Untitled, Providence, Rhode Island, 1976

Photo: Courtesy Woodman Family Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Gelatin silver print (2008)
15 x 14.8 cm (unframed)
41.8 x 41.8 x 2 cm (framed)

Throughout her short yet prolific period of artistic production, ending at age twenty-two when she took her own life, Francesca Woodman continuously explored the genre of self-portraiture through photography. Exclusively shot in black and white film, her photographs wrestle with capturing the female body, oscillating between nudity and veiling, transparency and opacity, as well as stasis and movement. Woodman appears in most of her shots, at times in fragments, covered, refracted through mirrors or blurred due to movement and long exposures. Staged in often empty or semi-abandoned rooms, the body of the artist or of her female models mold into the spaces that frame them, often to the point of dissolution.

In Untitled, Providence, Rhode Island, the human figure disappears completely and is replaced by a dark wooden door leaning diagonally against the wall. Unhinged from its functional place, the door seems to be floating in midair and about to fall. Next to it, the opening in the wall shows a suite of rooms or corridors in the back. In a quasi-surreal manner, the composition points at what is out of sight. It takes the measure of the dimension that photography cannot visually capture but which, through composition, lighting, and tension, can evoke a movement and the transformation of bodies and objects.


Group show: Remedios
Venue: C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Córdoba  
Curator: Daniela Zyman
Exhibition 14 April 2023 -  March 2024

Born in Denver, Colorado, USA, in 1958. Died in New York, USA, in 1981.