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Cindy Sherman film still to lead Sotheby's mid-season Contemporary art sale
Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #21. Signed, titled and dated ©1978 on the reverse. Gelatin silver print. Executed in 1978, this work is number 1 from an edition of 10, 8 by 10 in. (20.3 by 25.4 cm.). Est. $150/200,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
NEW YORK, NY.- On 9th March Sotheby’s New York will present Untitled Film Still #21 by Cindy Sherman as a highlight of the Contemporary Art auction (est. $150/200,000). The iconic 1978 image from the celebrated series sees the artist cast herself as a modern 1970s businesswoman surrounded by the urban jungle. Sherman is widely recognized as one of the most important female artists of her generation and Untitled Film Still #21 appears at auction as a major retrospective of the artist’s work opens at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. All works in the sale go on view on 3 March.

The 8 by 10 inch photograph is number 1 from an edition of 10 with many of the other prints in the collections of major institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Uniquely among the Film Still Series the print is signed ‘City Girl’ on the reverse. The photograph was given by the artist to a collector associated with the breakthrough 1984 Cindy Sherman exhibition held at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and has remained in the same collection since. Whilst other prints from the edition have been extensively exhibited, this particular film still has not been shown in public.

Untitled Film Still #21 is perhaps one of the most profound images that grew out of the second wave of the feminist movement. The 1950’s working girl has been transformed into a confident 1970’s businesswoman ready to assert herself upon the metropolis that surrounds her. Throughout the Untitled Film Stills series Sherman charts the evolution of the role of women from damsels in distress to women in control of their destiny. Nowhere is this transformation more clearly felt than in Untitled Film Still #21.

The auction also celebrates the work of established post-war masters such as Warhol, Rauschenberg and Calder alongside works by today’s most intriguing creators such as Yuskavage, Tomaselli and Condo.

Highlights from the sale include:

Ruth Asawa's Untitled (S.407). Est. $120/180,000

Hans Hofmann's Suspended Shapes. Est. $200/300,000

Gerhard Richter's Montag. Est. $250/350,000

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