Cindy Sherman at MoMA

The Cindy Sherman retrospective, which opened at MoMA on February 26th, displays an astonishing oeuvre based around her variations on the representation of self.  Since her early works of “Untitled Film Stills,” she has managed to do a broad-scoped study of some highly successful and consistently artificial characters and themes.

Untitled Fill Still #14, 1978

After Sherman explored the traditional and typical roles women play in films, she turned her eye to the male gaze. Her less than typical “Centerfolds” show Sherman playing women who span the emotional spectrum from frightened to disinterested to forlorn and uncertain. While some works within this series do have slightly provocative undertones, these are far from the Playboy calendar girls shots one might expect.

Untitled #96, 1981

The history portraits, photographed between 1988 – 1990, are diverse and a powerful choice which demonstrate a complete (at first glance) divergence from previous work. However, when the viewer closely considers the recurring deeper themes in Sherman’s work, it becomes evident that society’s projected roles and views of femininity and concepts of mass media as a tool for cultural dissemination still apply in this series. Personally, I find this series, and particularly, its presentation at MoMA in this exhibition, to resonate with me deeply on a visual and conceptual level.

Untitled # 228, 1990


In the fashion industry, Sherman defines a new standard of beauty by  warping, mocking, and playing with the viewer and assumed standards in society… Check back soon for the rest of this report!

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