Cindy Sherman


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ISBN: 9781855147126 Category:

Paul Moorhouse


This book, which accompanies a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, considers Cindy Sherman’s oeuvre through the lens of portraiture. Featuring key examples of her work – from her earliest photographs through to her most recent – it explores the mercurial relationship between appearance and reality

Cindy Sherman is among the most influential artists of her generation. Using herself as model, wearing a range of costumes and portraying herself in invented situations, she interrogates the imagery employed by the mass media, po pular culture and fine art. Television, advertising, magazines, fashion and Old Master paintings all form part of her visual language.

Whether using make-up, costumes, props and prosthetics to manipulate her own appearance, or devising elaborate tableaux, her entire body of 40 years’ work constitutes a highly distinctive response to contemporary and earlier culture, whose stylistic tropes she appropriates and quotes. This book will explore the rich cultural sources that Sherman plunders in creating provocative and ambiguous images that lead us to question the things we see.

Sherman’s work is surveyed through two related themes. Examining Sherman’s art within the context of portraiture it explores the way that identity is constructed from appearance. It also considers the nature of Sherman’s involvement with a range of styles by positioning her work in the context of the pre-existing imagery that she appropriates.

Additional information

Weight 1870 g
Dimensions 25 x 32.3 cm
Publisher name National Portrait Gallery Publications
Publication date 16 September 2019
Number of pages 224
Format Hardback
Contributors Text by Erika Balsom, Magda Keaney, and Rochelle Steiner
Dimensions 25 x 32.3 cm
Weight 1870 g


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Paul Moorhouse is an independent curator and writer. Formerly Curator of Twentieth - Century Portraits and Head of Displays (Victorian to Contemporary) at the National Portrait Gallery , London , his publications include Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends ( 2017 ) , Giacometti: Pure Presence (2015), The Great War in Portraits (2014), Cindy Sherman (2014), A Guide to Twentieth Century Portraits (2013), The Queen Art & Image (2011), Bridget Riley: From Life (2010), Gerhard Richter Portraits: Painting Appearances (2009) and Pop Art Portraits ( 2007).

Raf Simons is the Chief Creative Officer of Calvin Klein. Simons leads the creative strategy of the CALVIN KLEIN brand globally and oversees all aspects of the Global Marketing and Communications, Visual Creative Services and Store Design.