Cindy Sherman - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 16, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Metro Pictures, New York; Skarstedt Fine Art, New York

  • Exhibited

    Paris, Jeu de Paume, 16 May - 3 September, 2006; Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2 December, 2006 - 28 January, 2007; Humlebeak, Louisiana Musuem of Modern Art, 9 February - 13 May, 2007; Berlin, Martin Gropius Bau, 15 June - 10 September, 2007, Cindy Sherman (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    A. Dando, Cindy Sherman: History Portraits, New York, 1990, p. 30 (illustrated); Exhibition catalogue, Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Cindy Sherman/ Marco Meneguzzo, Milan, 1990, p. 69 (illustrated); Jeu de Paume, ed., Cindy Sherman, Paris, 2006, pp. 141, 257 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Having begun the History Portraits in 1988, Sherman found the atmosphere of Renaissance Rome a catalyst and cultural setting for her body of work, which aimed at  depicting classic images.  Belonging to one of her most celebrated photographs from the acclaimed series the present lot, Untitled #194, is a seminal image, in which Sherman captivates in a single iconic self-image the principle tenets that highlight the artist’s entire oeuvre. Through the incorporation of costumes, poses, interiors and settings of classical portraiture that were so predominant during the period of High Art, this series looks to mine the canon of art history, culling images of historical figures.
    “In the History Portraits, created in 1989-90 on the theme of Old Master paintings, Sherman unleashes the full blast of her iconoclastic verve.  False noses, false breasts, cheap costume jewelry, everyday fabrics, and thickly plastered makeup are assembled under dazzling, bright light:  the joke shop takes its revenge on the museum…the references are precise in some cases, and more fragmented in others…The overall impression is of an unsavory cultural minestrone, floating with bits of Fouquet, Raphael, Rubens, Fragonard, and Ingres…Sherman highlights the creation of a world where formal invention, fantasy and satire reign supreme.” (J.P. Criqui, ‘The Lady Vanishes’ in Cindy Sherman, Paris, 2006, pp. 279, 281)

  • 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 #194

C-print in the artist's frame.
121.6 x 86 cm. (47 7/8 x 33 7/8 in).
Signed and dated 'Cindy Sherman 1989' and numbered of six on the reverse. This work is from an edition of six.  

£80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for £85,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

17 Oct 2009