Cindy Sherman

Paul Moorhouse. Phaidon, $22.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-7148-6155-5
The latest volume in the Phaidon Focus series aims to be the authoritative guide to Cindy Sherman, a photographer known for her provocative take on self-portraiture. Sherman dons a variety of costumes, using prosthetics, apparel, and setting to evoke historical portraits, headshots, and a variety of characters both human and monstrous. This book situates Sherman's early career path, mentioning her move to New York with then-boyfriend and fellow-artist Robert Longo in 1977 as well as commissions by Vogue and Artforum. Art critic Moorhouse (Gerhard Richter: Painting Appearances) illuminates Sherman's career with biographical tidbits like her adolescent interest in documentation, explicates distinct series of photographs, and eloquently describes the most enduring analyses of her work; however, he exhibits a tendency to give these analyses totemic weight, rather than allowing for multiple interpretations to work that defies any single meaning. Moorhouse also dramatizes Sherman's own aging as an integral aspect of her later work which adds a strange subtext to a body of work that seems to blast media portrayals and targeting of women. Overall, this book provides an illuminating take on Sherman's career that firmly grounds this artist in the contemporary canon. Color photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-8478-6580-2
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