Cindy Sherman - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 3, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Metro Pictures, New York

  • Exhibited

    The Feminine Image, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, 2 March- 26 May 1997
    Long Island Collections, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, 18 January- 15 March 2009

  • Literature

    Respini, Cindy Sherman, pl. 143

  • Catalogue Essay

    “We’re all products of what we want to project to the world. Even people who don’t spend any time, or think they don’t, on preparing themselves for the world out there – I think that ultimately they have for their whole lives groomed themselves to be a certain way, to present a face to the world.” Cindy Sherman

    "What you wear can largely govern your feelings and your emotions, and how you look influences the way people regard you. So fashion plays an important role on both the practical level and the aesthetic level of activity." Rei Kawakubo, Founder of Comme des Garçons

    In 1994 Cindy Sherman and Rei Kawakubo collaborated in what could only be described as the most fruitful and synergistic of partnerships between two successful women, each distinct artists in their own right. Working in their separate mediums of photography and fashion, their work challenges the norms of appearance and identity through the transformative power of clothes, each blurring the line between costume and fashion, and between fantasy and reality.

    Kawakubo, the founder of Comme des Garçons became familiar with Sherman through a May 1993 issue of Harper’s Bazaar that included a spread of Sherman’s work. Titled “The New Cindy Sherman Collection,” Sherman’s photographs featured her personal selections from the Spring 1993 collections and were described by Harper’s Jim Lewis as “…not fashion photographs but artworks that treat fashion like a dream, with a dream’s strange logic and air of allegory.”

    Like Harper’s, Kawakubo gave Sherman full creative freedom, sending her the upcoming Fall 1994/ Winter 1995 collections to be photographed for various marketing materials. The resulting photographs, of which Untitled #296 is the definitive example, are a fanciful continuation of her 1993 fashion work, and are as conceptually avant garde as Kawakubo’s designs, which create and conceal a woman’s identity in the same manner that Sherman’s artwork creates new personas while concealing her own. Just as all of Sherman’s series appropriate aspects of mainstream culture – from film and television, to magazines and art history – this collaboration draws from fairy tales and science fiction with the elaborate designs taking center stage.

    The power of fashion, and the characters that are created by the clothes Sherman wears in her photographs, continues to be a predominant component of Sherman’s work, including a recent series in 2012 where she exclusively wore Haute Couture. Additionally, in March 2016, 23 years after her first spread in Harper’s Bazaar, Sherman’s work once again graced the pages of the magazine with a new project titled “Cindy Sherman Street Style Star,” where she structured her photographs around the Spring collections. Her work continues to inspire collaborative efforts with other major fashion luminaries including Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton. Likewise, Kawakubo received one of art and fashion’s highest honors in 2017 when Comme des Garçons was the subject of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s spring 2017 Costume Institute exhibition, Art of the In-Between.

  • 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

Property of an Important East Coast Collector


Untitled #296

Chromogenic print.
69 x 44 1/2 in. (175.3 x 113 cm)
Signed, dated and numbered 1/6 in ink on the reverse of the frame; signed, dated and numbered 1/6 in ink on a gallery label affixed to the reverse of the frame.

$180,000 - 220,000 

Sold for $325,000

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Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
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New York Auction 4 October 2018