In her new series of fourteen color photographs, Cindy Sherman continues her increasingly incisive and mysterious investigation of female personae. She employs dramatic lighting and color reminiscent of portrait paintings from the dark sobriety of Rembrandt to the acidic gaudiness of Warhol. As in her previous work, Sherman is both the photographer and the subject. But this technique is not used to make an autobiographical or self-revealing statement; rather she is her own actress/model.
Sherman has largely abandoned the filmic artifice of the camera as voyeur. Her new female subjects overtly acknowledge the presence of the camera — some stare at it defiantly, others pose for it. Sherman's painterly concern with composition, light and color has become more complex and specific narrative clues are now almost non-existent. The work, however, remains strongly reliant on a shared intuitive understanding, between Sherman and the viewer, of the attitudes, feelings, mood and situations of her female protagonists.
"There are, I would argue, two major tensions that charge this work: one that pits the determined stylization of her references to popular imagery against the immediacy of her own presence, and one that pits woman-as-temptress against woman-as-victim. The first, pointing as it does to the difficulties of creating and containing meaning in today's image-conscious world, places Sherman's photographs squarely among the post-moderns. The second, more compelling tension places them in the world at large, far beyond the circumscribed realm of ideas about art."
- Andy Grundberg, The New York Times, 22 November 1981
Cindy Sherman was born in 1954 in New Jersey and lives in New York City. This is her third exhibition at Metro Pictures. This past year, Sherman has had one-person exhibitions at Young/Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, Texas Gallery in Houston, Chantal Crousel Gallery in Paris, Larry Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles and Carl Solway Gallery in Cincinnati. Her work was included in many group exhibitions including the Venice Biennale and Documenta 7. She will have a one-person exhibition in December at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In conjunction with this exhibition, a book will be published which will include reproductions of all her black and white and color work from 1977 to the present.