At the moment of their retrospectives, which artist is more popular: Cindy Sherman, now at the MoMA, or Damien Hirst at Tate Modern? Let’s see what social media has to say on the topic.
LONDON — With all the fanfare and hullabaloo surrounding Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee (celebrating sixty years as the British monarch) wrapping up this past Tuesday, I was reminded of another ancient British tradition that is taking place now, too: the Royal Academy of Art’s (RA) summer exhibition.
Fashion as a basis for genuine artistic work may be dead. Even when it’s properly approached and used, as in Cindy Sherman’s fashion editorial series or the early installations of artists-cum-couturiers Zowie Broach and Brian Kirkby under the Boudicca label, I tend to find that the medium isn’t being mined for all its potential. Photographer K8 Hardy’s “Untitled Runway Show,” a performance piece mounted on May 20 as part of her work in the Whitney Biennial, seems to have proven that in the hands of popular contemporary artists, fashion in a museum can be as nauseating as the debauchery on display at Fashion’s Night Out.
If only you knew how to talk about Cindy Sherman you’d feel better about throwing yourself into the ring with all the art pundits and critics who have been falling over themselves to give kudos to the current MoMA retrospective which covers her 35 year career from when she was good until now.
Cindy Sherman’s one-woman retrospective is profound, provocative and sadly incomplete, most noticeably in relation to her earliest works despite the inclusion of the entire black and white “Untitled Film Stills” (1977-1980), the “encyclopedic roster of stereotypical female roles” that skewered the post modern discourse on photography right through its kabobs.
Designer/artist crossbreeding is nothing new. MAC had Cindy Sherman, Louis Vuitton had Takashi Murakami, and Stella McCartney had Barry Reigate. But for the 65 year-old house of Dior, a new accessories and cosmetics collection made in collaboration with German contemporary artist Anselm Reyle may be a bold new step that will help invigorate the French label.
Over at MoMA, there are two big survey shows that focus on a single theme throughout the history of photography from the heyday of the daguerreotype through to the present. The first, Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography, is an “installation that comprises more than 200 works by approximately 120 artists.” The second is an examination of photography’s relationship to sculpture titled The Original Copy: The Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today, that “brings together over 300 photographs, magazines, and journals, by more than 100 artists” … A good exhibition is not a numbers game. And in Pictures by Women, which is a little diffuse, it shows.