightly alter the film in this series, lending the images an antiqued and nostalgic quality of classic movies. The photographs look like movie stills, or perhaps like publicity shots, purporting to catch the actress in unguarded moments at home, as seen in the present lot, Untitled Film Still #81, 1980. Additionally, the series, and the present lot in particular, vividly illustrate a side of Sherman’s relationship to feminism. As the viewer concocts a narrative for the subject of the photograph, as does society invent and attempt to prescribe the roles of its women. In finding an outlet for her own personal sensibility, Sherman touches a sensitive nerve in modern culture at large, giving her Film Stills a coveted spot in art history.

  • Artist Biography

    Cindy Sherman

    American • 1954

    Seminal to the Pictures Generation as well as contemporary photography and performance art, Cindy Sherman is a powerhouse art practitioner.  Wily and beguiling, Sherman's signature mode of art making involves transforming herself into a litany of characters, historical and fictional, that cross the lines of gender and culture. She startled contemporary art when, in 1977, she published a series of untitled film stills.

    Through mise-en-scène​ and movie-like make-up and costume, Sherman treats each photograph as a portrait, though never one of herself. She embodies her characters even if only for the image itself. Presenting subversion through mimicry, against tableaus of mass media and image-based messages of pop culture, Sherman takes on both art history and the art world.

    Though a shape-shifter, Sherman has become an art world celebrity in her own right. The subject of solo retrospectives across the world, including a blockbuster showing at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and a frequent exhibitor at the Venice Biennale among other biennials, Sherman holds an inextricable place in contemporary art history.

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Untitled Film Still #81

gelatin silver print
10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm)
Signed, numbered and dated "Cindy Sherman, 1980, 8/10" on the reverse. This work is number eight from an edition of ten.

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $104,500

Contemporary Art Day Sale

Contemporary Art Day
11 May 2012
New York