Francesca Woodman: photography exhibition
Francesca Woodman: photography exhibition

Today, Francesca Woodman is known among photography enthusiasts as the author of many unusual works in which shadows and sun glare are intricately intertwined, and the faces of models are often hidden by a mysterious veil. Experts consider her work original and talented.

Photos taken many years ago are exhibited today in many famous galleries. But, unfortunately, during her lifetime, Francesca could only dream of fame and recognition. She dreamed! But not all wishes are destined to come true in a timely manner.

Francesca Woodman

The path to the dream

Francesca Woodman (1958 – 1981) was born in Denver, Colorado, USA in a family of talented artists. Since childhood, she wanted to create, just not imagining a different fate for herself.

She became interested in photography at the age of 14. In 1975, she entered the Faculty of Design in Rhode Island, and a couple of years later she left to continue her studies in Italy. In Rome, Francesca quickly made acquaintances among artists and intellectuals, her knowledge of the language was very useful to her. Already in those years, she was working on creating a portfolio, which in the future should help her find a goodplace.

Losing streak

Francesca Woodman returned to the States in 1978 and settled in New York. However, youthful dreams were not destined to come true. Her work did not bring her success, not a single publication offered her to collaborate.

photo exhibition

For a long time, a young talented photo artist continued her search, but personal failures were added to her professional failures. The result was a deep depression.

The only photo exhibition

Francesca had only one opportunity to present her creations to the audience. It cannot be said that it was a real exhibition, rather a publication. The artist herself created a selection, which was published under the title "Some examples of disordered internal geometry." It happened in 1981, which turned out to be fatal for a young girl.


Many creative people are influenced by passions. A series of disappointments, both in professional and personal life, played a decisive role in the fate of a young talented photo artist. Francesca Woodman at some point realized that she could not cope with the difficulties that had piled on.

Francesca Woodman 1958 1981

She wanted recognition and fame, she wanted her favorite business to generate income that would allow her not to do boring, uninteresting work.

However, her work did not find a response in the hearts of harsh critics. On January 19, 1981, she stepped into the void from the attic of a high-rise building in Manhattan, in which she had previously rented housing, and death.

It was only after this that the art world really heard the name of Francesca Woodman. After the tragic death of a 22-year-old artist, her pictures finally got the attention they deserved.

The dream of a lifetime has finally come true. But Francesca herself never found out about the attention her prints and negatives attracted.

Francesca's legacy

While examining the apartment in which Woodman lived before her death, a huge amount of footage was discovered. Operatives found about 10 thousand negatives and a huge number of photographs.

According to experts, the work was really worthy of praise. Francesca shot in high and low key, playing with shadows and highlights. Among the pictures were a considerable number of self-portraits. Francesca lined up the lights and props and then posed herself.

Her work is very sincere. But it is impossible to unravel them completely. The faces of the models are often intentionally blurred or darkened, hidden under a veil of mystery. This incredible mixture of frankness and understatement is even more incredible when you consider the age of the girl. Looking at the pictures, one can rather imagine that they were taken by a person who has lived for many years and has experience.

francesca woodman

The photographs show that Francesca Woodman did not recognize templates. She found her own way, using props in the most bizarre way. Her work shows an unusual use of mirrors, windows and a wide variety of surfaces, with the help of which the main subject stands out andunderlined.

Long-awaited recognition

The first full-fledged exhibition of photographs of Francesca took place shortly after her death. Today, the artist's black and white surreal works can be seen in the most prestigious museums and galleries.

Her work can be seen at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Helsinki City Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum and many more.

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