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Cindy Sherman (b. 1954)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more VISIONARIES: WORKS FROM THE EMILY AND JERRY SPIEGEL COLLECTION
Cindy Sherman (b. 1954)

Untitled (Red Robe) #97

Details
Cindy Sherman (b. 1954)
Untitled (Red Robe) #97
signed, numbered and dated 'Cindy Sherman AP 1/2 1982' (on the reverse)
color coupler print
51 3/4 x 30 in. (131.4 x 75.2 cm.)
Executed in 1982. This work is the first of two artist's proofs aside from an edition of ten.
Provenance
Metro Pictures, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1982
Literature
Cindy Sherman, New York, 1984, pl. 64 (another example illustrated).
P. Schjeldahl and I. M. Danoff, Cindy Sherman, New York, 1984, no. 62 (another example illustrated).
P. Schjeldahl and L. Phillips, Cindy Sherman, New York, 1987, no. 62 (another example illustrated).
Cindy Sherman, Tokyo, 1987, p. 45 (another example illustrated).
R. Krauss, Cindy Sherman 1975-1993, New York, 1993, p. 99 (another example illustrated).
J. Burton, Cindy Sherman, Cambridge and London, 2006, p. 211, no. 54 (another example illustrated).
P. Moorhouse, Cindy Sherman, London, 2014, p. 46 (another example illustrated).
Exhibited
New York, The New Museum, The Decade Show, May-August 1990.
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Cindy Sherman, July-October 1987, no. 64 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
Hamburg, Deichtorhollen; Kunsthalle Malmo and Kunstmuseum Lucerne, Cindy Sherman: Photoarbeiten 1975-1995, May 1995-February 1996, no. 44 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
Los Angeles, The Museum of Contemporary Art; Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art; Prague, Galerie Rudolfinum; London, Barbican Art Gallery; CAPC Musée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux; Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art and Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, Cindy Sherman: Retrospective, 1998-2000, p. 108, pl. 79 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
Paris, Jeu de Paume; Kunsthaus Bregenz; Humlebaek, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and Berlin, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Cindy Sherman, May 2006-September 2007, n.p. (another example exhibited and illustrated).
Special notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.

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Alex Berggruen
Alex Berggruen

Lot Essay

"Once I’m set up, the camera starts clicking, then I just start to move and watch how I move in the mirror. It’s not like I’m method acting or anything. I don’t feel that I am that person. I may be thinking about a certain story or situation, but I don’t become her. There’s this distance. The image in the mirror becomes her – the image the camera gets on the film. And the one thing I’ve always known is that the camera lies.” (C. Sherman, quoted in E. Respini, “Will the Real Cindy Sherman Please Stand Up?”, Cindy Sherman, exh. cat, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2012, p. 23)

Cindy Sherman’s History Portraits are among the most striking and provocative images of her career. Following on from her series of Film Stills, she mines the considerable depths of art history to continue her investigation into cultural tropes surrounding representation.
Untitled #205 features what appears to be a pregnant woman swathed in diaphanous fabric, but rather trying to hide the pretense, Sherman makes sure the viewer is perfectly aware of the artifice. “Herein lies the brilliance of the history portraits: even where her pictures offer a gleam of art historical recognition, Sherman has inserted her own interpretation of these ossified paintings, turning them into contemporary artifacts of a bygone era” (E. Respini, “Will the Real Cindy Sherman Please Stand Up?” Exh. Cat., New York Museum of Modern Art, Cindy Sherman, 2012, pp. 43-44.).
In another example from the series, Untitled #206, Sherman appears as a seated Medici-like male figure in an ornate, dimly lit room. In her history portraits, male characters are particularly rare, making this a particularly unique and fascinating work. The figure gazes directly at the viewer, and the beautifully decorated interior of the subject’s home, as well as his Prince Valiant style hair and Renaissance robes, suggest wealth and power. He holds a fruit in his left hand, and a coin satchel is presented on the table next to him, both classic signifiers of wealth in the tradition of classical portraiture.
In sharp contrast to her historical portraits, Sherman’s Untitled (Red Robe) #97 from 1982 shows a pensive nude woman in a red robe. Using no more than this simple visual reference, Sherman has created a thought provoking character and suggested an entire narrative through a single item. By taking perceived notions of identity and turning them on their head, Sherman has become a pioneer in testing the cultural and conceptual boundaries of her chosen medium. However hard we try, we can never tell exactly what is happening behind the mask that Sherman creates.

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