Cindy Sherman’s photographs are almost immediately recognizable. Using herself as the model, she assumes numerous disguises to portray "characters" both fictional and famous, or to reinvent situations both commonplace and extraordinary. The consistency of her form and her adoption of familiar images and icons has earned her work a reputation for accessibility. But Sherman’s popularity in no way detracts from her status as one of her generation’s most accomplished photographers. From her early "Untitled Film Stills" to her more recent "Sex Pictures" Cindy Sherman continues to challenge, surprise, provoke and delight us with her unique interpretations of the media, culture, and gender. This retrospective volume offers a generous sampling of two decades of Sherman’s work. In more than 200 color and black and white images it chronicles her development as an artist and as a social critic. Included here are images from her many groundbreaking projects—"History Portraits," "Centerfolds," "Disasters," "Fairy Tales," and "Civil War"—in which Sherman plays both director and actress in highly staged tableaux that run the gamut from comical and ridiculous to sinister and grotesque. Sherman’s irony and intelligence are evident everywhere throughout this beautifully reproduced volume; so are her versatility and lack of pretension. It is the combination of these qualities—frustrating to scholars and critics —that endear her to the vast audiences who see themselves in her self-portraits.
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