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Cindy Sherman

History Portraits

November 8 - December 20, 2008

Upper East Side

Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #205</i>, 1989
color photograph
61 1/2 x 48 inches (156.2 x 121.9 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #205, 1989
color photograph
61 1/2 x 48 inches (156.2 x 121.9 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #207</i>, 1990
color photograph
73 1/2 x 57 inches (186.7 x 144.8 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #207, 1990
color photograph
73 1/2 x 57 inches (186.7 x 144.8 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #224</i>, 1990
color photograph
48 x 38 inches (121.9 x 96.5 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #224, 1990
color photograph
48 x 38 inches (121.9 x 96.5 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #225</i>, 1990
color photograph
48 x 33 inches (121.9 x 83.8 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #225, 1990
color photograph
48 x 33 inches (121.9 x 83.8 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #218</i>, 1990
color photograph
66 x 42 inches (167.6 x 106.7 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #218, 1990
color photograph
66 x 42 inches (167.6 x 106.7 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #213</i>, 1989
color photograph
49 1/2 x 41 inches (125.7 x 104.1 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #213, 1989
color photograph
49 1/2 x 41 inches (125.7 x 104.1 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #209</i>, 1989
color photograph
65 x 49 inches (165.1 x 124.5 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #209, 1989
color photograph
65 x 49 inches (165.1 x 124.5 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #210</i>, 1989
color photograph
75 x 53 inches (190.5 x 134.6 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #210, 1989
color photograph
75 x 53 inches (190.5 x 134.6 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #214</i>, 1989
color photograph
39 x 34 inches (99.1 x 86.4 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #214, 1989
color photograph
39 x 34 inches (99.1 x 86.4 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #215</i>, 1989
color photograph
82 1/2 x 59 inches (209.6 x 149.9 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #215, 1989
color photograph
82 1/2 x 59 inches (209.6 x 149.9 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #228</i>, 1990
color photograph
88 1/2 x 54 1/2 inches (224.8 x 138.4 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #228, 1990
color photograph
88 1/2 x 54 1/2 inches (224.8 x 138.4 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #183 A</i>, 1988
color photograph
43 x 27 1/2 inches (124.5 x 88.9 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #183 A, 1988
color photograph
43 x 27 1/2 inches (124.5 x 88.9 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #195</i>, 1989
color photograph
36 1/2 x 20 inches (92.7 x 50.8 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #195, 1989
color photograph
36 1/2 x 20 inches (92.7 x 50.8 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #193</i>, 1989
color photograph
55 x 48 1/2 inches (139.7 x 123.2 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #193, 1989
color photograph
55 x 48 1/2 inches (139.7 x 123.2 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #201, from the History Portraits series</i>, 1989
color photograph
59 1/2 x 42 1/2 inches (151.1 x 108 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #201, from the History Portraits series, 1989
color photograph
59 1/2 x 42 1/2 inches (151.1 x 108 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #197, from the History Portraits series</i>, 1989
color photograph
37 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches (95.3 x 69.9 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #197, from the History Portraits series, 1989
color photograph
37 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches (95.3 x 69.9 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #196</i>, 1989
color photograph
73 1/2 x 50 inches (186.7 x 127 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #196, 1989
color photograph
73 1/2 x 50 inches (186.7 x 127 cm)
Cindy Sherman, <i>Untitled #216</i>, 1989
color photograph
95 x 64 inches (241.3 x 162.6 cm)
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #216, 1989
color photograph
95 x 64 inches (241.3 x 162.6 cm)

Press Release

Skarstedt Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition History Portraits by Cindy Sherman. A total of twenty out of the thirty-five pieces produced in this series from 1989-1990 will be on display through December 20th. In this series we find Sherman, always the master of disguise, in costumes flanked with props and prosthetics portraying famous artistic figures of the past, like Raphael’s La Fornarina, Caravaggio’s Sick Bacchus and Judith Beheadding Holofernes, or Jean Fouquet’s Madonna of Melun. Not all of Sherman’s History Portraits are easily linked to specific old master paintings, nor was it the artists intention, but she drew her inspiration from a broad scope of historical imagery from Florence in the 15th century to 18th century Paris, and used props and clothing found while living in Rome.
The History Portraits are considered to be one of Sherman's best-known and successful series due not only to its satirical art historical references and sheer wit, but also because of its inherent commentary on and deconstruction of Western portraiture. These photographs may be perceived as contrary to conventional portraiture simply because of the choice of medium. Sherman then takes this concept of dismantling traditional portraiture a step further by taking the artist/model relationship into her own hands by playing both roles. Sherman is the “master painter” in this case and once the stage is set, she jumps in front of the camera and plays the role of model. In this sense, the History Portraits are more than just portraits as they are layered with a trifecta of meaning. It all starts with the original master painting as Arthur Danto elaborates in the Rizzoli History Portraits book, “…the work involves a complex transaction between the original, the tableau vivant which comments on it, and the photograph which has its own life.”
Cindy Sherman was born on January 19, 1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. She attended State University College at Buffalo, New York, 1976, B.A and lives in New York City. She was most recently honored with a complete retrospective at the Jeu de Paume in Paris and traveled to Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria; Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Copenhagen; Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2006-2007). In 1997, the Museum of Modern Art, NY purchased and exhibited her entire Film Still series and she was also granted her first retrospective which started at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and traveled to Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague; capc Musée, Bordeaux; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1997-2000).

For further information please contact the gallery at (212) 737-2060 or valerie@skarstedt.com