Francesca Woodman

Space², Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-1978 (1975-1978)

About this artwork

Woodman’s identity is obscured by the sudden movement of her head, giving her a spectral appearance. This work forms part of a series called ‘Space2’, taken while studying at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island between 1975 and 1978. The series explores various ways of concealing or flattening her form, reminding the viewer that all photographs are distortions of reality. Woodman uses a prolonged exposure to create an ethereal, transcendental quality in the tradition of Surrealism. The photograph is not a self-portrait in the conventional sense, as it explores the possibilities of representation instead of revealing the artist’s identity.

  • title: Space², Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-1978
  • accession number: AR00350
  • artist: Francesca WoodmanAmerican (1958 - 1981)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • medium: Gelatine silver print
  • date created: 1975-1978
  • measurements: 14.00 x 14.00 cm (paper 25.20 x 20.20 cm) (framed: 45.80 x 40.20 x 2.00 cm)
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • copyright: © Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Francesca Woodman

Francesca Woodman

Francesca Woodman’s photographs explore issues of gender and the self, looking at the representation of the body, and more specifically at how her own body relates to the world and her surroundings. Born in Denver, Colorado, Woodman studied at Rhode Island School of Design from 1975 to 1978, spending the final year of her studies on an exchange programme in Rome. She had previously lived in Italy with her artist parents during her youth, and later lived in New York. Woodman was interested in Surrealism and Symbolism, particularly the work of Max Klinger. She began to take photographs from around the age of thirteen or fourteen until her suicide at the age of twenty-two. Despite her short career, she produced a significant and influential body of work.