Sherman, Cindy

born Jan. 19, 1954, Glen Ridge, N.J., U.S.

U.S. photographer.

After graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Sherman began work on Untitled Film Stills (1977–80), one of her best-known projects. The series of 8 x 10-inch black-and-white photographs features Sherman in a variety of roles reminiscent of film noir. Throughout her career she would continue to be the model in her photographs, donning wigs and costumes that evoke images from the realms of advertising, television, film, and fashion and that, in turn, challenge the cultural stereotypes about women supported by these media. During the 1980s Sherman's work featured mutilated bodies and reflected concerns such as eating disorders, insanity, and death. She returned to ironic commentary upon female identities in the 1990s, introducing mannequins and dolls to some of her photographs.

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▪ 2001

      In 2000 American photographer Cindy Sherman continued to reinvent herself and her art after having been declared in 1999 one of the 25 most influential artists of the 20th century by ARTnews magazine. Her staged photography, in which she occupied centre stage, evoked disquieting and provocative images of popular culture in the realm of advertising, television programming, film, and fashion. In March the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills showed her most recent work, a collection of self-portraits in which she posed as Hollywood women with overblown makeup and silicone implants. Critics found the show one of her most disturbing and poignant to date.

      Cynthia Morris Sherman was born on Jan. 19, 1954, in Glen Ridge, N.J., but when she was three her family moved to Long Island, N.Y. As a child, she loved dressing up in old clothes and constantly drew pictures, often of scenes on television. She graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1976 with a degree in photography and moved to New York City shortly thereafter after being awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1977.

      For the next four years, she worked at Artists Space, while simultaneously developing her first wave of photographic art—portraits of herself or her friends masquerading as a small-town librarian, a hitchhiker, or various movie stars, such as Sophia Loren, Liza Minnelli, and Marilyn Monroe. Photographs in which she portrayed stereotypical characters in seemingly familiar settings formed Sherman's first series, Untitled Film Stills. The collection, taken between 1978 and 1980, was printed in 10 sets, and virtually overnight her reputation was established. In 1982 her Centerfolds show at Metro Pictures Gallery brought her international acclaim, and she received invitations to exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum in The Netherlands and Documenta 7 in Germany. Other notable shows included Sex Pictures, which employed an assortment of body parts from medical dummies; Pink Robes; Fashion; Fairy Tales; Disasters; and an untitled exhibit, featuring the mangled parts of plastic dolls disjointed from their bodies.

      Sherman's “setup” photography—in which the artist and viewer engage with fictional tableaus where all is not what it seems—also inspired a generation of younger artists. Whatever the elements in her chosen scenario—whether mutilated dolls, a parody of a movie star, or a sly takeoff of a famous painting—the result was usually one of enigmatic pathos. She explored stereotypes of women, drawing heavily but critically from such popular sources as television soap operas. Over the years her work ranged from outrageous eroticism to harrowing images of decay.

      Her now legendary Untitled Film Stills became some of the most highly sought-after objects in the field of photographic art; in 1996 the Museum of Modern Art in New York City purchased the only complete collection of 69 stills for a price of what sources claimed was over $1,000,000; in 1999 one still, originally priced at $50, fetched more than $200,000 at Christie's auction house. Sherman was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, and her images were shown in major retrospectives at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. In addition, her work was included in some of the world's most prestigious collections of modern art, including those held by London's Tate Gallery and New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Siobhan Dowd

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▪ American photographer
in full  Cynthia Morris Sherman 
born January 19, 1954, Glen Ridge, New Jersey, U.S.

      American photographer who is known for her images—particularly her elaborately “disguised” self-portraits—that comment on social role-playing and sexual stereotypes.

      Sherman grew up on Long Island, New York. In 1972 she enrolled at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo and majored in painting, later switching her major to photography. She graduated from SUNY in 1976 and in 1977 began work on Untitled Film Stills (1977–80), one of her best-known series. The series of 8 × 10-inch black-and-white photographs featuring Sherman in a variety of roles is reminiscent of film noir and presents viewers with an ambiguous portrayal of women as sex objects. Sherman stated that the series was “about the fakeness of role-playing as well as contempt for the domineering ‘male' audience who would mistakenly read the images as sexy.” She continued to be the model in her photographs, donning wigs and costumes that evoke images from the realms of advertising, television, film, and fashion and that, in turn, challenge the cultural stereotypes supported by these media.

      During the 1980s Sherman began to use colour film, to exhibit very large prints, and to concentrate more on lighting and facial expression. Using prosthetic appendages and liberal amounts of makeup, Sherman moved into the realm of the grotesque and the sinister with photographs that featured mutilated bodies and reflected such concerns as eating disorders, insanity, and death. Her work became less ambiguous, focusing perhaps more on the results of society's acceptance of stereotyped roles for women than upon the roles themselves.

      Sherman returned to ironic commentary upon clichéd female identities in the 1990s, introducing mannequins into some of her photographs, and in 1997 she directed the dark comedic film Office Killer. Two years later she exhibited disturbing images of savaged dolls and doll parts that explored her interest in juxtaposing violence and artificiality. Sherman continued these juxtapositions in a 2000 series of photographs in which she posed as Hollywood women with overblown makeup and silicone breast implants, again achieving a result of enigmatic pathos. That same year, a major retrospective of her work was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sherman, Cindy — (n. 19 ene. 1954, Glen Ridge, N.J., EE.UU.). Fotógrafa estadounidense. Tras graduarse en la Universidad del estado de Nueva York, en Buffalo, Sherman comenzó a trabajar en Untitled Film Stills (1977–80), uno de sus proyectos más conocidos. La… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cindy Sherman — Cindy Sherman, 2009 Birth name Cindy Sherman Born January 19, 1954 (1954 01 19) …   Wikipedia

  • Cindy Sherman — (2009, Foto: Nathaniel Paluga) Cindy Sherman (* 19. Januar 1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey) ist eine US amerikanische Künstlerin und Fotografin. Bekannt ist sie vor allem für ihre Fotoserien, in denen sie sich konzeptuell mit Fragen der Identität …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cindy Sherman — (nacida el 19 de Enero de 1954 en Nueva Jersey) es una fotógrafa y directora de cine estadounidense. Contenido 1 Inicios …   Wikipedia Español

  • SHERMAN (C.) — SHERMAN CINDY (1954 ) Depuis 1975, date de ses premières photographies, Cindy Sherman (née à Glen Ridge, New Jersey) n’a, pour ainsi dire, réalisé qu’une seule image: la sienne. Malgré les maquillages, les costumes, les mises en scène, les… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Sherman — Sherman, John * * * (as used in expressions) Sherman, Cindy Sherman, John Sherman, ley antimonopolio Sherman, Roger Sherman, William Tecumseh Snyder, Gary (Sherman) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cindy Sherman — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Sherman. Cindy Sherman Naissance 19 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sherman — /sherr meuhn/, n. 1. Forrest Percival, 1896 1951, U.S. naval officer. 2. James Schoolcraft /skoohl kraft , krahft /, 1855 1912, vice president of the U.S. 1909 12. 3. John, 1823 1900, U.S. statesman (brother of William T.). 4. Roger, 1721 93,… …   Universalium

  • Cindy: The Doll Is Mine — Directed by Bertrand Bonello Produced by Olivier Broche François Magal Written by Bertrand Bonello Starring …   Wikipedia

  • Cindy (given name) — Cindy or Cyndi Given Name Gender Female Related names Cynthia Wikipedia articles All pages beginning with Cindy All pages beginning with Cyndi Cindy, Cyndi, and Cyndy, are similar variants are diminutives of the feminine given name Cynthia …   Wikipedia

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