Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman

Book - 2014
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"Cindy Sherman (b. 1954) is her own subject matter. One of the most celebrated female artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries she has, for a period spanning more than thirty years, used make-up, prosthetics and props to present herself in the guise of numerous different personae, placed in contexts that draw on the visual conventions of film, television and the media. Such settings and characters invite the viewer to consider the relation of appearance and identity and also the way in which female stereotypes have been perpetuated not only by the media but also by the art world itself. This book introduces some of Sherman's most important works, from her seminal 1970s series Untitled Film Stills, which references film noir movies by such directors as Alfred Hitchcock and Jacques Tourneur, to her progression into colour photography in the 1980s series Centerfolds. It also follows her decision to remove herself from the picture by allowing her props and prosthetics alone to represent the subjects that she wished to critique, such as pornography and war photography. In the last decade Sherman has reintroduced herself into her work, for example in her History Portraits where she playfully appropriates the subjects of the Old Masters, as well as introducing us to a whole new cast of characters in her Clowns and Headshots (or Hollywood/Hampton Types). It also presents her most recent pieces--large-scale murals and photographs, in which more ambiguous identities are played out within epic landscapes" --Publisher's web site.
Publisher: London : Phaidon Press, 2014
ISBN: 9780714861555
0714861553
Characteristics: 145 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Additional Contributors: Moorhouse, Paul

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Nov 13, 2017

This book has many high quality images arranged chronologically through Sherman's career, and text to accompany it. The text has marginal notes so that one can easily flip to the image that is being mentioned in the text (a very useful feature). There are small segments of text where a particular aspect of Sherman's work is described, for example "clowns" (near the end of the book), and those parts were far more interesting than the main text. I must confess that I was mostly indifferent to, and sometimes repelled by, the works presented. I found the text to blather a bit - it just described and described the works - and when it did make some attempt at interpreting them, resorted to academic and meaningless locutions like "...subverts the language of soft porn."

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