About this artwork
The bodies of the two naked women in this photograph are cropped and decentred; Woodman treats them with no more importance than the scattered objects that surround them. Here Woodman uses a mirror as a prop – it becomes a symbol of artistic self-reflexivity, reflecting the ‘eye’ of the camera back upon itself. Her photographs explore issues of gender and self, looking at the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings. They are not conventional portraits, since figures are either partially hidden or concealed by slow exposures that blur them into surreal, ghostly forms. This underlying fragility is emphasised by the small and intimate format of the photographs.
- title: Untitled
- accession number: AR00355
- artist: Francesca WoodmanAmerican (1958 - 1981)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Photograph
- medium: Gelatine silver print
- date created: 1975-1980
- measurements: 12.80 x 12.90 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
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.