Cindy Sherman Dons Chanel in New Exhibit

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Cindy Sherman Dons Chanel in New Exhibit

The acclaimed and wonderfully eccentric artist, Cindy Sherman, has a new exhibit at Metro Pictures Gallery, running until 9 June 2012. In these new pieces, Sherman regals us by wearing Chanel and photographing herself in largely ominious and foreboding landscapes. 

(Untitled, 2010/2011. Color photograph, 79 3/4 x 136 7/8 inches (image size); 202.6 x 347.7 cm. (MP# 512))

According to the Gallery's site:

"Cindy Sherman exhibits new, large-scale works that depict outsized enigmatic female figures standing in striking isolation before ominous landscapes. Looking directly out of the picture in our direction, each character is an eccentric specter, whose epic scale, vivid Chanel costumes and intense gaze suggests a sentry standing between the viewer and the distant background. Rather than staging scenes in her studio or using projected images, the dramatic landscape backgrounds were all photographed by Sherman and then manipulated in Photoshop to achieve a painterly effect. She photographed herself fully costumed, but without makeup, against a green screen and after the fact completed the images by digitally manipulating her features and altering the landscapes. The relationship of the women in these works to the landscapes they inhabit varies, with some characters appearing as if they inexplicably landed in an alien environment and others seemingly guarding their own fabled land.

The photographs are based on an insert Sherman did for Dasha Zhukova's magazine using clothes from Chanel’s archive. The images published in the magazine were significantly altered as Sherman developed the series for this exhibition. Wearing early haute couture pieces from the 1920s designed by Coco Chanel to more recent Karl Lagerfeld collections, she selected idiosyncratic, often fantastical, garments before pairing them with images she photographed in Iceland during a 2010 volcanic eruption and the isle of Capri. While the series recalls photography’s early mission to map the “new world,” Sherman’s treatment equally references the tradition of 19th-century landscape painting, where lone figures are dwarfed by the awesome nature that surrounds them. Sherman’s looming characters however reverse this transcendent view by relegating nature to the supporting role."

(Untitled, 2010/2012. Color photograph, 71 x 118 1/4 inches (image size); 180.3 x 300.4 cm. (MP# 545))

Sherman's body, adorned in vintage Chanel, seemingly "walks" out of these landscapes—demonstrating the beautiful juxtaposition of the two forms of portraiture and of landscape that she works with in this collection. In addition to the ongoing retrospective of her work at the MOMA, this exhibit reinforces the brilliance of Sherman's method and how she continuously—physically and figuratively—works with her medium. 


Metro Pictures Gallery

519 West 24th Street
New York NY 10011
Telephone 212 206 7100
Fax 212 337 0070