"The still must tease with the promise of a story the viewer of it itches to be told."
In November 2020, Fondation Louis Vuitton hosted the largest ever retrospective dedicated to Cindy Sherman in Europe. In her first solo exhibition since 2006, the show boasted 170 photographs from 1975-2020, a time span of almost 50 years. London-based curator Anaïs Lellouche. took members of The Cultivist through a tour of this marvellous exhibition, which Sherman collaboratively designed, and included many rarely seen and recent works.
Sherman's work shocks, amuses, teases, disturbs and deals with society's most important questions concerning reality, façade and interiority.
Sherman fabricates characters that are fictions brought to life through her photography. Each detail is constructed, colour is carefully chosen, similar to the process of painting.
Anaïs Lellouche has curated shows and commissions by some of the most visionary artists working today, such as Daniel
Buren, Sol LeWitt and Oliver Beer.
“My camera is just a tool, it could be a paintbrush but it would take too long to take the images I would want to make, this way it takes a split second and I get the
This way I can spend a lot of time on what the picture should be and use the camera to capture it."
Cindy Sherman (b. 1954, New Jersey) lives and works in New York.
Sherman is a photographer who explores issues of identity, celebrity, stereotypes and critiques of history and the media within her works. She is best known for her use of costuming, props and exaggerated make up and prosthetics within her photographs. Through these techniques, her work has often been seen as representative of the abject, and according to Laura Mulvey, her focus on the grotesque highlights the de-fetishisation of the human body.
Her studies at Buffalo State College encouraged her to take up photography and went on to create “Hallwalls” in 1974 with Robert Longo, Charles Clough and Nancy Dwyer. “Hallwalls” was an arts centre that had the purpose of accommodating artists from diverse backgrounds. Her work has long-been the topic of discussion amongst scholars such as Mulvey in terms of the relationship it holds with the idea of the meal gaze and female struggles. Sherman is a key figure within “Pictures Generation” and in 2012 she joined 150 artists along with Yoko Ono in founding “Artists Against Fracking” to oppose hydraulic fracturing practices.
Sherman often steps outside of her role behind the camera and dons the hats of model, make-up and wardrobe director to create her unique works. Her most well known series Untitled Film Stills, which is composed of 70 black and white images that critique the female roles taken up in the films of 1950s/1960s Hollywood.
Sherman is the recipient of numerous awards such as the Larry Aldrich Foundation Award (1993); The MacArthur Fellowship (1995);Wolfgang Hahn Prize (1997); Hasselblad Award (1999); Guild Hall Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award for Visual Arts 2005); American Academy of the Arts and Sciences Award (2003); National Arts Award (2001), as well as an honorary doctorate degree from the Royal College of Art in 2013.
Sherman’s work has been displayed at numerous international exhibitions within institutions such as:The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1997) traveling to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, Musée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1997–2000); the Serpentine Gallery, London and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (2003), and the Jeu de Paume, Paris (2006), traveling to Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Denmark, and Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2006–07).
Through its exhibitions, the Fondation is committed to promoting modern and contemporary artistic creation and to helping it reach a growing audience in France and internationally.
Driven by its purpose of serving the public, and attentive to the diversity of its visitors since it opened in 2014, the Fondation hosts exhibitions for all types of audience. Every year, the Fondation organises two temporary exhibitions, one of modern art, one of contemporary art.