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Cindy Sherman (1954-)
Sheet (Sight): 63 3/4 × 57 1/4 in. (161.9 × 145.4 cm) Overall: 70 1/16 × 63 3/8 × 3 7/8 in. (178 × 161 × 9.8 cm) Image (Sight): 63 3/4 × 57 1/4 in. (161.9 × 145.4 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee and the Photography Committee
Rights and Reproductions Information
© Cindy Sherman
The woman pictured here is Cindy Sherman, but as is always the case with the artist’s photographs of herself, Untitled is not a self-portrait. Instead, Sherman has used clothing and cosmetics to remodel herself as a society grande dame, one whose world-weary gaze, pasty makeup, and imperious yet hesitant pose suggest that she knows her best days are behind her. This work belongs to one of the artist’s most recent series of self-transformations: a group of large-scale photographs in which she adopts the guises of various aging socialites, exploring our societal preoccupations with youth, beauty, and glamour. Sherman’s photographs are remarkable for their ability to conjure, via judicious cues of dress, makeup, and gesture, a staggering range of recognizable social types. Whether they are fantastical creatures or ordinary people, her imaginary characters often provoke responses that are the antithesis of artifice: a sense of familiarity, and often empathy.