The piece is the creation of contemporary photographer Cindy Sherman, who had set the photo auction world ablaze last year with another work that soared to $3.89 million at Christie's - a record for photographs. It is labeled "untitled #96" (see above) and drawn from Sherman's "Centerfold Series". All of the self-photographed images are of Sherman, who appears in various disguises. The AAM acquired "untitled #96" in 1981, when Sherman created it. Talk about foresight!
When I spoke to Kahan, he conceded that it isn't easy to give up a work by a photographer so highly valued in the art world. But he says the sale - estimated to fetch $2.8 million to $3.8 million - will sweeten the museum's $2 million available for acquisitions. Thus, he says, there will be greater opportunity to acquire distinguished pieces for AAM for future generations.
Oh, I should mention that Kahan won't be total bereft of Sherman's work. He has another one in the vault. That lessens any regret of shipping one of the two off to a New York
City auction house.