Cindy Sherman

Working Girl

Cindy Sherman: Working Girl launches the Contemporary’s Decade Series. In this series, a contemporary artist who has made a significant contribution to the dialogue of contemporary art is invited to develop an exhibition devoted to a moment in their career that has had a particular resonance. This solo exhibition of Cindy Sherman features a little-known selection of small-scaled works by this leading contemporary artist. Culled primarily from the artist’s family members and her own collection, this exhibition comprises early black-and-white, hand colored, and sepia-toned photographs created by Sherman as a young, emerging artist.

Cindy Sherman: Working Girl includes rarely seen works from the beginning of her career in the mid-1970s, including work created while Sherman was an art student at Buffalo State College, Buffalo, New York (1972-76). These early works from 1975-1978 demonstrate Sherman’s conceptual approach to photography and foretell the career that would launch her into the art world in the late 1970s. On view, a grid of twenty-three hand colored headshots, Untitled, 1975, depict the transformation of Sherman’s appearance achieved through layers of heavy make-up that results in the progressive transformation from a boyish look to glamour girl. These student works express Sherman’s interest in exploring her own identity and how she could radically alter her appearance through the simple use of make-up. In another set of thirteen serial headshots, Untitled, 1975, Sherman morphed her appearance by contorting her face into exaggerated expressions, pinned back her hair, and applied subtle make-up. The result is a visual account of Sherman maturing before our eyes from a little girl to an adult.


Audio Guide