Francesca Woodman has become one of the most talked about, studied and influential of late twentieth-century photographers. She started taking photographs when she was barely thirteen, and in less than a decade created a body of work that has now secured her reputation as one of the most original American artists of the 1970s. Woodman brought an understanding of Baroque painting, modernist art and contemporary post-Minimalist practice to her haunting, sensual, images. Both in her work with models and in her sometimes disturbing self-portraits, she made a thoroughgoing challenge to the certainties of photography.
Interested in how people relate to space, and how the three-dimensional world can be reconciled with the two dimensions of the photographic image, Woodman played complex games of hide-and-seek with her camera. One of the enduring appeals of her work is the way in which she constructs enigmas that trap our gaze. She depicts herself seemingly fading into a flat plane, merging with a wall under the wallpaper, dissolving into the floor, or flattening herself behind glass. She constantly compares the fragility of her own body with the physical environment around her. Fascinated by transformation and the permeability of seemingly fixed boundaries, Woodman conjures in her work the precarious moment between adolescence and adulthood, between presence and absence.
This comprehensive monograph includes over 200 of Woodman's works - some of which have never been exhibited or published before - as well as previously unseen extracts from her journals, selected and introduced by her father, George Woodman. There are examples of her large-scale 'blue-prints', and reproductions of her artist's books, including Some Disordered Interior Geometries, which was published in 1981, the year she took her own life. An extensive text by Chris Townsend examines the influences of Gothic literature, Surrealism, feminism and post-Minimalist art on Woodman's photographs, as well ...
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