January 20–February 26, 2005
Sprüth Magers proudly presents Cindy Sherman’s latest body of work.
Sherman’s career spans a thirty-year period; within which she has addressed ideas of the abject, female stereotyping and the mediated image. Throughout this time she has maintained a truly seminal position within contemporary art.
This rise and continued success began in the late seventies, with the critically celebrated series Untitled Film Stills. It was within this series that Sherman would use her own body to play the role of the object.
Placing herself within the frame, Sherman acts not as the subject, in the traditional genre of portraiture but as an object that inverts the act of looking. Sherman’s own physicality is integral to the resultant image whilst her personality disappears from view and her true identity becomes irrelevant.
In the clown series, Sherman takes the notion of the mask and the masquerade in a new direction. Initially conceived after being approached by British Vogue magazine to guest edit their fashion section in June 2003, Sherman’s clown portraits would become a way of exploring the boundaries between clothing and costumery. Intrigued by the apparent dichotomy of the clowns’ persona and any sense of the interior, or real self, Sherman explores the society of difference in this subtly disparate group of facades.
Despite Sherman’s frequent references to the mediated image within her previous works, the clown portraits are the first to extensively use computer manipulation. In this respect the clown series becomes a punctuation mark in Sherman’s work a shift that can also be seen in her use of mannequins and dolls in the mid eighties. The most marked evolution in this departure is the use of multiple characters within the same image.
Each clown in the series plays a distinct figure in Sherman’s macabre album of characters, who together tie this exhibition into an incredibly strong landmark in the career of an artist continuing to make work that is both relevant and affecting.
This series has also been exhibited at the Kestner Gesellschaft in Hannover and follows the artist’s recent retrospectives at the Serpentine Gallery London and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.
Sherman’s work is also extensively placed within many important collections around the world including the Tate Modern, London, the Centre Pompidou, Paris and also in the Museum of Modern Art, New York who have recently acquired the entire collection of Untitled Film Stills.