Yesterday I was kindly offered tickets to the Francesca Woodman Opening event at Bodelwyddan Castle!! I am so Excited that I thought I would share with you all!! As Francesca Woodman is not somebody I am familiar with I am taking a moment to have a look at who she is and what she does.
So, who is she?
The photographer Francesca Woodman only lived to be 22 years old, but her remarkable body of work has continued to garner increasing renown in the world of contemporary art since her suicide in 1981. Born to an artistic family in Denver—her mother, Betty Woodman, is a sculptor and ceramicist and her father, George Woodman, is a photographer and painter—Woodman moved in New York City in 1979 to begin a career as a photographer. While her work would remain unknown for the entirety of her life, today she is widely celebrated for her black-and-white depictions of young women, frequently in the nude and blurred by slow shutter speed and long exposure. Many of her photographs are self-portraits—though you rarely can see Woodman’s face unobstructed—and men are an infrequent presence. Woodman made a number of short films as well, along the same aesthetics of her photographs.
Photos from artspace.com
Encouraged artistically by her family from a young age, Woodman received her first camera, a Yashica 2 ¼ x 2 ¼, as a gift from her father, and she used it to take most of her photographs. Though the family lived in Colorado, they traveled to Italy each summer and Woodman developed a love for the country. While attending the Rhode Island School of Design, she traveled to Rome independently to study art for a year. Woodman was also deeply interested in the Surrealist movement and neo-Pictorialism—as seen in the work of fashion photographer Deborah Turbeville—and both movements are evident in the abstraction, motifs, and ghostly air of Woodman’s work.
Her photography was first exhibited at Wellesley College in 1986 after it was discovered by Ann Gabhart, the director of the Wellesley Art Museum, in the Woodmans’ family home in Colorado. Woodman’s first retrospective opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2011 and traveled to the Guggenheim in 2012. Additionally, C. Scott Willis directed a documentary on the Woodman family, The Woodmans, which came out in 2010. Woodman’s photographs are in the permanent collections of both the Whitney Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and prominent artists such as Cindy Sherman continue to cite her as an inspiration for their work.
After taking a look at who Francesca Woodman is I have discovered a whole story about her very short life and some of her family and I feel grateful to have been introduced to her and her work. It is such a shame that the life was short for such a fantastic photographer who clearly had the mind of an Artist 😦 As an Artist myself, in different matters of Art, I do feel at a loss when I read such things about others artists, like I am compelled towards them in an artistic way.
I find her work very creative and questionable, which I love when I look at work as It draws me in and I enjoy that I find myself interested. By that, I mean that sometimes I can look at images and carry on flicking through to the next but it is intriguing when you actually stop and take an interest and want to know more.
I am looking forward to the opening to the Francesca Woodman exhibition, even more so now and know that I will appreciate her work all the more.
5 April – 13 July ARTIST ROOMS: Francesca Woodman,
the STUDENTS STUDIO and Liberated and Lost (Vivienne Rickman-Poole)