Untitled Film Stills
Cindy Sherman

Edition : First / London / Jonathan Cape / 1990 / Hardcover / Near Fine / VG+
Large 4to, Unpaginated (ca 120pp). Black cloth in photographic dustwrapper. Boards a little bumped to rear.

One of the most poignant artworks of the last 50 years. 'Sherman began making these pictures in 1977 when she was 23 years old. The first six were an experiment: fan-magazine glimpses into the life (or roles) of an imaginary blond actress, played by Sherman herself. The photographs look like movie stills--or perhaps publicity pix--purporting to catch the blond bombshell in unguarded moments at home. The protagonist is shown preening in the kitchen and lounging in the bedroom. Onto something big, Sherman tried other characters in other roles: the chic starlet at her seaside hideaway, the luscious librarian, the domesticated sex kitten, the hot-blooded woman of the people, the ice-cold sophisticate and a can-can line of other stereotypes. She eventually completed the series in 1980. She stopped, she has explained, when she ran out of cliches. Other artists had drawn upon popular culture but Sherman s strategy was new. For her the pop-culture image was not a subject (as it had been for Walker Evans) or raw material (as it had been for Andy Warhol) but a whole artistic vocabulary, ready-made. Her film stills look and function just like the real ones--those 8 x 10 glossies designed to lure us into a drama we find all the more compelling because we know it isn t real. 'One of the most significant photobooks published at the end of the twentieth century touching every salient point on the postmodernist wishlist' Parr & Badger, vol II.

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