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Cindy Sherman Retrospective at Museum of Modern Art in New York City

Cindy ShermanCindy Sherman is one of the most significant contemporary artists of her generation.  The Museum of Modern Art in New York City (MOMA)  is hosting a major retrospective tracing the critically acclaimed artist’s career from the 1970s to the present.

The show opened on February 26 and closes June 11, 2012.

The exhibition pulls together 171 important photographs—including the complete Untitled Film Stills‖ (1977–80), centerfolds (1981), and the remarkable history portraits (1988–90)—plus selections from many of her other influential works in post-modern photography, from her fashion photography of the early 1980s to the provocative sex pictures of 1992 to her 2003–04 series depicting clowns and the society portraits that debuted in 2008.  The MOMA exhibition also marks the American premiere of her 2010 photographic mural.

Cindy Sherman does not just “take” pictures.  She makes pictures.  Shape shifting and ephemeral, her characters are both original and familiar reflecting and commenting on art, film, television, celebrity and our digital world.  Sherman works alone in her studio and serves as model, art director, makeup technician, stylist and photographer.

Sherman explores femininity and fashion with a mix of awe and criticism.  It is the honesty that cuts through the fantasy that makes her work so compelling. Sherman also entertains the macabre.  Her portrayal of disasters and sex pictures are jarring and dark. The clowns and fairy tales are whimsical and fearsome.

Best known are Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills, a series made between 1977 and 1980, comprising 70 black and white photographs created to look like publicity pictures taken on movie sets.  Although you will recognize the character archetypes and stereotypes, the images are fictional but familiar.  Likewise, Cindy Sherman’s evocative centerfolds and headshots confront our obsession with beauty and aging, themes that make the current retrospective timely and timeless.