Cindy Sherman: Untitled #96


The latest books in MoMA’s One on One series will highlight photographs in the Museum’s collection.


ISBN: 9781633451186 Category:

Gwen Allen


In 1981 Cindy Sherman was commissioned to contribute a special project to Artforum magazine. Given two facing pages, she chose to explore the pornographic centerfold, creating 12 largescale horizontal images of herself appearing as various young women, often reclining, in private, melancholic moments of reverie. As Sherman explained, “I wanted a man opening up the magazine to suddenly look at it in expectation of something lascivious and then feel like the violator that they would be.” Sherman’s Centerfolds were so provocative that they were never published for fear that they would be misunderstood. Art historian Gwen Allen’s essay examines one of the most iconic photographs in the series, Untitled #96-in which a young woman lies on her back against an orange and yellow vinyl floor, clutching a scrap of newspaper-exploring the production and critical reception of Sherman’s Centerfolds in relationship to the politics of pornography, gender, and representation.

Additional information

Weight 202 g
Dimensions 18.7 x 23.2 cm
Publisher name The Museum of Modern Art
Publication date 13 May 2021
Number of pages 48
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 18.7 x 23.2 cm
Weight 202 g


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Gwen Allen is Professor of Art History and Director of the School of Art at San Francisco State University. Cindy Sherman (American, b. 1954) is widely recognised as one of the most important and influential artists in contemporary art. Throughout her career, she has worked as her own model to explore the construction of identity and the nature of representation, beginning with her groundbreaking Untitled Film Stills. Her work is collected and exhibited by major museums around the world, and she is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.