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Lecture: Cindy Sherman – Appearance is All

Past event archive
5 July 2019, 19:00

Ondaatje Wing Theatre

Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions and Gallery Supporters) Book online, or visit the Gallery in person.

Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Still #15, 1978, Gelatin silver print, 10 x 8 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York

Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Still #21, 1978, Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York

Cindy Sherman is one of the world’s leading contemporary artists, celebrated for enigmatic photographs in which the artist herself appears in role, playing the parts of various fictitious characters. The source of that distinctive activity is Sherman’s engagement with manipulating her own appearance, using make-up, wigs, costumes and prosthetics; it also derives from her creation of fabricated situations that she inhabits while presenting each invented persona. The Untitled Film Stills 1977-80 established Sherman’s reputation. Made after Sherman moved to New York in 1977, these small black and white photographs resembled publicity shots for films. Evoking the look of different movie styles, including films by Antonioni and Hitchcock, they presented the artist as an actress.  Role-play would be central to all her subsequent work. What, however, is the significance of Sherman’s invention of appearances? Paul Moorhouse, curator of the Cindy Sherman exhibition, discusses the origins, development and meaning of Sherman’s distinctive art.

Paul Moorhouse is an independent curator. He was Curator of Twentieth Century Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, London. From 1985 to 2005, he was Curator, Modern Collection, latterly Senior Curator, Contemporary Art, at Tate. His many exhibitions include: Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends (2017), Giacometti: Pure Presence (2015), The Great War in Portraits (2014), The Queen: Art and Image (2012), Gerhard Richter Portraits (2009) and Pop Art Portraits (2007-8) at the National Portrait Gallery, and Anthony Caro (2005), John Latham (2005), Bridget Riley (2003), Michael Andrews (2001) and Leon Kossoff (1995) at Tate. He also curated Warhol/Icon at the Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens (2009), John Hoyland (1999) at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and Francis Bacon (1996) at Millenium Galleries, Sheffield. Recent books include: Cindy Sherman: Phaidon Focus (2014), Anthony Caro: Presence (2010), Bridget Riley: From Life (2010), the award-winning Gerhard Richter: Painting Appearances (2009), Pop Art Portraits (2007), Interpreting Caro (2005) and Richard Long: Walking the Line (2003).

Part of the programme of events complementing the major exhibition Cindy Sherman.

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