There is something about her photographs that balance mystery, beauty and texture in a way that no other artist has ever managed to achieve.
Francesca Woodman: I’m trying my hand at fashion photography, on view at Marian Goodman New York through March 12, 2015 is simply great. The curators let Francesca do the speaking, arranging the thirty small photographs in a simple line formation around the gallery space. The work is so subtle, it could be overlooked. But it mustn’t be.
Dedicated to Woodman’s fashion photographs, which were shot between 1978-1980, the exhibition reveals the photographer’s’ continual exploration of the female subject. The usual themes creep into the frame – flaking wallpaper, mirrors, patterned cloth and hair. But in these images you also see Woodman acknowledging the commercial world – the world of models and advertisement, fashion and style. In no way does she submit to their aesthetic, but she certainly tries out a few tropes herself. After all, image-making was what Francesca was all about.
The most remarkable grouping are a series of color photographs with light green and coral hues that include Woodman as her own subject. She manages to embed a series of geometries that beautifully frame the fleeting figure of the artist. With fashion as her point of reference, the photographer creates narratives out of stillness, triggered from clothes, hands, glances and poses. Whereas advertisements remain surface-level, Woodman’s photographs dive into something far, far deeper.
The show is a must-see.
Francesca Woodman: I’m trying my hand at fashion photography, is on view at Marian Goodman New York through March 12, 2015. More information here. All photographs courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery.