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On the verge of disappearing: Francesca Woodman’s self-portraits

FN is often coming back to the work of Francesca Woodman.  She was an American photographer best known for her black and white pictures featuring herself and female models. Many of her photographs show young women who are nude, blurred (due to movement and long exposure times), merging with their surroundings, or whose faces are obscured. Her work continues to be the subject of much critical acclaim and attention, years after she committed suicide at the age of 22. FN also really likes her video work – but it’s hard to find places to view it. There’s this one film on youtube – a work I remember seeing at the 4th Berlin Biennial, the year it was curated by The Wrong Gallery trio: Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick.

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 (5.7 by 5.7 cm) square negatives. Woodman created at least 10,000 negatives, which her parents now keep. Woodman’s estate, which is managed by Woodman’s parents and represented by the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York, consists of over 800 prints, of which only around 120 images had been published or exhibited as of 2006. Most of Woodman’s prints are 8 by 10 inches (20 by 25 cm) or smaller, creating an intimate experience between artist and viewer. Many of Woodman’s images are untitled and are known only by a location and date.

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Providence, Rhode Island, 1976 1976 by Francesca Woodman 1958-1981

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Guardian article reviewing her exhibition at Victoria Miro Gallery, London, 2010

Victoria Miro Gallery

Telegraph review of Victoria Miro Gallery exhibition

Guggenheim New York exhibition

Marian Goodman, who represents the estate

A frank conversation with her parents in The Art Newspaper

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