Lot 17
  • 17

Cindy Sherman

50,000 - 70,000 USD
50,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Cindy Sherman
  • Untitled #400
  • Edition 6 of 6
  • Chromogenic print
  • 36 3/4  by 26 in. (93.3 by 66 cm.)
chromogenic print, flush-mounted, signed, dated, and editioned '6/6' in ink on the reverse, framed, Metro Pictures and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art labels on the reverse, 2000


Metro Pictures, New York, 2000


New York, Metro Pictures, Cindy Sherman, November 2000 - January 2001

London, Serpentine Gallery, Cindy Sherman, June - August 2002

Edinburgh, The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Cindy Sherman, December 2003 - March 2004

Ithaca, Cornell University, Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Twice-told Tales: Photographs and Their Stories from Alumni Collections, April - July 2005


Eva Respini, Cindy Sherman (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2012), p. 149

Cindy Sherman (Paris: Jeu de Paume, 2006), pp. 206 and 267

Paul Moorhouse, Cindy Sherman (London, 2014), p. 129

Catalogue Note

In her series Headshots (also known as Hollywood/Hamptons Types), the photographer returned to self-portraits after nearly a decade of working with dolls and other props as stand-ins for her own body.  Turning the camera once more on herself, Sherman embodies characters who are, in her words, ‘would-be or has-been actors (in reality secretaries, housewives, or gardeners) posing for headshots to get an acting job’ (Cindy Sherman,  quoted in 'No Make-Up. An Interview with Cindy Sherman, by Isabelle Graw,' Cindy Sherman: Clowns, Munich, 2012, p. 58).  Here, Sherman again takes aim at popular notions of femininity, celebrity, and Hollywood stereotypes, a subject that she famously explored in her acclaimed Untitled Film Stills (1977-80). 

The composition Sherman adopted for this series was simple: set against a uniform, single-color background, she framed the arrangement in a manner reminiscent of an ID or senior prom picture. The make-up is overdone to the point of being grotesque, costumes are ostentatious, and her exaggerated expressions fall into the realm of caricature.  In Untitled #400, Sherman’s purple formal dress and glittery make-up hint at aspirations to recapture youth and glamour. Likewise, in Untitled #353 (Lot 45), Sherman’s garish make-up and silicone breast implants represent a universal Hollywood cliché. These depictions of individuals striving for out-of-reach youth and social status are poignant, uncomfortable, and humorous all at once. 

A print of this image is in the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo. At the time of this writing, no other print of this image is believed to have been offered at auction.