About this artwork
Woodman has photographed herself at the very edge of the composition, emerging like a spirit from a shaft of light. The hanging clothes echo her body, seeming to hover with a life of their own. Alone and naked, Woodman appears vulnerable, underlined by the small and intimate format of the photograph. Her photographs explore issues of gender and self, looking at the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings. She usually puts herself in the frame, although these are not conventional self-portraits, since she is either partially hidden, or concealed by slow exposures that blur her moving figure into a surreal, ghostly presence. Woodman uses a mirror as a prop – it becomes a symbol of artistic self-reflexivity, reflecting the ‘eye’ of the camera back upon itself.
- title: Untitled
- accession number: AR00359
- artist: Francesca WoodmanAmerican (1958 - 1981)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Photograph
- subject: Self-portrait
- medium: Gelatine silver print
- date created: 1975-1980
- measurements: 10.90 x 10.90 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.