Cindy Sherman. Essays by Peter Schjeldahl and Lisa Phillips. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1987. First edition. Large quarto. Photo-illustrated stiff wrappers. 19 pp. text + 129 color and black-and-white plates.
Among the most influential artists of the last thirty years, Cindy Sherman made her name with the "Untitled Film Stills" (1977-1980), in which she enacted a seemingly unending series of b-movie cliches--in the process launching endless seminar discussions on the construction of femininity in and through popular culture. Her next series, Centerfolds (1981) and Fashion (1983–84) continued her investigation of the construction of feminine stereotypes. If these images spurred further reflection on notions of gender, genre, and feminine beauty, later series explored viewers' relation to the abject, or repulsive, especially with relation to waste, decay, bodily fluids and such. More seminar discussions ensued. Around the time these discussions were beginning to peak, the Whitney Museum in New York mounted Sherman's first major retrospective. The accompanying catalogue contains a sampling of her work to date plus essays by the show's curator, Lisa Phillips, and critic Peter Schjeldahl(currently the New Yorker's art writer).