Cindy Sherman: Once Upon a Time, 1981 – 2011
As the title of this exhibition suggests, there is a tale behind each picture. The collection the photographs by the greatest portrait artist of our time on view at Mnuchin Gallery presents the works from three distinct periods in chronological order. In each of her works Sherman as always plays a dual role of the sole subject and the artist. In the words of R. Smith from the New York Times review of Cindy Sherman’s retrospective at MoMA in 2012, the artist can be seen as “consummate manipulator of space, scale, color and pattern textiles”.
The earliest images on view this time at Mnuchin Gallery are from Centerfolds series that had brought Sherman to fame in 1981. The theme of these pictures is in capturing pensive moments positioning the image of young woman as an erotic close up similar to what can be found in mens’ magazines.
The History Portraits series , created from 1988 to 1990, are staged images from the past. From afar they can be taken for the paintings belonging to the Renaissance or Neoclassical periods hang at a provincial museum. Sherman transforms herself into historical sitters, females and males, using elaborate props, costumes and framing.
The last period in the exhibition is from the Society Portraits series made from 2008. It tells the sorry tale of a desperate search of eternal youth so celebrated by today’s popular culture yet hard to shake off. Posed as society dames of our time, Sherman portraits mix the glamour with the excess of effort set against the backdrop of grand sites of New York City. The New Yorker points to the fact that this exhibition at Mnuchin Gallery is spot on in terms of its location where the subjects of the Society Portraits “look right at home on the Upper East Side, amid the ladies who lunch”.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10am – 6pm
Dates: till June 10, 2017