Spruth Magers, Dec 2012

Representing Cindy Sherman in London rests with Spruth Magers and though it is only the wives of the very wealthiest (the women who would became a target of Sherman's loathing in 2008) who could possibly afford anything on show here, at least curator Todd Levin has had the nerve to avoid the temptation of exhibiting any of her early hits (The Untitled Film Stills, and Centerfolds) and has gone instead for these far more disquieting later oeuvres of abjectism, Sex Pictures (1989-92) and Broken Dolls (1999).

Both sets of images might at first seem to be more appropriate to another sort of context, such as a lunatic asylum - the large, vivid colour works more so - offering points of recognition to those in strait-jacket restraint, drug stupor or dazzled by electric-shocks administered through lightly-vaselined temples. Or, alternatively, in the North London mansions of offensively wealthy Russian Oligarchs - as some token of penance, and facing a religious Icon painting 'acquired' from a church in St. Petersburg.

But, despite the natural recoil, there is no doubt that these images are absolutely perfectly judged in their conception and creation. And when most photographic art, particularly that shown in large galleries is so carefully 'wider-public friendly' there is a real need for independents like Spruth to make available serious, unique, and difficult works like these to any prepared to come face to face with them.




(until 26tth Jan 2013)