artist / participant

press release

Francesca Woodman was, despite her short life, quite a remarkably influential and important photographic artist. Without her ground-breaking work there would not have been a Cindy Sherman, a Sam Taylor-Wood, a Sophie Calle, or a Tracey Emin.

Appearing in most of her photographs, her work concentrated mainly on her own body and her surroundings, and at times the two would seem to merge into one. Woodman often used long-term and double exposure so that she could actively participate in the film's image.

Brought up in a family of artists, Francesca Woodman (born in 1958 in Denver, Colorado) took an interest in photography from a very early age and was only thirteen when her first works were made. She soon adopted black and white photography, choosing the 2 inch square format.

As a student at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence between 1975 and 1979, she was accepted into the Honors Program which enabled her to spend a year at the school’s campus in the sumptuous Palazzo Cenci in Rome.

During that year (1977-78), Francesca frequented the Maldoror bookshop-gallery, which specialized in art books on Surrealism and Futurism. It was here that her first one-woman show was held. She also met the young generation of the Roman Trans-avantgarde.

After returning to the United States and completing her studies at Providence, Francesca Woodman moved to New York, where she embarked on more ambitious projects, making large blueprints on blue or brown paper as well as designing several books of her own photographs.

Some Disordered Interior Geometries, the only one of her books to be published in her lifetime, came out in January 1981. She took her life that same month jumping from her New York apartment at the age of 22 .- A. G. Lopez

The Museum of New Art is proud to present the exhibition Do I Still Exist If You Don't See Me? showcasing 30 of Woodman's photographs from October 20 through December 6.


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Francesca Woodman