Brisbane Hosts Major Cindy Sherman Exhibition
New York-based artist and photographer Cindy Sherman has her first major Australian solo exhibition in more than 15 years, opening May 28
New York-based artist and photographer Cindy Sherman has her first major Australian solo exhibition in more than 15 years, opening May 28 at The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) in Brisbane. Sherman is one of the most exciting contemporary artists in the world and if you require proof, then consider the fact that her work achieved amongst the highest prices in 2014.
The Brisbane exhibition will showcase the very latest work by Cindy Sherman, featuring pieces newly created this year and presented for the first time (in the Southern Hemisphere at least). These will be joined by other works, dating back to 2000, in a show featuring over 50 photographs from both private and public collections.
The best-known pieces in the exhibition include the “Head Shots” series, from 2000 to 2002, and “Clowns,” a darker series dating from 2003 to 2004, and created in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the USA. The show also features Sherman’s “Society Portraits” (2008), a huge five-meter tall mural, plus two subversive collaborations with Vogue magazine – “Balenciaga” (2007 and 2008) and “Chanel” (2010-2013) – which saw her delve into the archives of the two French fashion houses.
The American photographer is known for her highly staged photos which feature the artist posing as her own subject in a variety of guises. Sherman can be seen stepping into character as a femme fatale, channeling the likes of Anna Magnani or Marilyn Monroe, as well as borrowing from the codes of various pictorial movements, reproducing the paintings of old masters like Garavaggio and Rubens, all with the help of fake breasts, false noses, costumes and wigs.
Ellie Buttrose, QAGOMA’s associate curator of contemporary international art, explains that “Cindy Sherman” will focus on the artist’s return as “the model” after a long period in which she remained behind the camera. This stage of her career coincides with Sherman’s embrace of digital technologies. Buttrose added that Sherman’s staged photographs set out to capture “a type.”
“By posing as her own subject, she is able to enter the characters and explore the humor behind exaggerated stereotypes …. The subtle yet poignant treatment of the image reflects her deep understanding of the history of portraiture, the value associated with knowledge and the manufacture of image for cultural and societal status.”
After closing in Brisbane, October 3, the exhibition will travel to City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand, from November 2016 to March 2017.
“Cindy Sherman” runs May 28 to October 3, 2016, at The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia.