Cindy Sherman - Photographs New York Sunday, April 3, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Metro Pictures, New York
    Private Collection, New York

  • Literature

    Danto, Cindy Sherman: Untitled Film Stills, pl. 24
    Frankel, Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills, p. 105
    Burton, Cindy Sherman, pl. 5
    Durand, Cindy Sherman, p. 243
    Krauss and Bryson, Cindy Sherman 1975-1993, p. 53
    Schirmer/Mosel, Cindy Sherman, pl. 23
    Schjeldahl, Cindy Sherman, pl. 23
    Pantheon, Cindy Sherman, pl. 23
    Suzuki, Cindy Sherman, p. 24
    Thames and Hudson, Cindy Sherman Retrospective, pl. 45
    The Museum of Modern Art, Cindy Sherman, p. 104

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Those roles are in a film: the women aren’t being lifelike, they’re acting. There are so many levels of artifice. I liked that whole jumble of ambiguity." Cindy Sherman

    Sherman’s groundbreaking series, Untitled Film Stills is comprised of sixty-nine black and white photographs in which Sherman poses herself in various stereotypical female roles inspired by B-grade movies of the 1950s and 60s. Acting not only as photographer, but also as director, set designer, costume designer and makeup artist, Sherman explores the various clichés of femininity deeply embedded in popular culture. The resulting images, of which the current lot is a prime example, force viewers to question the very validity of these long-existing stereotypes. In Untitled Film Still #37, Sherman is seen leaning on the mantle of a fireplace, smoking, in a seemingly deep daze, which is exemplified by the images low angle invoking the dramatic standards of narrative cinema.

    Untitled Film Stills stands as Sherman’s most important and influential series of photographs. She eventually completed the series in 1980, stopping, when she ran out of clichés. In December 1995, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired all sixty-nine black-and-white photographs in the series.

  • 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 #37

Gelatin silver print.
9 1/4 x 6 1/4 in. (23.5 x 15.9 cm)
Signed, dated, numbered 1/10 and copyright notation in ink on the verso.

$90,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $137,000

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Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head, Photographs

Sarah Krueger
Head of Sale, New York

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New York Auction 4 April 2016