Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life_Wexner Center, Columbus Ohio

23 September, 2017


Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life

September 16 – December 31, 2017

Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N. High St. (at 15th Avenue) on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus

An expansive survey of Sherman’s photographs, made over a career spanning four decades, the exhibition was organized by The Broad museum in Los Angeles and curated by independent curator Philipp Kaiser. The Broad houses the largest collection of Sherman’s photographs in the world, acquired since the early 1980s by Eli and Edythe Broad. The Wex is the only other venue for this landmark exhibition, which is comprised almost entirely of loans from the Broad collection.

Wex director Sherri Geldin notes, “From the moment Cindy Sherman emerged among that bold generation of so-called ‘Pictures’ artists, she has relentlessly probed the ever-complex and elusive idea of feminine identity through near-limitless exploration of disguise. Her stunning capacity to conjure individual personae through painstaking specificity of detail is matched by an equally uncanny ability to evoke the most generic, even clichéd, of female typologies. It’s sheer genius.”

Imitation of Life brings together over 100 works by Sherman, from her widely known Untitled Film Stills series through successive bodies of work that slyly play off entrenched notions of female identity, including an untitled series of works made just last year depicting invented (yet convincing) portraits of glamorous, aging former film stars. Sherman helped to craft the show’s title, which is a reference to director Douglas Sirk’s 1959 melodrama dealing with highly emotional struggles of identity, as a reflection of the role of cinema in her image making.

The exhibition also features Sherman’s foray into feature filmmaking, Office Killer, which will play continuously in the galleries, and massive photomurals created specifically for Imitation of Life that reproduce the artist’s lesser-known, rear-screen projection series of the early 1980s.

An accompanying audio guide with commentary by artists and actors such as Miranda July, John Waters, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Molly Ringwald underscores the scope of her influence. Imitation of Life is also accompanied by a catalogue featuring an essay by curator Philipp Kaiser and a conversation between Sherman and filmmaker Sofia Coppola.

(extract from the press release)

For further information please visit Wexner Center for the Arts’s website: here