With the Untitled Film Still series (1977-1980), Sherman quickly captured the attention of the art world by exploring the in-depth the notion of the multiplicity of identity. Consisting of 69 black and white photographs, the series explores the stereotypical female B roles (including the career girl, femme fatale, girl on the run, bored housewife, and others), staged to resemble scenes from 1950s and ’60s Hollywood B movies and European arthouse films. By inventing fictional characters, photographing herself in imaginary situations, and boldly conveying various sides of the subject in her artworks, Sherman reveals and dismantles contemporary stereotypes of identity.
In 1976 Sherman received a BFA from the Buffalo State College; since then her work has been exhibited worldwide, including but not limited to the Venice Biennale in 1982 and 1995, five Whitney Biennial exhibitions, and a solo retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2012. She has also received numerous prestigious awards, grants, and fellowships, including the 1983 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Photography, the 1995 MacArthur Fellowship, the 2005 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and the 2016 Praemium Imperiale, an honorary doctorate degree from the Royal College of Art in London.
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