Cindy Sherman



Since the late 1970's Cindy Sherman has donned an array of personas to explore how women are perceived and presented in Western culture. 

Sherman's "Untitled Film Stills" series is a masterpiece of the 20th century; a major body of work that ushered in a generation of appropriation and criticism of iconography, gender, and cinema tropes. It was arguably one of the first photo-based projects to be embraced and considered as contemporary art, rather than simply photography. 

The seminal series expanded the artistic potential of the photographic medium by using image-making to address feminist and postmodern theories. Sherman uses masquerade to play with identity construction for the camera and to explore depictions of gender across visual culture. Theory aside, the images are engaging, rich in references and very playful. 

The carefully composed black and white photographs suggest a narrative through nuances of gesture, gaze, and props. There is a strange tension between mystery and familiarity as they echo the aesthetics and form of film noir and mid-century Hollywood. 

In this pseudo-self portrait, Sherman assumes the persona of a 1950s femme fatale (or naif heroine) embarking or ending a journey. The figure walks alone with a single suitcase in hand, eyes set beyond the frame of the image in contemplation.  Is this an innocent or vulnerable character or is she a Janet Leigh type, holding a suitcase stuffed with stolen cash? 

Sherman's attention to setting and costume masks the artist’s own identity and emphasizes the malleability of staged photography. This intimate silver gelatin print is a remarkable example of Sherman’s most formative and influential period of art-making.

To learn more about the "Untitled Film Stills", which was acquired in its entirety by the MoMA in 1996, click here.

Sherman’s work is represented in every major public collection including SF MoMA, Tate Gallery (London), Centre Georges Pompidou (Pairs), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC).

This work was acquired directly from Metro Pictures (New York) and will include a copy of the original purchase invoice. 

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

"Untitled Film Still #59" (Under the WTC) 

USA, 1980 (printed 2001)

Gelatin silver print

Signed, titled, dated, and numbered on the verso.

From an edition of 100 

8.5"H 6.5"W (work)

15.5"H 13.5"W (framed)

Framed with museum glass

Very good condition 

Note: image of verso was a snapshot taken in low lighting

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