Cindy Sherman, 1980
© KUNSTMUSEUM WOLFSBURG/Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York


Those who know Cindy Sherman know that with Cindy, everything revolves around Cindy. Because the artist's favorite motif is herself – without her being herself. In her work, she focuses on the construction of identities. She plays skilfully with clichés, slipping into a wide range of roles. Sherman becomes her own make-up artist, stylist, director, and photographer. She presents characters from the world of film and fashion in exactly the same way as famous names from antiquity, painting, or literature. Her images demonstrate the rift between authentic self-portraiture and staging.

Which can be impressively seen in Sherman's first major series "Untitled Film Stills" (1977-1980). With her work, she shows that identity can be chosen, constructed and shaped as required. Nevertheless, the identity is still subject to social norms. She critically investigates these norms with her own subtle means.

Identify and transformation

Always on the search for beauty in ugliness, she polarizes opinion with her images, her critical and provocative view. And in this way, Sherman inspires the coming generation of artists to continue exploring the topics of identity and transformation in the media without changing their own artistic approach.

"I don't analyze my own works. When I read interpretations of others, I discover things that didn't even occur to me before. People now interpret my works out of habit. Perhaps I'm simply just very, very clever."

So said Sherman in a conversation with Interview Magazin in 2008. The Bank Austria Kunstforum is currently showing "The Cindy Sherman Effect" and attempting to work out how Sherman's works influence her artist colleagues. By playing with the presentation of social images and clichés, the exceptional artist succeeded in creating free spaces for driving forwards the scrutinizing of identity in artistic, social and political terms.

In addition to the work of Cindy Sherman, positions and works by Elke Silvia Krystufek, Pippilotti Rist, Julian Rosefeldt, Catherine Opie and Eva Schlegel can also be seen.

The Cindy Sherman Effect. Identity and Transformation in Contemporary Art. 

January 29 – June 21, 2020

Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien

Freyung 8, 1010 Wien
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    • Tu, 10:00 - 19:00
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      All rooms accessible without steps (elevator)

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