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Untitled Horrors: Astrup Fearnley Museet presents exhibition of photographs by Cindy Sherman
Installation view of the exhibition at Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo. Photo: Vegard Kleven.

OSLO.- Cindy Sherman (born 1954) is one of the leading and most influential artists of our time. She belongs to a generation of postmodern artists who redefined the photograph and its place in an ever more visually oriented culture.

Taking female roles in photographic representations as her starting point, Sherman creates recognizable pictures that mirror the human condition in its many nuances. Sherman’s pictures became key works in a time of turbulence for the very concept of art, and continue to challenge concepts of representation, identity and portrait.

Cindy Sherman’s pictures are both cruel and comical, repulsive and deceptive. They reflect our own conception of the world and open up for new interpretations of familiar phenomena. She uses herself as a model and equally portrays film stars and pin-up girls, as well as abnormal monsters from fantasy worlds. Sherman’s assertive use of masks, wigs and prosthetics has a disturbing effect, which is further reinforced in pictures where the human presence is gradually reduced in favour of posed dolls or traces of waste and decay.

The exhibition has been composed to emphasise the disturbing, grotesque and disquieting sides of Sherman’s pictures. These are aspects that are visible in her exploration of well-established photographic genres such as film stills, fashion photography or classic portraits, as well as in series where she explores a more abject material related to themes like fairytales, catastrophes, pornography, war and surrealism. This exhibition seeks to highlight these key aspects in her artistry and to examine their relevance through a dedicated selection of works from the beginning of her career in the mid-1970s up to the present day.

'Untitled Horrors' includes photos in a period of 30 years. The way the images are assembled in the exhibition have not been done before. The wall collages are forming a dialogue between images from different series and periods in Sherman's oeuvre, and opens new possibilities for reading the images. Parallel to the main theme of 'untitled horrors', Cindy Sherman's own involvement in the collages forms a metanarrative that runs through the entire exhibition.

The exhibition Cindy Sherman - Untitled Horrors is a co-production between Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo and Kunsthaus Zurich in Switzerland.

The exhibition is on display until September 22.

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