Cindy Sherman - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Metro Pictures, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, Metro Pictures, Cindy Sherman, October 16 - November 13, 1982 (another example exhibited)
    Amsterdam, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Cindy Sherman, December 1982, no. 64, n.p. (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Cindy Sherman, July 9 - October 4, 1987, no. 64, n.p. (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Paris, Jeu de Paume; Bregenz, Kunsthaus; Humlebæk, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art; Berlin, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Cindy Sherman, 2006 - 2007, pp. 105, 251 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Oslo, Astrup Fearnley Museet; Stockholm, Moderna Museet; Kunsthaus Zürich, Cindy Sherman - Untitled Horrors, May 4, 2013 - September 14, 2014, p. 74 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Los Angeles, The Broad, Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life, June 11 - October 2, 2016, no. 46, pp. 62, 154 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Art Gallery of New South Wales, Nude: Art from the Tate Collection, November 5, 2016 to February 5, 2017, p. 201 (another example exhibited and illustrated)

  • Literature

    Peter Schjeldahl and I. Michael Danoff, Cindy Sherman, New York, 1984, no. 64, n.p. (another example illustrated)
    Peter Schjeldahl and Lisa Phillips, Cindy Sherman, New York, 1987, no. 64, n.p. (another example illustrated)
    Rosalind Krauss, Cindy Sherman 1975-1993, New York, 1993, p. 100 (another example illustrated)
    David Anfam, ed., Cindy Sherman, New York, 2014, no. 40, p. 48 (another example illustrated)
    Simon Baker and Fiontan Moran, eds., Performing For The Camera, London, 2016, p. 133 (another example exhibited)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Cindy Sherman’s Untitled (#99) comes from the artist’s “Pink Robes” series of four photographs, each featuring the artist adorned in a pink chenille bathrobe. This 1982 series was only the second in the artist’s oeuvre in which the artist employs color. After completing her famous “Film Stills” in the late 70s, Sherman first turned to color in 1980 with her “Horizontal” photographs, in which the images were taken from odd angles and displayed in a wide, large-scale format. The “Pink Robes”, in contrast, are vertically oriented, harkening back to traditional portraiture, yet reimagined in Sherman’s characteristic contemporary interpretation. In each of the four Pink Robe photographs, completed in editions of ten, Sherman highlights vulnerability, evoking notions of female silencing and the gender roles of 20th century women. In the year these works were created, Sherman confirmed this motivation when speaking of the pink robes; she explained that she was “not thinking about movies and generalizations as much as I used to. I think it’s more psychological now, more emotional than theatrical ... I’m not working with environment behind me, I’m concentrating on the face really, so it all comes out through expressing some kind of inner emotion.” (Cindy Sherman, quoted in “A Conversation with Cindy Sherman”, Succès du Bédac, exh. cat., Galerie Déjà Vu, Dijon, 1982, p. 20)

    In the present lot, the second in the series of four, Sherman is bathed in a sea of darkness, rendered in dramatic chiaroscuro. She holds up the corner of the pink robe to her left shoulder, not wearing it, but rather covering herself in its drapery. This is unique to (#99), which feels less posed and more candid than the others in the series, where the robe is placed more carefully and without interruption from the artist’s own hand. Shadows cut not only across the pink fabric, but also across her face, turned in a slightly three-quarter view, but with a gaze that makes direct eye contact with the viewer. This direct gaze combined with the intense contrast of light and dark evokes an ironic combination of vulnerability and self-assurance. By protecting herself with the pink robe and not breaking eye contact, Sherman is asserting the feminine woman as an archetype, incapable of objectification, with the acknowledgement that this objectification permeates modern-day society. In this way, Untitled (#99) is not only a testament to the artist’s mastery of the photography medium, but also, even more importantly, to her own personal interpretation of contemporary gender roles.

  • 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.

    View More Works


Untitled (#99)

signed, numbered and dated "Cindy Sherman 1982 3/10" on the reverse
color coupler print
44 1/4 x 29 in. (112.4 x 73.7 cm.)
Executed in 1982, this work is number 3 from an edition of 10.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Auction 17 May 2017