CEPA Gallery is proud to celebrate the opening of a cluster of exhibitions titled Mythologies of Identity. Made possible through a grant from Embrace Western New York, this curatorial project by former CEPA Executive Director Veronique Cote will include a long overdue retrospective in Buffalo, NY of the work of world acclaimed photographer Cindy Sherman, featuring works from the collection of noted Buffalo art collector Gerald Mead.
Through fashion props and styling, the artists of Mythologies of Identity showcase personas that challenge heteronormative definitions of gender in photography. The project bridges the gap between masculine and feminine through various simulations. First, Sherman’s career-long identity performances through self-portraiture; then emerging trans artist Dane-Adrian Smith and their Post-Gender World; finally, a Virtual Reality project on contemporary cowboy culture in the Canadian Midwest by Jean-René Leblanc. Following a long history of exploratory art practice at CEPA, the exhibition illustrates how visuals play a role in personal agency and empowerment in gender expression.
Cindy Sherman attended Buffalo State College in the mid 70’s, and during that period, played a crucial role in the formation of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center and CEPA, artist run arts organizations in Buffalo that are both still salient to the region’s cultural landscape. Gerald Mead, an independent curator, artist, and emeriti art educator, has been collecting and exhibiting work by artists associated with WNY for 35 years. This exhibition, Cindy Sherman Retrospective: Works from the Gerald Mead Collection, will consist of his entire collection of 22 works by Sherman dating from 1976 to 2018. Included are works from several significant series of her career such as Untitled Film Stills, Fairy Tales and History Portraits.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a limited-edition catalog set designed by Kyle Wittek.