Earlier this year I wrote enthusiastically about the stunning Anselm Kiefer exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery on Via Francesco Crispi. Clearly, that show was no flash in the pan, because the Gagosian is currently presenting another gem of a show with a series of portraits by New York photographer Cindy Sherman. The main oval exhibition space, which must surely require extra consideration when hanging a show, works particularly well as a location for these very large Sherman images. As ever, each of the photographs is a self-portrait of sorts, yet whilst the “real” Cindy Sherman is playing a carefully constructed part, hidden behind makeup, wigs and meticulously chosen props, as the viewer walks around the continuous, curved space, a sense of recognition in each of the faces grows, a sense of being surrounded by the artist herself. In fact, in the press release Sherman is quoted as saying:
I think they are the most realistic characters I have done. I completely empathised with them. They could be me. That's what was really scary, how easy it was to make myself look like that.These studies of middle-aged affluent women, expensively dressed and set against studio-style backdrops illustrating the trappings of wealth and success, are unflinching in detailing every imperfection and tell tale signs of ageing, ultimately rendering these superficially successful women exposed and vulnerable.
A wonderful show.
Cindy Sherman continues at the Gagosian Gallery at Via Francesco Crispi, 16 until 19 September, 2009
Photo © Gagosian Gallery