Nine months after Los Angeles’ newest contemporary art museum opened to overwhelming crowds, The Broad’s first special exhibition will debut in June with a comprehensive survey of the work of artist Cindy Sherman.
Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life is the first major museum show of Sherman’s work in Los Angeles in nearly 20 years, and the exhibition will fill The Broad’s first-floor galleries with close to 120 works drawn primarily from the Broad collection.
The Broad opened in September 2015 and has since welcomed more than 300,000 visitors to view its inaugural installation, a sweeping, chronological journey through more than 250 works by some 60 artists in the Broad collection on both the first- and third-floor galleries of the museum. Founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, the museum is designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler and offers free general admission. Home to 2,000 works of art, the Broad collection is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide.
Cindy Sherman is one of the best-known and most important photographers working today. Her decades-long performative practice of photographing herself under different guises has produced many of contemporary art’s most iconic and influential images. At the heart of Sherman’s work is the multitude of identity stereotypes that have arisen throughout both the history of art and the history of advertising, cinema, and media. Sherman reveals and dismantles these stereotypes as well as the mechanics of their production in creating series after series of photographs that focus on particular image-making procedures. The Broad collection has been dedicated to the work of Sherman for over thirty years and its holdings are unmatched globally.
The show, organized by guest curator Philipp Kaiser, and taking cues from Los Angeles’ role as the mecca of the film industry, will foreground the artist’s engagement with 20th century popular film and celebrity.
“Surprisingly, there hasn’t been a major museum exhibition of Cindy Sherman’s work in Los Angeles in nearly two decades, and much of her work is influenced by and connected to the world of Hollywood,” said Kaiser. “From her film stills to her rear projections and her films, her massive body of work comments on and speaks to the limitless stream of visual material available to us today via cinema, television, advertising, media, the Internet and art itself. Cindy helped to craft the title of the exhibition, Imitation of Life, which is a reference to the Douglas Sirk’s 1959 film adaptation of Fannie Hurst’s novel that deals with intensely emotional struggles with identity.”
The exhibition, which will run June 11 through Oct. 2, 2016, will feature an expansive representation of Sherman’s photographs from throughout her influential career of more than four decades, as well as Office Killer, the 1997 feature film directed by the artist. Her widely known film stills series, as well as the less known rear projection series, both inspired by cinema of the 1950s and 1960s, play a central conceptual role in the show, and the show will include many works never before exhibited in Los Angeles.
One of 2016’s most exciting shows, this is an exhibition not to be missed – we know where we will be on June 11!
– Harry Dougall
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