Reception: Tuesday, October 29, 6-8 p.m.
Marian Goodman Gallery is delighted to present its first exhibition of Francesca Woodman's vintage photographs as well as a selection of his videoworks. The exhibition will open on Saturday, October 29th and will continue through Saturday, December 3rd. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
On this occasion, we will publish a brochure including a text by Benjamin H. D. Buchloh and a foreword by writer and friend of the artist, Betsy Berne
These extremely rare videos have only recently been compiled by the estate and shown only on two occasions: at the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York and at the Helsinki City Art Museum in Finland. The videos reveal a singular glimpse into the working process of this extraordinary young artist.
Francesca Woodman was born in Denver, Colorado in 1958 and died tragically on January 19th, 1981 by suicide. She spent her formative years living primarily in Boulder, Colorado, where she went to public school, as well as in Antella, Tuscany where the Woodman family passed their summers. Her entire life was spent amongst artists. Her father George is a painter and photographer while her mother Betty is a sculptor and her brother Charlie is a video artist. Francesca went to boarding school in 1972 at the Abbott Academy where she first became absorbed in photography under the tutelage of a professor, Wendy Snyder MacNeill. Here she made her remarkable first photographs at the age of 14. The following year she attended the Phillips Andover Academy.
Francesca entered the Rhode Island School of Design in 1975 where she continued her intensive study of photography. She spent a year in RISD's study abroad program in Rome where, between May 1977 and August 1978, she made many groups of photographs including the series known as "On Being an Angel." In the fall of 1978 Francesca graduated from RISD and then moved to New York. While in New York, Francesca took an interest in fashion photography which is reflected in some of the photographs from this period. It was in New York that many of her most powerful images were produced. In the summer of 1980 she continued her work during a residency at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
Around this time, Francesca started to experiment with other projects, among them the making of books. The only book she actually published was Some Disordered Interior Geometries in January 1981. A number of other individual artist's books were completed. A major artistic interest late in her life, was the making of diazotypes or photographs printed on blue or sepia colored paper which architects use for making blueprints. The scale of this series was very large in marked contrast to her black and white photographs. With the diazotypes the subjects continued to be herself and her friends but with the inclusion of themes from the Classics. Temples and caryatids for example entered her oeuvre. These works are by nature, extremely fragile and difficult to exhibit. We are therefore very pleased to have in this exhibition archival inkjet reproductions of two of the approximately 10 diazotypes that Francesca produced during her lifetime. These have been faithfully recreated to maintain the original qualities and intentions of the artist.
In the last few years, Francesca's work has been seen in group exhibitions, like How do we want to be governed , Miami Art Central, Miami, Florida, 2004-2005, Fashion and Photography , Megaron, Athens, Greece, in 2004. In 2003, at the Generali Foundation, Vienna and at the Gallerie d'Arte Moderna's, exhibition titled Ideal and Realilty: A History of the Nude in Bologna . The Disembodied Spirit at Bowdoin College Art Museum, Brunswick, Maine; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri; and the Austin Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, and Incommunicado at Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich England; City Art Center, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Her recent solo exhibition venues have included: Francesca Woodman: Photographs at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University and in 2000 the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. Between 1998 and 2000 a large exhibition at the Cartier Foundation in Paris, with an exhibition tour to the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, Netherlands; Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon, Portugal; The Photographers Gallery, London, United Kingdom; Centro Cultural TeclaSala, Barcelona, Spain; Carla Sozzani Gallery, Milan Italy; The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland; PhotoEspana, Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid, Spain. An exhibition catalogue was produced by the Cartier Foundation to accompany this touring exhibition.
Phaidon Press is preparing a new monograph on Francesca Woodman which will be published in 2006.