Cindy Sherman
‘Untitled Horrors’
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
19.10.2013 – 19.01.2014

Cindy Sherman is one of today’s most important artists. Her photography is instantly accessible, but also labyrinthine and contradictory. The artist herself is both model and photographer, but the pictures are not portraits. Sherman’s works conjure up narratives without revealing anything themselves. They cull material from a flow of film, art and media, creating links between the familiar and the unknown. What in her pictures do we want to believe, and why? Cindy Sherman circumvents the rational, categorical eye.

Since the 1980s Sherman’s works have been crucial to our perception of how identity is constructed, and of the mythogenic power of pictures. The exhibition highlights the frightening and fascinating dark streak that imbues Sherman’s entire oeuvre. Characters on the verge of derailing, creatures distancing themselves from humanity, moving towards the mythological, bestial or machinelike. In the galleries we encounter many of her works in completely new ways; a visual cacophony that generates other images and sequences, installed in close collaboration with the artist.

Cindy Sherman – Untitled Horrors is the first extensive presentation of Sherman’s oeuvre in Stockholm, stretching from the earliest series to her recent society portraits and murals. The selection reflects a recurring trait of the dark, grotesque and base – the abject, as it was called in 1980s art theory. We sense references to film noir or splatter movies, wicked fairytales and potential violence. But the horror and outrage are in the eye of the beholder – there is no sex, for instance, in Sherman’s Sex Pictures, no nudity in her Centerfolds. The motifs are captivating and take us by surprise, they strike up a primordial fear in us; her artistic method is distinctly related to surrealistic ideas of reaching beyond the conscious, rational self.

Cindy Sherman  Untitled Horrors is curated by Daniel Birnbaum, Lena Essling, Gunnar B. Kvaran, Hanne Beate Ueland. The exhibition is organised by the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, in collaboration with Kunsthaus Zürich.

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See „My Favorite Cindy Sherman“, Cindy Sherman at MoMA:


  1. Cindy Sherman, Untitled #92, 1981 © Cindy Sherman. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York
  2. Cindy Sherman, Untitled #96, 1981 © Cindy Sherman. Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.
  3. Cindy Sherman, Untitled #71, 1980 © Cindy Sherman. Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

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