Tuesday, 31 May 2011

FRANCESCA WOODMAN


Francesca Woodman (April 3, 1958 - January 19, 1981) was an American photographer best known for her black and white pictures featuring herself and female models. She spent the most part of her childhood in Italy in the Florentine countryside, where she lived in an old farm with her parents, who were also artists. The charm of the old house had a notable influence on Francesca’s research; the high-ceilinged rooms, the crumbling walls, the old decorations are all felt to be surfaces like ‘skins’ in which to cover oneself. Many of her photographs show young nude women, blurred by camera movement and long exposure times, merging with their surroundings, or with their faces obscured. Her work continues to be the subject of much attention, years after she committed suicide at the age of 22
Francesca Woodman was born April 3, 1958, in Denver, Colorado, to well-known artists George Woodman and Betty Woodman. Her older brother Charles later became an associate professor of electronic art.
Woodman attended public school in Boulder, Colorado, between 1963 and 1971 except for second grade in Italy. She began high school in 1972 at the private Massachusetts boarding school Abbot Academy, where she began to develop her photographic skills. Abbot Academy merged with Phillips Academy in 1973; Woodman graduated from the public Boulder High School in 1975. Through 1975, she spent summers with her family in Italy.
Beginning in 1975, Woodman attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island. She studied in Rome between 1977 and 1978 in an RISD honors program. As she spoke fluent Italian, she was able to befriend Italian intellectuals and artists.She went back to Rhode Island in late 1978 to graduate from RISD
Woodman moved to New York City in 1979. After spending the summer of 1979 in Stanwood, Washington, she returned to New York "to make a career in photography." She sent portfolios of her work to fashion photographers, but "her solicitations did not lead anywhere. In the summer of 1980 she was an artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
In late 1980 Woodman became depressed due to her work and to a broken relationship. On January 19, 1981, she committed suicide by jumping out a loft window in New York.[ An acquaintance wrote, "things had been bad, there had been therapy, things had gotten better, guard had been let down.

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