Cindy Sherman is the Most Comprehensive U.S. Exhibition of the Groundbreaking Artist in Nearly 15 Years
The Dallas Museum of Art presents the acclaimed Cindy Sherman exhibition, a comprehensive survey of one of the most significant contemporary artists and arguably the most influential one working with photography. Known for photographing herself in a range of guises and personas that are by turns amusing and disturbing, distasteful and affecting, Sherman has built an international reputation for an extraordinary body of work.
“Magnificent….ambitious…unquestionably a historic occasion,” praised the New York Times in its review. “Dazzling,” “electrifying,” and “transfixing,” declared the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Boston Globe. On view March 17 through June 9, 2013, the exhibition brings together some 160 key photographs, tracing Sherman’s career from the mid-1970s to the present.
Masquerading as myriad characters in front of her camera, Sherman has served as her own model for more than 30 years, constructing invented personas and tableaus. To create her photographs, she assumes multiple roles as photographer, model, art director, makeup artist, hairdresser, and stylist. Through her skillful guises, she has created an astonishing and continually intriguing variety of culturally resonant characters, from sexy starlet to clown to aging socialite.
“The DMA has long been a champion of Cindy Sherman’s work, having participated in her first major survey in 1988,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. “We are so pleased to be exhibiting her work once again with this definitive and much-admired retrospective.”
Throughout her career, Sherman has presented a sustained, eloquent, and provocative exploration of the construction of contemporary identity, the nature of representation, and the artifice of photography. Her works resonate with our visual culture, drawing from the unlimited supply of images from movies, television, magazines, the Internet, and art history. Today Sherman's work is the unchallenged cornerstone of postmodern photography.
“Cindy Sherman is one of the most important artists working today in any medium,” said Gabriel Ritter, The Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art, and curator of the Dallas presentation. “Her work skillfully weaves together images from our collective consciousness—borrowing from the worlds of film, fashion, and art history—to reveal the infinite malleability of personal identity and to challenge our preconceived notions of photography itself.”
Born in 1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, Sherman received her BA from Buffalo State College and moved to New York City in 1977, where she has resided ever since. The exhibition showcases the remarkable range of Sherman's photography, from her early experiments as a student in Buffalo to her recent large-scale photographic murals, which are customized to fit each installation site. To avoid specific narrative association, Sherman rarely titles her work, but has consistently produced her photographs in series, which have informal names. The presentation examines some of the dominant themes prevalent throughout Sherman's work, such as artifice and fiction, cinema and performance, horror and the grotesque, myth and fairy tale, as well as gender and class identity.
A selection of ambitious and celebrated works will be highlighted, including a complete set of the seminal “Untitled Film Stills” (1977–80)—70 black-and-white photographs that feature the artist in stereotypical female roles inspired by 1950s and 1960s Hollywood, film noir, and European art-house films, and all twelve of her centerfolds (1981). Selections from her significant series of works will also be featured, including: fairy tale/mythology (1985); history portraits (1988–90); sex pictures (1992); headshots (2000-02); clowns (2003–04); fashion (1983–84, 1993–94, 2007–08); and society portraits (2008). In addition, a large-scale, site-specific photographic mural from 2010 will be shown for the first time in four-parts in the Barrel Vault gallery alongside highlights of Sherman’s career.
Cindy Sherman requires a special exhibition ticket of $16 for adults, with discounts for students, military personnel, and seniors; DMA Partners and children 11 and under are free.
Visitors will be able to explore the exhibition with a smARTphone tour featuring an audio tour by the artist Cindy Sherman, and exhibition curator Eva Respini, Associate Curator, and Lucy Gallun, Curatorial Assistant, in the Department of Photography at MoMA. The smARTphone experience will also include “My Favorite Cindy Sherman,” a series of videos featuring artists, art historians, and others sharing thoughts about their favorite artwork by Sherman. DMA Friends will be able to earn the Cindy Sherman Special Exhibition Badge during its presentation. DMA Friends, which launched on January 21, is the first-of-its-kind, no-cost membership program that allows participants to discover new and fun activities at the DMA.
The Museum will celebrate Cindy Sherman during the April 19 Late Night with talks, exciting new gallery activities, performances, DJs, and more. The curator of the Dallas presentation, Gabriel Ritter, will discuss Sherman’s self-portraiture as a model for a generation of non-western artists during the Cindy Sherman: Artists as Model lecture on May 9. Additional programs, including lectures and gallery talks, will be scheduled throughout the run of the exhibition. For dates, prices, and details, visit DMA.org.
A fully illustrated publication accompanies the exhibition, with essays by exhibition curator Eva Respini and art historian Johann Burton, as well as a new interview with Sherman conducted by filmmaker and artist John Waters. Audio Tour produced by Acoustiguide and the Museum of Modern Art ©2012. Cindy Sherman premiered at MoMA in New York (February 26–June 11, 2012), traveling to SFMOMA (July 14-October 8, 2012), followed by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (November 10, 2012–February 17, 2013), prior to the final stop on the tour at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Cindy Sherman is organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Additional support provided by the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Dallas, the Contemporary Art Initiative, and TWO X TWO for AIDS and Art. Air transportation provided by American Airlines.
About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 22,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, the Museum welcomes more than half a million visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations.
The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Partners and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
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Dallas Museum of Art