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Preeminent American artist Cindy ShermanThe first time her work has been shown in the United States, she unveils her new body of works Hauser & Wirth’sWooster Street in New York City. The exhibition features approximately 30 new works and marks Sherman’s return to the historic SoHo district where, in the late 1970s, she debuted her now iconic Untitled Film Stills at the non-profit Artists Space, launching a career that has established her as one of the most recognized and influential artists of our time.
Sherman’s ground-breaking work has probed themes of representation and identity in contemporary media for over four decades. Since the early ’00s, Sherman has created personae through digital manipulation. Her work reflects on the increasingly fractured identity of 21st-century societies and continues an artistic exploration which has been a hallmark of her work since the beginning. Sherman has used digital manipulation in these new works to highlight the layered details of the characters and to underscore the malleability. She has removed external context, eschewing any mise-en-scène, to focus completely on the details of the face and head. She uses a digital collage technique to combine black and white and colour photographs with more traditional transformation methods, such as make-up, costumery and wigs, in order to create a series of unsettling portraits that show women who wince, grimace, laugh and wince at the viewer.
To create these fragmented figures, Sherman photographed isolated sections of her own visage—eyes, nose, lips, skin, hair, ears—and then cut, pasted and warped them onto a foundational image, ultimately constructing, deconstructing and then reconstructing an entirely new face. Sherman, in her dual role as both photographer and model continues to disrupt the usual dynamic between artist-subject.
“When I’m shooting, I’m trying to get to a point where I’m basically not recognizing myself. That’s often what it’s about.”—Cindy Sherman