About This Artwork
Reacting to the wide praise and popular attention of the history portraits made during the same period, Sherman created photographs with grotesque subject matter such as Untitled #190, daring art critics and more so collectors to accept the aesthetically challenging work. Here, Sherman continues to engage in a dialogue with painting, and like a Giuseppe Arcimboldo portrait composed entirely of fruit and flowers, this work features an abstracted face that is just barely visible. Covered with partially melted or digested candy that resembles vomit or viscera, the form is turned inside out, a vessel subsumed by its contents. Sherman’s abject works can also be seen in reaction to the return of large expressionistic painting that gained prominence during the 1980s in New York. In Untitled #190, Sherman takes on the language of Neo-expressionism in scale and format like the 1980s painters, while mocking (and conceivably shocking) them with her choice of content.