Untitled (#94)
signed, numbered and dated 'Cindy Sherman 7/10 1981' (on a paper label affixed to the Sintra backing board)
color coupler print mounted on Sintra
24 x 48 in. (60.9 x 121.9 cm.)
Executed in 1981. This work is number seven from an edition of ten.
Metro Pictures, New York
Delahunty Gallery, Dallas
Cindy Sherman, exh. cat., Amsterdam, 1982, pl. 58 (illustrated).
"Cindy Sherman," Art Vivant, September 1983, p. 19 (illustrated). P. Schjeldahl and I. M. Danoff, Cindy Sherman, New York, 1984, pl. 58 (illustrated).
E. Barents and P. Schjeldahl, Cindy Sherman, Munich, 1984, pl. 58 (illustrated).
Cindy Sherman: Una selección de las colecciones de la Eli Broad Family Foundation, exh. cat., Caracas, 1997.
Dijon, Déjà vu, Cindy Sherman, October-November 1982, n.p. (illustrated, another example exhibited).
Art Gallery, State University of New York at Stony Brook and Middletown, Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Cindy Sherman, October-December 1983 (another example exhibited).
Saint-Étienne, Musée d'Art et d'Industrie, Cindy Sherman, December 1983-Janurary 1984, p. 16 (illustrated, another example exhibited).
Tokyo, Laforet Museum Harajuku, Cindy Sherman, April-May 1984, n.p. (another example exhibited).
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Cindy Sherman, July-October 1987, pl. 58 (illustrated, another example exhibited).
Museo de Monterrey, Becher, Mapplethorpe, Sherman, April-June 1992, pp. 180 and 244 (illustrated, another example exhibited).
Dublin, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Julião Sarmento and Cindy Sherman, November 1994-February 1995, pp. 4 and 31 (illustrated, another example exhibited).
Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Cindy Sherman: Film Stills, March-June 1995, n.p. (illustrated, another example exhibited).
Shiga, Museum of Modern Art; Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art and Tokyo, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cindy Sherman, July-December 1996, pl. 39, pp. 94 and 180 (illustrated, another example exhibited).
Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Washington, D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art and Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons: Four Decades of Art from the Broad Collections, October 2001-October 2002, p. 19 (illustrated, another example exhibited).
New York, Skarstedt Fine Art, Cindy Sherman: Centerfolds 1981, May-June 2003, pp. 26 and 49 (illustrated, another example exhibited). Paris, Jeu de Paume; Bregenz, Kunsthaus Bregenz; Humlebæk, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art; Berlin, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Cindy Sherman: Retrospective, May 2006-September 2007, pp. 96-97, 249 and 316 (illustrated, another example exhibited).
New York, Museum of Modern Art; San Francisco Museum of Art; Minneapolis, Walker Art Center and Dallas Museum of Art, Cindy Sherman, February 2012-June 2013, pl. 98, p. 148 (illustrated, another example exhibited).
Sale room notice
Please note the updated provenance for this lot:
Metro Pictures, New York
Delahunty Gallery, Dallas

Lot Essay

Commissioned by Artforum in 1981, the Centerfolds were to be used as a portfolio within the magazine. Today, the twelve resulting images are among the most highly acclaimed portraits in Sherman's oeuvre. Exhibited the same year, Janelle Reiring of Metro Pictures Gallery notes, "It was her second show with us-with the Centerfolds series from 1981-that seemed to change everything." (J. Reiring quoted in S.P. Hanson, "Art Dossier: Cindy Sherman," Art+Auction, February 2012) Of the exhibition, art critic Peter Schjeldahl recalls his excitement, "I immediately called the two publications I wrote for only to discover that they had already assigned reviews. I had to write something that day, and it turned out to be a check." (P. Schjeldahl quoted in C. Vogel, "Cindy Sherman Unmasked," The New York Times, February 16, 2012) Following the exhibition, Sherman was invited to participate both in Documenta VII and the Venice Biennale. The Centerfold series became the catalyst that propelled Sherman's career from the insightfully spirited bourgeoning artist behind the Untitled Film Stills to the contemporary master we know today.

Inspired by the horizontal format of the open magazine, the series responded to the popular photo spreads made famous in the pages of Playboy. Designed to give maximum exposure to the female form in top-shelf magazines, the centerfold was the prime showground where women were looked at and admired. Reclaiming the format for her own aesthetic use, Sherman herself performs the role of a variety of emotionally suggestive but ambivalently distanced teens in an act to transform the layout where women were traditionally sexualized. The dramatically cropped corporeal presence of the Centerfolds are further sensationalized by the artist's use of colored gels and lights. Half repose in an air of uncanny tension, an eerie yellowish cast infiltrates the tousled blonde clad in tomboy chino clothes of Untitled (#94). Her piercing blue eyes dart out of the frame as to direct a challenging, yet slightly fearful gaze at an unseen visitor. Wrought with subdued emotional intensity, Untitled (#94) proposes the most powerful aspects of Sherman's acclaimed series.

All of the examples of the Centerfold series impart a sense of vulnerable inward consciousness. Each anticipates that something is about to happen. This implied anticipation derives from the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, who knew how to tease the viewer by delaying the exposure of the exogenic potential threat, thereby causing the subject to look inward and question whether the threat exists before the event occurs.

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