Role models and self-staging in the early works of the American conceptual artist.
For more than thirty years now, Cindy Sherman (*1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey) has been visualizing a whole gamut of role models and female identities. Even as a teenager, the artist loved to dress up.
Contrary to popular belief, the famous Untitled Film Stills (1978–80) are not her earliest works, but rather those photographs she took as a student in Buffalo between 1975 and 1977. During those years, Sherman made playing with disguises her artistic concept, producing numerous previously unknown photographs that unite a striking number of theatrical elements. Using a variety of wigs, make-up, mimicry, gestures, expressions, and costumes, Sherman reveals different social identities by playing different roles.
Gabriele Schor, director of the SAMMLUNG VERBUND, has performed a scholarly assessment of the conceptual beginnings of her oeuvre and is now publishing a catalogue raisonné of her early work.