Photographer and Filmmaker Cindy Sherman Receives Roswitha Haftmann Swiss Artistic Prize

by Intern Jessica Butler

American artist and filmmaker, Cindy Sherman has been creating works that comment on both social and sexual roles and stereotypes since the 1970s. One of her earlier and best-known photographic works, Untitled Film Stills (1977–80), portrays women in their socially assigned roles and presents the potential danger and instability of these constructs. Her work in film includes a short animation, Doll Clothes (1975), in which a doll cutout of the artist (unlike any paper cut-outs I ever played with) tries on different articles of clothing, possibly attempting to determine her identity with each outfit.  Recently, Sherman was awarded the Roswitha Haftmann Swiss artistic Prize on May 11th. Presented to only twelve other artists before her, the award is given, according to the Art Media Agency (AMA) , to “the most important representative[s] of film and photographic introspection.”

Sherman currently also has an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York that will run until June 11th. The exhibition is an in-depth survey of the artist’s work from the mid-1970s to present, including the American premiere of her recent photographic murals (2010). In coalition with this exhibit, Sherman chose a selection of her films that are being screened within the museum’s theatres for the duration of the exhibition. Escape the burning pavement and hot trash smell to take some time to check out her work if you’re in the city! For those of you who can’t make it to New York by mid-June–fear not–after the exhibition’s close at the MoMA it will be traveling to: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, from July 14 – October 07, 2012; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, November 03, 2012 – February 10, 2013; and Dallas Museum of Art, March 17 – June 09, 2013.

If you still can’t make it to any of these showings, there’s hope for you yet! In accompaniment with Sherman’s show, D.A.P. released a big 264 page book presenting a range of the artist’s work spanning her 35-year career. The book contains about 180 of her photographs, from the 1970s to current works never previously published, plus an essay giving an overview of her career. And if none of that does it for you, there’s an interview by John Waters with Ms. Sherman herself. John Waters (!). 

(Images: AP Images; The Guardian: Courtesy Spruth Magers Berlin London and Metro Pictures. (c) Cindy Sherman; Art Book)

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