Cindy Sherman - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Metro Pictures, New York; Aspen Art Museum, Aspen

  • Literature

    R. Krauss, Cindy Sherman 1975-1993, New York, 1993, p. 238 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    When I was in school I was getting disgusted with the attitude of art being so religious or sacred, so I wanted to make something which people could relate to without having read a book about it first. So that anybody off the street could appreciate it, even if they couldn't fully understand it; they could still get something out of it. That's the reason why I wanted to imitate something out of the culture, and also make fun of the culture as I was doing it. (Cindy Sherman as quoted in S. Nairne, ‘The State of the Art',Ideas and Images in the 1980s, London, 1987, p. 132)
    Cindy Sherman's art is certainly postmodern. Her works are photographs; she is not a photographer but an artist who uses photography. Each image is built around a photographic depiction of a woman. And each of the women is Sherman herself, simultaneously artist and model, transformed, chamaleon-like, into a glossary of pose,gesture and facial expression. As her work developed between 1977and 1987 a strange process of metamorphosis took place. Apparently easy and accessible postmodern pastiche underwent a gradual transformation into difficult, but still accessible, images that raiseserious and challenging questions for contemporary feminist aesthetics.(L. Mulvey, Cindy Sherman, Paris, 2006, p. 284)

  • 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 # 217

1984, printed in 1990
Colour coupler print.
129.5 x 86.4 cm. (51 x 34 in).
Signed and dated ‘Cindy Sherman 1984/90' and numbered of twelve on a label adhered to the reverse.This work is from an edition of twelve plus two artist's proofs.

£40,000 - 60,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

12 Feb 2009, 7pm