new-york

Cindy Sherman

Metro Pictures

For more than a decade, Cindy Sherman has delivered what many have regarded as one of the most sustained and eloquent disquisitions on the morphology of the image and the structure of desire. By contrast, the response to Sherman’s most recent work has been nothing if not circumspect. Admittedly, as a group the latest series of photographs lacks a clear agenda; its language is polyglot and its subject matter elusive: Sherman draws on Christian iconography, the legacy of Surrealism, the cult of the grotesque, and horror-movie schlock. If Caravaggio is here, along with Hans Bellmer, and Joel-Peter Witkin, so is Chucky. Indeed, in the face of this panoply of possibilities, even the loquacious Peter Schjeldahl seemed at a loss for words. Faced with the lack of programmatic intentions, Schjeldahl took the easy way out, asserting that these works are a means of confounding “a present cottage

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