Francesca Woodman
Francesca Woodman was an American
People of the United States
The people of the United States, also known as simply Americans or American people, are the inhabitants or citizens of the United States. The United States is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds...

 photographer best known for her black and white pictures featuring herself and female models. Many of her photographs show young women who are nude, who are blurred (due to movement and long exposure
Exposure (photography)
In photography, exposure is the total amount of light allowed to fall on the photographic medium during the process of taking a photograph. Exposure is measured in lux seconds, and can be computed from exposure value and scene luminance over a specified area.In photographic jargon, an exposure...

 times), who are merging with their surroundings, or whose faces are obscured. Her work continues to be the subject of much attention, years after she committed suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 at the age of 22.


Francesca Woodman was born April 3, 1958, in Denver, Colorado, to well-known artists George Woodman
George Woodman
George Woodman is an American ceramicist, painter, and photographer.-Biography:Woodman was born in 1932. He went to Harvard University and married Betty Woodman in 1953. After earning a master's degree in painting at the University of New Mexico, he taught painting and art criticism at the...

 and Betty Woodman
Betty Woodman
Betty Woodman is an American artist.- Work and Influences :Internationally recognized as one of today’s most important sculptors using ceramics, Betty Woodman's career began in the 1950s as a production potter with the aim of creating beautiful objects to enhance everyday life...

. Her older brother Charles later became an associate professor of electronic art
Electronic art
Electronic art is a form of art that makes use of electronic media or, more broadly, refers to technology and/or electronic media. It is related to information art, new media art, video art, digital art, interactive art, internet art, and electronic music...


Woodman attended public school in Boulder, Colorado
Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is the county seat and most populous city of Boulder County and the 11th most populous city in the U.S. state of Colorado. Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of...

, between 1963 and 1971 except for second grade in Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. She began high school in 1972 at the private Massachusetts boarding school Abbot Academy, where she began to develop her photographic skills. Abbot Academy merged with Phillips Academy
Phillips Academy
Phillips Academy is a selective, co-educational independent boarding high school for boarding and day students in grades 9–12, along with a post-graduate year...

 in 1973; Woodman graduated from the public Boulder High School
Boulder High School
Boulder High School is a high school in Boulder, Colorado. It is a part of the Boulder Valley School District.-History:Boulder High School was founded in 1875 as part of the University of Colorado at Boulder as a preparatory school for the University...

 in 1975. Through 1975, she spent summers with her family in Italy.(p. 154) She spent her time in Italy in the Florentine countryside, where she lived in an old farm with her parents. The charm of the old house had a notable influence on Francesca; the high-ceilinged rooms, the crumbling walls, the old decorations are all felt to be surfaces like ‘skins’ in which to cover oneself.

Beginning in 1975, Woodman attended the Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island School of Design is a fine arts and design college located in Providence, Rhode Island. It was founded in 1877. Located at the base of College Hill, the RISD campus is contiguous with the Brown University campus. The two institutions share social, academic, and community resources and...

 (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the capital and most populous city of Rhode Island and was one of the first cities established in the United States. Located in Providence County, it is the third largest city in the New England region...

. She studied in Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 between 1977 and 1978 in a RISD honors program. As she spoke fluent Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

, she was able to befriend Italian intellectuals and artists.(pp. 26–30,154) She went back to Rhode Island in late 1978 to graduate from RISD.(p. 154)

Woodman moved to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 in 1979. After spending the summer of 1979 in Stanwood, Washington
Stanwood, Washington
Stanwood is a city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. The population was 6,231 at the 2010 census.-History:Stanwood was first settled in 1866 by Robert Fulton. Stanwood's Post Office was established as Centerville in 1870, and the name was changed to Stanwood in 1877 by D.O. Pearson...

, she returned to New York "to make a career in photography." She sent portfolios of her work to fashion photographers, but "her solicitations did not lead anywhere."(p. 155) In the summer of 1980 she was an artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony
MacDowell Colony
The MacDowell Colony is an art colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, U.S.A., founded in 1907 by Marian MacDowell, pianist and wife of composer Edward MacDowell. She established the institution and its endowment chiefly with donated funds...

 in Peterborough, New Hampshire
Peterborough, New Hampshire
Peterborough is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 6,284 at the 2010 census. Home to the MacDowell Art Colony, the town is a popular tourist destination....

.(p. 155)

In late 1980 Woodman became depressed due to her work and to a broken relationship. She survived a suicide attempt, after which she lived with her parents in Manhattan. On January 19, 1981, she committed suicide by jumping out a loft window in New York.(p. 155) An acquaintance wrote, "things had been bad, there had been therapy, things had gotten better, guard had been let down." Her father has suggested that Woodman's suicide was related to an unsuccessful application for funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Photographs, 1972-1980

Although Woodman used different cameras and film formats during her career, most of her photographs were taken with medium format cameras producing 2-1/4 by 2-1/4 inch square negatives.(p. 9)(p. 179) Woodman created at least 10,000 negatives which her parents now keep. Woodman's estate, which is represented by the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York, consists of over 800 prints of which "only around 120 images have ever been published or exhibited."(p. 6) Most of Woodman's prints are 8 by 10 inches or smaller, which "works to produce an intimate experience between viewer and photograph."

Many of Woodman's images are untitled and are known only by a location and date. The table below contains information on some of Woodman's most famous photographs. For each photograph, the location, the date, the title, and a brief description are given (since multiple images may share the same location, date, and title, and a single image may be assigned multiple locations, dates, and titles). The columns on the right contain links to up to four reproductions of the photograph found on the Web, and page numbers of reproductions in five major books.
Location and Date Title Description Links Page Numbers of Reproductions in Books
Boulder, Colorado
1972 Self-portrait at thirteen "…She denies her face to the camera, so that we can only see her hair, but her left hand is holding a [shutter-release] cable linked to the camera." view view view view 43 75 171
Providence, Rhode Island
1975–1976 [untitled] Woodman "appears as Alice, in a Victorian-looking dress. She looks directly into the camera and gestures oddly with her hands and arms toward a door ajar…."(p. 17) view view view view 63 33 54 137 52
1975–1976 [untitled] "She kneels on a heavily framed mirror placed flat on the floor. Her head and upper body are in motion...."(p. 17) view view view view 34 80 69 115
1975–1976 Space2 Woodman "physically encased herself in a museum vitrine... We see Woodman's left breast and thigh pressed against the glass as she squats. ... Her head, moreover, appears cut from her torso... While her right hand exerts pressure against the vitrine, her left seems to caress the form." view view view view 42 73 72 118 21
1975–1976 Space2 Blurry figure at left of frame reaching down, generally in plane of photograph. view view view view 75 120 186
1975–1976 Space2 "Blurred image of a woman shaking her head." view view view view 76 121 210
1975–1978 [untitled] "...A woman apparently dead at the lip of the ocean, reflected in the mirror of another woman whose own face is displaced by that very mirror." view view view view 66 49
1976 [untitled] Three nude women, "including Woodman, holding photographs of Woodman's face in front of their own, with a fourth portrait taped to the wall."(p. 26) view view view view 67 51 101 25
1976 [untitled] Woodman "sits on the edge of a white chair, wearing only a pair of black shoes. She is seen from the waist down, and before her on the floor is a shadowgraph, the negative impression her prone body has made in white powder."(p. 17) view view view view 81 85 97 206
1976 [untitled] "An empty room and a detached door balancing precariously against a wall." view view view view 55 106
1976 Horizontale "Woodman photographed herself cropped at the waist, her legs sprawling across the frame…. Bound tightly by shiny tape tied at the ankle, her flesh bulges around the ligatures, whilst with her right hand she holds a woolen glove over her sex." view view view view 46 92 88 133 23
1976 House #3 "...A window lights a dark room. Woodman, huddled on the floor and smudged nearly out of existence, save for a poised, shod foot, fades away into the dark, decaying room." view view view view 33 53 58 107 12
1976 House #4 "...She squeezes into a small triangular space formed by a fireplace surround which has come away from the wall, her legs splayed and her upper body blurred in movement…." view view view view 33 52 59 107 11
1976 Then at one point I did not need to translate the notes; they went directly to my hands "...Her nude figure crouched and bowing before a scarred wall, with a torn sheet of wallpaper covering her back like a shell, and her hands caressing the wall like a keyboard...."(p. 16) view view view view 33 54 60 113 61
1976 March Sloan "Sloan appears as the artist’s doppelganger: reaching for a bright, sun-like orb painted on the wall of a snowcovered street…." view view view view 45 78 143 49
1976 November Polka Dots "A young woman crouches in a crumbling interior... She is wearing a polka dotted dress, but the side zipper on the bodice is open and the bottom of her breast peeks out from under the hand that is tucked into her armpit. ... Directly above her head is a hole, registering on film as a black circle…." view view view view 103 168
1976–1977 Polka Dots #5 Woodman, wearing a polka-dotted dress, bends to her right, back to a wall. view view view view 47 52 102 34
1977 From Space2 series "…Her legs, arm and belly - which is all that we see of her - are naked. She seems to be emerging from the wall, tearing the flowered wallpaper into large, uneven pieces as she achieves embodiment." view view view view 33 55 61 109 10
1977 I could no longer play / I could not play by instinct "…Self-portrait shows her dressed in a black brocade gown opened to reveal one breast. The upper edge of the frame cuts off her head at the chin…. From her right hand dangles a small knife… and from a cut under the line of her breast emerges a strip of photo-booth self-portraits, spattered with real or simulated blood."(p. 17) view view view view 15 76 84 141 58
1977 Spring On being an angel "…She flings her arms back at the camera, so that her upturned breasts and open mouth, screaming in fright or celebration, -- present an image of the liberated psyche in flight."(p. 125) view view view view 49 79 82 125 38
1977 Spring On being an angel #1 At the upper part of a mostly-dark frame, Woodman looks straight at the viewer, but her topless body is seemingly tilted up behind her head, as though she were flying upward toward the camera. view view view view 77 83 124 39
Rome, 1977 September From Angel Series "In what looks like an attic in another old house, suspended white fabric looks like wings. Woodman jumps in front of the wings, dressed in a Victorian-style white petticoat with black tights. Her blurred body… picks up on the wing-like drapery of the hanging fabric and makes us imagine her flying away." view view view view 101 152
Rome, 1977 September From Angel Series "A gloved hand holds a delicate, diaphanous piece of white fabric and shakes it. Its blur indicates that were the arm to drop it, the fabric might defy gravity and fly." view view view view 40 78 100 153
Rome, 1977–1978 From Angel Series "…She stands, with only her parted bare legs showing, with her feet planted at the ends of two roughly dug trenches, which reflect the legs…." view view view view 43 103 159 75
Rome, 1977–1978 From Angel Series "Sloan appears as the artist’s doppelganger... as an angelic figure hanging from the doorway of a Roman palazzo" view view view view 27 174 212
Rome, 1977–1978 Yet another leaden sky "[She is] pressing herself against a wall, a maleficent silhouette… her face covered with a white circle, the floor ritually chequered, while a tortoise crawls forward in a corner."(p. 10) view view view view 20 147
Rome, 1977–1978 [untitled] "...She has flattened herself, nude, against a wall, with dirt on her legs, as if she has undergone resurrection" view view view view 20 57 113 154 69
Rome, 1977–1978 [untitled] On the left, a nude woman sits on the ground in a pensive pose with her back against a wall; around the corner to the right, a calla lily is propped against the wall. view view view view 21 65
Rome, 1977–1978 Eel Series "…Her curved naked torso is stretched across a black-and-white patterned floor, enveloping a white bowl with a shiny skinned eel tightly coiled inside. (Woodman printed at least two versions of this image, with her body on either side of the eel.)" view view view view 22 91 117 164, 165 94, 213
Antella, 1977–1978 [untitled] A woman stands among small trees with a white sheet covering all but the bottom of her skirt and her lower legs. view view view view 99 170 78
Rome, 1978 Self-Deceit #1 A nude woman on all fours turns a corner and looks at herself in a mirror in the middle of the frame. view view view view 13 63 105 156 90
Stanwood, Washington
1979 Summer [untitled] "Woodman shows herself and her friend wearing old dresses whose prints are analogous to the plants in the surrounding landscape." view view view view 41 150- 151 213
New York
1979–1980 [untitled] "Two fox furs are hanging next to each other. Behind the fox, in a corner of the room, the artist, naked, is reaching upward with her arms, her head slightly tilted to the left."(p. 19) view view view view 87 123 187 118
1979–1980 [untitled] "...A string of pearls around a naked woman's waist"(p. 19); the woman lies on a patterned cloth with her upper torso outside the frame to the right. view view view view 10 84 120 206 144
1979 [untitled] Two similar photographs "show the artist lying on a bench. A corset squeezes and disfigures her body. …tights [are] hanging from the wall."(p. 20) In one version, the head is at the left of the frame; in another version, the head at the right of the frame. view view view view 8, 9 86 183 119
1979 [untitled] "Woodman leans upon a chipped wall with her back facing the camera, exposing a skeletonlike pattern. …she puts on an old dress decorated with horizontal bands of a skeletal leaf pattern. … Her right hand holds a big fish skeleton against her bare back…." view view view view 38 61 129 194
1980 [untitled] "Sloan appears as the artist’s doppelganger… as a cascade of blond hair falling over the edge of a lion-footed bathtub." view view view view 52 139 199 132
MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, New Hampshire
1980 Summer [untitled] Nude woman on a rock with arms outstretched and head blurred. view view view view 36 141 223 106

Videos, 1975-1978

At RISD, Woodman borrowed a video camera
Video camera
A video camera is a camera used for electronic motion picture acquisition, initially developed by the television industry but now common in other applications as well. The earliest video cameras were those of John Logie Baird, based on the electromechanical Nipkow disk and used by the BBC in...

(p. 27) and created videotapes related to her photographs in which she "methodically whitewashes her own naked body, for instance, or compares her torso to images of classical statuary." Some of these videos were displayed at the Helsinki City Art Museum
Helsinki City Art Museum
Helsinki City Art Museum or Helsinki Art Museum is an art museum in Helsinki, Finland. It has exhibitions in two main locations: Meilahti Art Museum in Meilahti, near Tamminiemi, and the Tennis Palace Art Museum near the city centre. The museum also manages the Kluuvi Gallery.-External Links:***...

 in Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 and the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York in 2004; the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation in Miami in 2005;; the Tate Modern
Tate Modern
Tate Modern is a modern art gallery located in London, England. It is Britain's national gallery of international modern art and forms part of the Tate group . It is the most-visited modern art gallery in the world, with around 4.7 million visitors per year...

 in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in 2007-2008;; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a modern art museum located in San Francisco, California. A nonprofit organization, SFMOMA holds an internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary art and was the first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to 20th century art...

 in 2011 (in an exhibition which will travel to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is a well-known museum located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States. It is the permanent home to a renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art and also features special exhibitions...

 in 2012). In the 2011-2012 exhibitions, the selected video works, each 23 seconds to 3 minutes 15 seconds in length, were entitled "'Francesca' x 2," "Sculpture," "Corner," "Trace," and "Mask."

Some Disordered Interior Geometries (1981 book)

Woodman created a number of artist's books, such as Portrait of a Reputation, Quaderno dei Dettati e dei Temi (Notebook of Dictations and Compositions), and Angels, Calendar Notebook; however, the only artist's book containing Woodman's photographs that was published during her lifetime was Some Disordered Interior Geometries. Released in January 1981 shortly before Woodman's death, it is 24 pages in length and is based upon selected pages from an Italian geometry exercise book. On the pages, Woodman had attached 16 photographs and had added handwriting and white correction fluid
Correction fluid
A correction fluid is an opaque, white fluid applied to paper to mask errors in text. Once dried, it can be written over. It is typically packaged in small bottles, and the lid has an attached brush which dips into the bottle...

. A study of the book notes that Woodman occasionally re-drew a form "for emphasis or delight." A reproduction of the book's original spreads shows purple-pink covers, pages which vary slightly in color, and traces of pink on several pages. Although the published version of the book has purple-pink covers, the interior pages are printed using only black, white, and shades of gray.

In 1999, a critic was of the opinion that Some Disordered Interior Geometries was "a distinctively bizarre book… a seemingly deranged miasma of mathematical formulae, photographs of herself and scrawled, snaking, handwritten notes." An acquaintance of Woodman wrote in 2000 that it "was a very peculiar little book indeed," with "a strangely ironic distance between the soft intimacy of the bodies in the photographs and the angularity of the geometric rules that covered the pages." A 2006 essay described the book as "a three-way game that plays the text and illustrations for an introduction to Euclid against Woodman's own text and diagrams, as well as the 'geometry' of her formal compositions," while a 2008 article found the book "poetic and humorous, analytical and reflexive." A 2010 article on Woodman called the book "original and enigmatic," and a 2010 review stated of the book that "we are the richer for it."

The book is rare; of the 12 libraries in the Online Computer Library Center database that own the book and that have online catalogs showing the book, all hold the book in special collections
Special collections
In library science, special collections is the name applied to a specific repository or department, usually within a library, which stores materials of a "special" nature, including rare books, archives, and collected manuscripts...

 or similar locations.

Exhibitions and books

Woodman had only a few exhibitions during her life, some of which have been described as "exhibitions in alternative spaces in New York and Rome." There were no known group or solo exhibitions of her work between 1981 and 1985, but numerous exhibitions each year since then. Among her major traveling solo exhibitions were:
  • 1986-1988: Francesca Woodman, photographic work. Traveled to Hunter College
    Hunter College
    Hunter College, established in 1870, is a public university and one of the constituent colleges of the City University of New York, located on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Hunter grants undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees in more than one hundred fields of study, and is recognized...

     Art Gallery, New York, NY; Wellesley College Museum, Wellesley, MA; University of Colorado Fine Arts Gallery, Boulder, CO; UCI Fine Arts Gallery, University of California, Irvine
    University of California, Irvine
    The University of California, Irvine , founded in 1965, is one of the ten campuses of the University of California, located in Irvine, California, USA...

    , CA; and Krannet Art Museum, Champaign, IL.

  • 1992-1993: Francesca Woodman, photographische arbeiten (photographic works). Traveled to Shedhalle, Zürich, Switzerland; Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Germany; Kulturhuset
    Opened in 1974, Kulturhuset is a cultural centre to the south of Sergels Torg in central Stockholm. It is a controversial symbol for Stockholm and the growth of modernism in Sweden...

    , Stockholm, Sweden; Suomen Valokuvataiteen Museo SÄÄTIÖ, Helsinki, Finland; DAAD Galerie, Berlin, Germany; and Galleri F15 Alby, Moss, Norway.

  • 1998-2002: Francesca Woodman. Traveled to Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, France; Kunsthal, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Belém Cultural Center, Lisbon, Portugal; The Photographers' Gallery, London, United Kingdom; Centro Cultural TeclaSala, L'Hospitalet, Barcelona, Spain; Carla Sozzani Gallery, Milan, Italy; The Douglas Hyde Gallery
    Douglas Hyde Gallery
    The Douglas Hyde Gallery is a publicly-funded contemporary art gallery situated within the historical setting of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.When the Gallery opened in 1978, it was for a number of years Ireland's only public gallery of contemporary art...

    , Dublin, Ireland; and PhotoEspana, Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid, Spain.

  • 2009–2010: Francesca Woodman. Traveled to Espacio AV, Murcia, Spain; sms contemporanea, Siena, Italy; and Palazzo della Ragione, Milan, Italy.

  • 2011–2012: Francesca Woodman. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY.

Besides catalogues of the aforementioned traveling solo exhibitions and catalogues of solo exhibitions that did not travel, notable books by and about Woodman include:
  • A monograph published in 2006 by Phaidon Press
    Phaidon Press
    Phaidon Press is a British publisher of books on the visual arts, including art, architecture, photography, and design worldwide.As of 2009, Phaidon's headquarters are in London, UK, though they were in Oxford for many years, with offices in New York City, Paris, Berlin, Milan, and Tokyo...

  • A 2010 book examining the relevance of Woodman's photography as a way of understanding Kant's theory of the sublime.
  • Francesca Woodman's Notebook, which was released in 2011. It contains a facsimile of an Italian school exercise book to which Woodman added photographs, as well as an afterword by Woodman's father.

The films The Fancy and The Woodmans

In 2000 an experimental video The Fancy, by Elisabeth Subrin
Elisabeth Subrin
Elisabeth Subrin is a Brooklyn-based film and video artist and curator.-Biography:In 1990 she received a B.F.A. in film from Massachusetts College of Art. She then received an M.F.A. in video from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995, where she stayed to teach in the First Year...

, examined Woodman's life and work, "pos[ing] questions about biographical form, history and fantasy, female subjectivity, and issues of authorship and intellectual property." Reviewers noted that the video juxtaposes "formalism, biography, and psychoanalysis" and "hints at conspiracy, calling attention to the Woodman family's unwillingness to make the bulk of her body of photography available…."

A feature length documentary The Woodmans, directed by C. Scott Willis
Scott Willis
Scott Willis is an American Television News Producer who has worked overseas as well as in the United States. He is best known for working on Nightline during the height of the program's success, and has had over thirty years News experience....

, was released theatrically by Lorber Films in 2010. The director "had unrestricted access to all of Francesca’s photographs, private diaries, and experimental videos" Although the film won "Best New York Documentary" at the Tribeca Film Festival
Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival is a film festival founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff in a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the consequent loss of vitality in the TriBeCa neighborhood in Lower Manhattan.The mission of the festival...

, Woodman's parents decided not to attend the premiere
A premiere is generally "a first performance". This can refer to plays, films, television programs, operas, symphonies, ballets and so on. Premieres for theatrical, musical and other cultural presentations can become extravagant affairs, attracting large numbers of socialites and much media...

. Reactions to the film have been mixed; for example, on Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

 94% of 17 critics' reviews were positive, but only 64% of 648 user ratings were positive. One reviewer wrote that it is "a wrenching portrait of a husband and wife coping with the bewilderment and grief of missing their child and trying to find solace in the disciplined routine of making art" but that it provides "less than convincing" evidence for the quality of Woodman's photographs. It is scheduled for broadcast on the PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 series Independent Lens
Independent Lens
Airing weekly on PBS through ITVS, the Emmy Award-winning series Independent Lens introduces new drama and documentary films made by independent filmmakers. Past seasons of Independent Lens have been presented by hosts Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle, Susan Sarandon, Edie Falco, Terrence Howard, Maggie...

on December 22, 2011.

Popular opinion

Public opinion has generally been favorable towards Woodman's work. At the 1998 exhibition in Paris, many people had "strong reactions" to her "interesting" photographs. A number of people have found Woodman's individual photos (for example "Self-portrait at 13") or her photography in general inspirational.


Among other factors, critics and historians have written that Woodman was influenced by the following literary genre, myth, artistic movement, and photographers:
  • Gothic fiction
    Gothic fiction
    Gothic fiction, sometimes referred to as Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. Gothicism's origin is attributed to English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, subtitled "A Gothic Story"...

    . She is reported to have identified with Victorian heroines.(pp. 20–27)
  • The myth of Apollo and Daphne
    Apollo and Daphne
    Apollo and Daphne is a story from ancient Greek mythology, retold by Hellenistic and Roman authors in the form of an amorous vignette;The curse of Apollo, the god of the sun and music, was brought onto him when he insulted the young Eros Apollo and Daphne is a story from ancient Greek mythology,...

    , as evidenced by photographs in which Woodman is entangled in tree roots or wears birch
    Birch is a tree or shrub of the genus Betula , in the family Betulaceae, closely related to the beech/oak family, Fagaceae. The Betula genus contains 30–60 known taxa...

     bark on her arms.
  • Surrealism
    Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

    .(p. 19) For example, Woodman "followed the movement's tradition of not explaining work" and demonstrated a "desire to crack the code of appearances."(p. 18)
  • Man Ray
    Man Ray
    Man Ray , born Emmanuel Radnitzky, was an American artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. Perhaps best described simply as a modernist, he was a significant contributor to both the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal...

     (e.g., a series of his photographs of Meret Oppenheim
    Méret Oppenheim
    -External links:****

    , and his surrealist works).
  • Duane Michals
    Duane Michals
    Duane Michals is an American photographer. Michals' work makes innovative use of photo-sequences, often incorporating text to examine emotion and philosophy.-Education and career:...

    .(p. 54) Woodman's and Michal's work share features such as blurring, angels, and handwriting in common.(pp. 29–30)
  • Deborah Turbeville.(pp. 30–31,39-40) Woodman had "admired" Turbeville's work,(p. 155) and had compiled an artist's book for Turbeville which contained a written request for the older photographer to telephone her.(p. 184)

Further reading

  • Sundell, Margaret. "Vanishing Points: The Photography of Francesca Woodman." In:
  • Mellby, Julie. "Francesca Woodman." In: Pages 1703-1705.
  • Armstrong, Carol, "Francesca Woodman: A Ghost in the House of the 'Woman Artist'." In:

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.