For her latest body of work, Cindy Sherman has transformed herself into an extraordinary cast of androgynous characters, expanding her career-long investigation into the construction of identity and the nature of representation. The enigmatic figures pictured in the ten new photographs on view are dressed primarily in men’s designer clothing and are posed gallantly in front of digitally manipulated backgrounds composed from photographs Sherman took while traveling through Bavaria, Shanghai, and Sissinghurst (England). Each character draws the viewer in with their unique style, immediate eye contact and steely gaze.
Renowned for her depictions of female stereotypes, Sherman has played with masculinity and gender expression before. In a series referred to as "Doctor and Nurse,” Sherman became both a male and female character, embodying stereotypical mid-century professional archetypes. In the “History Portrait” series, Sherman became both male aristocrats and clergymen. In her more recent clown series, the artist donned layers of face paint and shapeless costumes, eliminating the question of gender for many of the characters.
One of the most influential artists of her generation, Cindy Sherman is currently the subject of a one-person exhibition at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris that runs from September 23 through January 3, 2021, following major retrospective exhibitions in 2019 at the National Portrait Gallery, London, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Her 2012 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Dallas Museum of Art. Additional recent exhibitions include Fosun Foundation, Shanghai; the inaugural exhibition at the Broad Museum, Los Angeles; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia; and Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo. Sherman has participated in four Venice Biennales, co-curating a section at the 55th exhibition in 2013. Her work has been included in five iterations of the Whitney Biennial, two Biennales of Sydney, and the 1983 Documenta. She is the recipient of the 2020 Wolf Prize in Arts and has also been awarded the Praemium Imperiale, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.