Friday, March 9, 2012

Francesca Woodman at The Guggenheim


Francesca Woodman (April 3, 1958 - January 19, 1981) was a young American photography who worked primarily in black and white. Although she used herself as a model in many of her photographs most of her subjects were young women photographed in the nude. Her subjects usually were blurred due to long exposures and movement. Much of her work was taken with medium format cameras that resulted in 2-1/4 by 2-1/4 inch square negatives. Woodman had a love for decaying rooms and peeling wallpaper; these are the backgrounds she used for many of her subjects. She photographed many of these women in odd positions, some glowing or camouflaged and some hidden in objects, some posed with taxidermy. She also used symbolic images such as mirrors and eels taken from Surrealist and Gothic fiction read.

Many of Woodman's images are untitled and are known only by a location and date. She produced at least 10,000 negatives which are now in the possession of her parents. This show,  first seen at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) represents the first comprehensive exhibition of her work. The show includes her photographs, artist books, and some of her rarely seen short videos. A complete list of her photographs can be seen here.
Woodman suffered from depression as she felt unsuccessful with her relationships and her work. On January 19, 1981 she committed suicide at age 22. Woodman is now represented by the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York.

Read more at NY Books.

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