Through the Lens of: Francesca Woodman

One way to understand Francesca Woodman’s work is through the words of another photographer, Cindy Sherman, who could have easily been her peer in 1980s New York City—if the two had ever met.

“We were both in New York at the exact same time, living in the same neighborhood, close in age and circumnavigating the same art world,” Sherman once said. “Both expressing ourselves through photographing ourselves. Yet we never met or knew of one another.”

“She had few boundaries and made art out of nothing: empty rooms with peeling wallpaper and just her figure. No elaborate stage set-up or lights,” Sherman continued. “Her process struck me more the way a painter works, making do with what’s right in front of her, rather than photographers like myself who need time to plan out what they’re going to do.”

Explore Self as Subject, Gender Politics, and Staged Photography, three categories into which both artists can be found; and watch the video of Woodman accompanied by the film still on Artsy.

Share article