MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 1995

Cindy Sherman

Photographer

New York, New York

Age: 41 at time of award

Published July 1, 1995

Cindy Sherman is a visual artist whose work has been central to critical discussion of the arts.

Sherman’s photographs of herself in different costumes and poses challenge the way we think about identity, social stereotypes, and artistic representation.  Her approach is constantly evolving.  In the late 1970s she made fictional black-and-white film stills that evoke B-movie versions of middle-class white America in the 1950s.  In the 1980s she satirized high fashion in photos that used garish lighting, makeup, and poses, then experimented with portraiture by casting herself—with exaggerated imperfections—in photographs that evoke classical paintings from David to Goya.  Sherman’s more recent works use mannequins to make statements about representations of the body.

Sherman’s work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, at such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid.  Untitled Film Stills (1990), History Portraits (1991), Cindy Sherman 1975-1993 (1993), and the feature-length film Office Killer (1997), for which she served as director, are the most complete documentations of her work.

Sherman received a B.A. (1976) from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Last updated January 1, 2005