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Untitled #88

Deeply shadowed photograph of woman sitting hunched lit by single warm light.
© Cindy Sherman. Courtesy Metro Pictures, New York.

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  • Deeply shadowed photograph of woman sitting hunched lit by single warm light.




Cindy Sherman
American, born 1954

About this artwork

Cindy Sherman’s staged photographs explore the pervasive effects of mass-media images on individual identities. Since the late 1970s, the artist has served as both photographer and model for a large cast of fictional personalities created primarily through costume, hair, makeup, and lighting. In 1981 she began a series of large color photographs that mimic the horizontal format of a magazine centerfold. Critiques of these glossy spreads, Sherman’s representations are fraught with anxiety, vulnerability, and longing. In Untitled #88, she depicted herself as a young, disheveled blonde girl; her fragility and isolation are underscored by her huddled body language and pensive stare. An imposing darkness surrounds her, except for the warm glow from what is most likely a fire, the only source of light in the picture. While the girl’s specific situation remains ambiguous, the photograph illustrates that, for Sherman, gender roles are performative.


Currently Off View


Cindy Sherman


Untitled #88


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Chromogenic print; artist's proof number one of one


61 × 121.9 cm (24 × 48 in.)

Credit Line

Gerald S. Elliott Fund in memory of Ann Elliott

Reference Number



© Cindy Sherman. Courtesy Metro Pictures, New York.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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