The first Australian solo exhibition in more than 15 years by New York-based artist Cindy Sherman opens at GOMA this weekend. The exhibition will include Sherman’s two subversive fashion house collaborations, ‘Balenciaga’ 2007–08, and ‘Chanel’ 2010–2013, her iconic ‘Head shots’ 2000-02 and ‘Clowns’ 2003–04, as well as the ‘Society portraits’ from 2008. These intriguing, beautiful and at times challenging characters come to life in 56 large-scale photographs.
In addition, the exhibition’s centrepiece is an immense 5 metre-tall mural featuring a cast of even more eclectic and imposing personas. Cindy Sherman is one of the most recognised and influential artists of our time. The Gallery is thrilled to be presenting this major exhibition where Sherman is the model, costume designer, make-up artist and photographer in every image.
The Gallery is especially honoured to be featuring Sherman’s newest work, showing for the first time outside of the United States. Sherman’s 2016 series printed directly onto metal showing at GOMA and concurrently at Metro Pictures, New York, referenced early Hollywood and the excesses of the Roaring Twenties. These character studies evoke the languor of Depression-era greats, film stars such as Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich.
Sherman’s images are not self-portraits but representations of clichéd figures, lifted from the pages of fashion magazines, and in the world of television and social media. In all her photographs, Cindy Sherman expands on contemporary society’s fascination with aspiration, narcissism and the cult of celebrity, and explores the resulting emotional fragility. In an era obsessed with self-image, her work continues to influence generations of artists working in photography and video today.
On Saturday 28 May at 11:00am as part of opening weekend celebrations, a panel discussion led by Geraldine Kirrihi Barlow, Curatorial Manager, International Art, QAGOMA will focus on Sherman’s work produced since 2000 then at 1:30pm QAGOMA curators Ellie Buttrose and Dr Kyla McFarlane, Acting Curatorial Manager, Australian Art, will lead a walking tour of the exhibition.
The special ‘Sundays with Cindy’ program running throughout the exhibition season will launch on Sunday 29 May. The monthly Sunday program will feature a pop-up zine fair featuring local and independent small-press publications, a free hands-on DIY workshop with blogger and artist Rachel Burke, a pop-up curator’s talk and an artist talk with emerging and established Australian photo-media artists.
Presented in conjunction with the exhibition, the Cindy Sherman Up Late series will showcase an all-female line-up of international and Australian performers, including Eleanor Friedberger (US), Major Leagues (Bris), Mojo Juju (Mel), Kimya Dawson (US), Sampa the Great (Syd), Jess Ribeiro (Mel) and Teeth & Tongue (Mel).
To complement the exhibition, the Australian Cinémathèque at GOMA will present ‘In Character’, a cinema program of more than 65 films focussing on ideas and personas also reflected in Sherman’s photography.