Cindy Sherman (b. 1954)
Cindy Sherman (b. 1954)

Untitled Film Still #8

Cindy Sherman (b. 1954)
Untitled Film Still #8
signed, numbered and dated 'Cindy Sherman AP 1/1 1978' (on a paper label affixed to the backing board)
gelatin silver print
image: 29 x 37 in. (73.7 x 94 cm.)
sheet: 31 1/8 x 39 1/8 in. (79.1 x 99.4 cm.)
Executed in 1978. This work is the only artist's proof aside from an edition of three.
Metro Pictures, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner
P. Schjeldahl and I. M. Danoff, eds., Cindy Sherman, New York, 1984, pp. 9 and 27 (another example illustrated).
Cindy Sherman, exh. cat., New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, 1987, pp. 9, 14 and 35, pl. 7 (another example illustrated).
A. C. Danto, Cindy Sherman, New York, 1990, n.p., pl. 7 (another example illustrated).
R. Krauss, Cindy Sherman 1975-1993, New York, 1993, pp. 66-67 and 224 (another example illustrated).
H. Muschamp, "Knowing Looks," Artforum, vol. XXXV, no. 10, Summer 1997, pp. 106-111 (another example illustrated).
D. Frankel, ed., The Complete Untitled Film Stills Cindy Sherman, New York, 2003, p. 127 (another example illustrated).
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, Cindy Sherman, December 1982, n.p., pl. 7 (another example illustrated and exhibited).
Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea di Milano, Cindy Sherman, October-November 1990, p. 91 (another example exhibited).
Hamburg, Deichtorhallen; Malmö Konsthall and Lucerne, Kunstmuseum, Cindy Sherman: Fotografiska Arbeten, 1975-1995, May 1995-February 1996, n.p., pl. 3 (another example illustrated and exhibited).
Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art; Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art; Prague, Galerie Rudolfinum; London, Barbican Art Gallery; Musée d'art Contemporain de Bordeaux; Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art and Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, Cindy Sherman Retrospective, November 1997-January 2000, pp. 59 and 197 (another example illustrated and exhibited).
Paris, Jeu de Paume; Kunsthaus Bregenz; Humlebaek, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and Berlin, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Cindy Sherman, May 2006-September 2007, pp. 32, 37, 241 and 316 (another example illustrated and exhibited).
New York, Museum of Modern Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Minneapolis, Walker Art Center and Dallas Museum of Art, Cindy Sherman, July 2012-June 2013, p. 97, pl. 21 (another example illustrated and exhibited).

Brought to you by

Emily Kaplan
Emily Kaplan

Lot Essay

Untitled Film Still #8 is one of sixty-nine images from Cindy Sherman’s iconic series, Untitled Film Stills, which stand as the most important series in the artist’s early practice. As seen in the present lot and representative of the series, Sherman employs cinematic compositional tools–lighting, cropping, framing, camera angle—as well as bodily conventions—clothing, gestures, and poses. The use of this vocabulary conjures a feeling of suspense as the viewer perpetually finds themselves at some single point along the continuum of a narrative that never has a clear beginning or end. As Sherman notes of works such as Untitled Film Still #8, ‘Some of the women in the outdoor shots could be alone, or being watched or followed – the shots I would choose were always the ones in-between the action. These women are on their way to wherever the action is (or to their doom)...or have just come from a confrontation (or tryst)’ (C. Sherman, ‘The Making of Untitled’, in The Complete Untitled Film Stills, New York 2003, p. 9).

Created in the late 1970s, the Untitled Film Stills were influential in the field of photography and contemporary art for their engagement with ideas surrounding identity and constructed reality. Prompting notions of the uncanny in their strangely familiar, yet undoubtedly ambiguous compositions, Sherman’s series presents the artistic self through imagery suggestive of film, television and media in a way that critiques modernist assumptions and societal constructs. ‘The stills are dense with suspense and danger’, Arthur Danto stated, ‘and they all look as if they were directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The invariant subject is The Girl in Trouble, even if The Girl herself does not always know it...The girl is always alone, waiting, worried, watchful, but she is wary of, waiting for, worried about, and her very posture and expression phenomenologically imply the Other: the Stalker, the Saver, the Evil and Good who struggle for her possession’ (A. Danto, quoted in Cindy Sherman: Untitled Film Stills, New York, 1990, p. 13).

Held in major private and museum collections internationally, Cindy Sherman’s photographs have intrigued, disturbed, affirmed and questioned; underscoring the artifices and performance of everyday life. Untitled Film Still #8 represents the artist at the beginning of her enormously influential and celebrated career undertaking an exploration of contemporary female identity in series after series of eloquent photographic masterpieces.

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