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Cindy Sherman is the Prime Feature of the Upcoming Season at Broad Museum LA

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February 12, 2016
Web journalist, coffee junkie and art fanatic. Cares about the environment, writes for Widewalls. Alias of Milica Jovic

Following the highly successful inaugural exhibition, that featured works by prominent artists such as Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein, LA’s newest art venue is getting ready for its first special art show. Cindy Sherman was chosen for the premier temporary show at the first-floor galleries for two reasons – first, because the museum contains the biggest collection of the artist’s works spanning from the 1980s to present day. And second, because Cindy Sherman’s artworks are in many ways related to Hollywood and Los Angeles the residential city of the museum. Upcoming solo show Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life will consist of over 120 works that will provide an in-depth look at the artist’s prolific, almost 4 decades long, career.

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Cindy Sherman – Untitled #92, 1981

Hollywood-inspired Survey Exhibition by Cindy Sherman

The selection of the celebrated American photographer for the first special show at the museum is no surprise. Cindy Sherman was one of the first contemporary artists who has captured the attention of Broad Museum founders Eli and Edye Broad. The couple met Cindy Sherman back in 1982 before she became a household name and acquired her works regularly for over 30 years. Her Hollywood-inspired pieces will represent the focus of the show in Los Angeles, that will display works dealing with movie industry’s propensity to create and cultivate stereotypes as well as the starlet-creating mechanisms of popular culture. In accordance with its focal point, Imitation of Life exhibit will feature film screenings of the artist’s 1997 film Office Killer, alongside her photographic works. The exhibition will also include Cindy Sherman’s trademark film stills and a rear projection series, inspired by the 1950s and 1960s golden era of Hollywood.

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Left : Cindy Sherman – Untitled #211, 1986 / Right : Cindy Sherman – Untitled #92, 1986

Imitation of Life: In Search of the New Identity

One of the most innovative artists active today Cindy Sherman creates her photo series by taking on various identities. Working as her own model, stylist, and makeup artist, she employs clothing, wigs, cosmetics and other accessories to recreate and demystify the multitude of identities created in the history of art, cinema, and media. The exhibition will begin with her early works inspired by the 1950 and 1960 Hollywood movies. In this series, the artist depicts actresses at various stages of their career as well as stereotypical characters often encountered in the movies of that age. These images will be accompanied by photographs from the artist’s “history” series where she recreated numerous European paintings from the period between fifteenth and nineteenth century. Cindy Sherman often uses body prosthetics, (fake breasts, pregnancy belly, etc) to reconstruct these images, thus making the viewers rethink the original artworks. Are these portraits realistic depiction of the models or just an overly-sexualized masculine vision of the female body? In her more recent “clown” series, the artist portrays another type of performers who have an underlying sense of sadness even whey they are trying to be funny and entertaining.

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Cindy Sherman – Untitled #421, 2004

Cindy Sherman at Broad Museum

The artist herself chose Imitation of Life as the title of her exhibition, which is a reference to the 1959 film adaptation of Fannie Hurst’s novel of the same name. Much like Cindy Sherman’s works the movie also focuses on intense emotional struggles with identity. Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life, exhibition will include several artist’s major photographic series, including the iconic film stills, the centerfolds and the fairy tale series from the eighties, the history portraits and the sex pictures from the nineties, clown pictures from the early 2000s and her more recent works. Additionally, a comprehensive catalog will be issued for the exhibition that will include numerous illustrations, essays and a conversation between Cindy Sherman and film director Sofia Coppola. The exhibition will run from June 11th through October 2nd, 2016, at Broad Museum in Los Angeles. Although Broad Museum normally stages exhibits free of admission, Cindy Sherman : Imitation of Life show, as a special, temporary exhibition will cost $12 for visitors over 18, and you can reserve your ticket at the museum’s website.

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Featured images :  Left : Cindy Sherman – Untitled #375 1976-2000 / Right : Cindy Sherman – Untitled #460, 2007-2008  ; Cindy Sherman – Untitled #167, 1986 ; Cindy Sherman – Untitled #70, 1980 ; Left : Cindy Sherman – Untitled #97, 1982 / Right : Cindy Sherman – Untitled #396, 2000