Francesca Woodman / by Anna D'Addario

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Francesca Woodman is renowned for her surrealist black and white photography of which for the major part, she herself is the protagonist and subject of the work.

Irrefutably one of the finest female photographers of the century, Woodman's work gained international recognition in the years after her death. In January 1981 Francesca Woodman at the age of 22 committed suicide by throwing herself out of the window of a New York city loft to the street below. 

She has been perceived as a tragic figure and a large portion of her work does explore death and her relationship to it, yet simultaneously in doing this Woodman also explored her relationship to life; its spaces and realities. 

Perhaps it is difficult to detach oneself from the history of her suicide when examining her work, yet considering it subjectively, one could determine that Woodman's work and death are simply examples of a highly sensitive, creative and brilliant mind rebelling against effects of the harsh objective realties of life. 

Her work explores this concept in depth, rebelling in and exploring her physical relation to objects and spaces, to her creative relation and connection with her mind and the physical restraints of her body.

Born to two well known American artists, George and Betty Woodman, Francesca grew up partially in Boulder Colorado, and for a term in Italy, passing summers in the Florentine countryside.

She studied in Rome from 1977- 1978, where she made acquaintances with a number of intellectuals and artists from the Roman school.

Woodman's work consists of around 10,000 negatives and around 800 prints, with only about 120 of these circulated and exhibited. She completed a number of books yet only one was published, shortly  before her death, this was 'Some Disordered Interior Geometrics'. Other titles include 'Portrait of a Reputation', 'Quaderno dei Dettati e dei Temi (Notebook of Dictations and Compositions)' and 'Angels, Calender Notebook'.

Anna Maria Antoinette D'Addario

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