View full screen - View 1 of Lot 50. Untitled #121.
50

Cindy Sherman

Untitled #121

Estimate:

40,000

to
- 60,000 USD

Property from the Estate of Barbara Spiegel Linhart

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman

Untitled #121

Untitled #121

Estimate:

40,000

to
- 60,000 USD

Lot sold:

40,320

USD

Cindy Sherman

b. 1954

Untitled #121


signed, dated 1983 and numbered 4/18 on the reverse

cibachrome print

Print: 40 by 30 in.  (101.6 by 76.2 cm.)

Framed: 45 by 31 in.  (114.3 by 78.7 cm.)

Executed in 1983, this work is number 4 from an edition of 18. 

This work is in very good condition overall. The print is hinged along the upper edge of the reverse to the backing board. There are no apparent surface scratches or accretions. Framed under Plexiglas.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Metro Pictures, New York

Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1989

Executed in 1983, Cindy Sherman’s Untitled # 121 (Girl with Pigtails) disarms the male gaze as an element of the grotesque unsettles the representation of the female body. The current work belongs to Sherman’s celebrated series of fashion photographs, which were commissioned by Diane Benson in 1983 for Interview magazine. In this series, Sherman continues her critical exploration of cultural stereotypes as she subverts the modes of display and the sexualization of the female form that were (and still are) popular in magazines by creating intentionally grotesque characters. As Sherman explains, “I really started to make fun, not of the clothes, but much more of the fashion. I was starting to put scar tissue on my face to become really ugly.”[1]


In this series, Sherman is thus concerned with the de-fetishization of the female subject. She unveils the woman underneath her cosmetic façade — although Sherman is still ironically putting on a disguise of her own. In the current work, the girl’s disheveled hair and contorted pose make a mockery of the typical fashion photograph. With a manic grin on her face, she stares threateningly toward the viewer. This woman is no longer the vulnerable, supine woman of Sherman’s Centerfolds (1981). Instead, bathed in blood-red light, she seems to contemplate some vengeance, and it is in fact the viewer who begins to feel at risk.


[1] Cindy Sherman, quoted in Sandy Nairne, The State of Affairs. Ideas and Images in the 1980s (London: Chatto & Windus, 1987), 136.