Francesca Woodman, ‘Untitled Providence Rhode Island’, Pink Palais

Given that her complete catalogue is composed almost entirely of work she produced as a student, the posthumous critical esteem for American photographer Francesca Woodman is astonishing. Unlike music or math, where precocious displays of talent are not uncommon, photography tends not to have prodigies. Woodman, who committed suicide in 1981 at age 22, is considered a rare exception. That she has achieved such status is all the more remarkable considering only a quarter of the approximately 800 images she produced—many of them self-portraits—have ever been seen by the public.
Taken between 1972 and 1981, Woodman’s photographs are almost all black-and-white and have a general softness of focus not often seen these days. They depict a world almost identical to the one captured by earlier generations of photographers, as if Woodman’s camera were a filter through which the neon clutter of contemporary life could not pass.

About Francesca Woodman

At age thirteen, photographer Francesca Woodman took her first self-portrait. From then on, until her untimely death in 1981 at age 22, she produced over 800 images. The photographs, recognized for their unique vision and range of innovative techniques, have been the subject of extensive critical study. Situated alongside 1970s contemporaries such as Ana Mendieta and Hannah Wilke, Woodman’s images, self-portraits and explorations of the female body, foreshadow the work of such artists as Cindy Sherman, Sarah Lucas, Nan Goldin, and Karen Finley.

American, 1958-1981, Denver, Colorado, based in New York, New York