PORTRAITS OF THE ARTIST
MoMA debuts a provocative new exhibit
A photographer usually does her best work from behind the camera, but Cindy Sherman, one of the great shooters in contemporary art, prefers to stand in front of it. Her double-duty efforts as shutterbug and model are on display in a self-titled retrospective at MoMA running through June 11.
The collection of 170 images chronicles Sherman's portraits from the 1970s to the present. "Untitled Film Stills," the series that put her on the map in 1978, is particularly striking: The 69 black-and-white photos (once a 1997 MoMA exhibit sponsored by Madonna) explore women's roles in 1960s film noir, with Sherman playing various parts.
Also not to be missed are the controversial "society portraits," in which Sherman addresses our obsession with youth and status, and "history portraits," where she portrays herself as Renaissance men including the likes of Holbein and Caravaggio.
Premiering at the exhibit is the artist's foray into digital enhancement. Sherman tweaks her features--enlarging her eyes and reshaping her chin--and leaves us contemplating the staggering use of airbrushing in magazines.
"Cindy Sherman" is on display through June 11 at the Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St. (between Fifth and Sixth aves.); 212-708-9400 or moma.org