Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is set to host the first major solo Australian exhibition by renowned New York artist Cindy Sherman in more than 15 years.

One of the most recognised and influential artists of her generation, Sherman’s career has seen her produce a prolific amount of character studies, experimenting with costume, prosthetics, makeup and digital photography to embellish and manipulate photographs.

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) director Chris Saines says the exhibition will feature an entirely new body of work created this year and shown for the first time in the southern hemisphere, as well as six photographic series produced by Sherman since her last Australian exhibition in 2000.

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman | Untitled #402 2000 | Image courtesy: The artist and Metro Pictures, New York | © The artist

“Consistently featuring in major exhibitions and collections around the world and working alongside prominent fashion houses, Sherman’s practice is both broad and ambitious, and continues to challenge and transform our understanding of photography and the phenomenon of contemporary portraiture,” he said.

The exhibition will include more than 50 large-scale works drawn from public and private collections, including the dark clowns series Sherman made in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman | Untitled #414 2003 | Image courtesy: The artist and Metro Pictures, New York | © The artist

The exhibition will also feature 2008’s society portraits, an immense mural whose five-metre-tall cast of characters will loom large over gallery visitors, and two subversive fashion house collaborations, the Vogue-commissioned Balenciaga 2007-08, and Chanel 2010-13, for which Sherman mined the fashion house’s haute couture archives.  

Ellie Buttrose, QAGOMA’s associate curator of contemporary international art, says the exhibition will focus on the artist’s return as ‘the model’ after a long period in which she remained behind the camera.

“Sherman’s work sets out to capture the essence of ‘a type’ in her meticulously staged photographs,” she says.

“By posing as her own subject, she is able to enter the characters and explore the humour behind exaggerated stereotypes.

“Sherman’s practice is influenced by pop culture, by the characters and types we see every day in an image-saturated world.

“In Sherman’s works from 2000 onward, the subtle yet poignant treatment of the image reflects her deep understanding of the history or portraiture, the value associated with knowledge and the manufacture of image for cultural and societal status.”

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman | Untitled #353 2000 | Image courtesy: The artist and Metro Pictures, New York | © The artist

Cindy Sherman will display at GOMA from 28 May to 3 October this year, before travelling to City Gallery Wellington in New Zealand.

An extensive suite of public programs to accompany the exhibition, including an Up Late series and GOMA Talks, will be announced shortly. Visit for more information.