CULTURE MONSTER

The Broad museum announces its first special exhibition: 'Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life'

"Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life" will be the first special exhibition at the Broad, the contemporary art museum in downtown Los Angeles will announce Wednesday.

Running from June 11 through Oct. 2, the exhibition will feature nearly all of the 125 Sherman works in the Broad's permanent collection. Chief curator and museum director Joanne Heyler called it the largest holdings of the photographer's work in the world.

The depth of those holdings, and the absence of a major L.A. museum exhibition of Sherman's work in nearly 20 years, are why the Broad is kicking off its special exhibition series with work from its permanent collection, Heyler said. Future special exhibitions not only will cull from the permanent collection but also feature touring shows.

Sherman's importance to the Broad cannot be underestimated, Heyler said. The photographer's work first attracted museum founders Eli and Edythe Broad in the early 1980s.

"They immediately picked up her work before it was widely known," Heyler said. "And she's almost the only artist in the collection whose work we acquire every time she creates something new."

The show is guest-curated by Philipp Kaiser, who is putting together a survey of Sherman's career spanning more than 30 years. Kaiser has served as a curator for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Museum for Contemporary Art in Basel, Switzerland. "Imitation of Life" should be right at home in Los Angeles considering Sherman's fascination with female identity, particularly as it relates to Hollywood stereotypes.

Although the Broad prides itself on free admission, the Sherman show, as a special exhibition, will cost $12.

"Our model from the beginning was free general admission with paid tickets for special exhibitions and programs," said Heyler, adding that 70% of the museum will remain free and accessible with general admission.

jessica.gelt@latimes.com

Twitter: @jessicagelt

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