Gallery Hopping: Cindy Sherman’s Aging Hollywood Stars at Sprüth Magers

The Berlin gallery shows Sherman's most recent series as a whole for the first time in Europe.

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Cindy Sherman at Sprüth Magers
Cindy Sherman at Sprüth Magers
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #583 (2016). © Cindy Sherman Courtesy of the artist, Metro Pictures and Sprüth Magers.
Cindy Sherman at Sprüth Magers
Cindy Sherman at Sprüth Magers
Installation view, Cindy Sherman, Sprüth Magers, Berlin. Photography by: Timo Ohler
Cindy Sherman at Sprüth Magers
Cindy Sherman at Sprüth Magers
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #571 (2016). © Cindy Sherman Courtesy of the artist, Metro Pictures and Sprüth Magers.
Cindy Sherman at Sprüth Magers
Cindy Sherman at Sprüth Magers
Installation view, Cindy Sherman, Sprüth Magers, Berlin. Photography by: Timo Ohler
Cindy Sherman at Sprüth Magers
Cindy Sherman at Sprüth Magers
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #564 (2016). © Cindy Sherman Courtesy of the artist, Metro Pictures and Sprüth Magers.
cindy sherman sprueth magers
Cindy Sherman at Sprüth Magers
Cindy Sherman. Untitled #583, (2016). © Cindy Sherman Courtesy of the artist, Metro Pictures and Sprüth Magers.

Cindy Sherman’s first body of work after a five-year creative sabbatical, a 2016 series depicting fictitious, aging actresses from 1920s Hollywood posing for publicity shots, is currently on view at Sprüth Magers in Berlin.

The works, depicting Sherman in period costume on green-screen backgrounds, and printed on metal sheets using dye sublimation, debuted at New York’s Metro Pictures, but this show is the first European one to gather the entire body of work in one place.

Sherman has been showing with both galleries since early in her career; in other words, for more than 30 years. In some ways, these works are a full circle moment for the artist, a mature-career update to the works with which she first made a name for herself, the Untitled Film Stills from between 1977 and 1980.

These women wear cloche hats and lush furs, jewel-toned silk blouses and jewel-encrusted brooches. Their hair is cemented in finger waves, their faces made up with heavy rouge, dark, pointed lipstick, and thin penciled brows. Sherman still works as her own model and canvas, and her age—62 at the time of creation—is apparent even below layers of makeup and costume.

As art critic and artnet News columnist Blake Gopnik wrote in a 2016  New York Times profile on Sherman, these photos differ from the Untitled Film Stills in that they aren’t quite as anonymous as the younger, 1960s starlets.

“With the latest photos,” Gopnik writes, “she’s closer to representing something fresh: Other women standing in for her.”

And aging was certainly something Sherman was thinking about when she was creating the works. She said, “I, as an older woman, am struggling with the idea of being an older woman.”

Cindy Sherman” is on view at Sprüth Magers in Berlin until April 8, 2017.


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