Photographer – Francesca Woodman

Born in 1956 in Denver, Colorado to George and Betty Woodman. Francesca was one of two children born into a very art focused family, George was a painter and teacher whilst Betty was a celebrated ceramicist. Before Francesca went off to boarding school she became interested in photography and received a camera from her father. That year would ignite an interest in photography  from well composed imagery to becoming more experimental as time went by. Francesca would go on to enrol at the Rhode Island School of Design, where it became clear that there was an intensity and passion in her photography that was considered by her teachers and peers ahead of its’ time. Francesca would go to spend time in Italy with the school before returning home and graduating from RISD in 1978. Francesca then went on to New York to pursue a career in Photography, where she would eventually become artist in residence at the McDowell Colony in 1980. Francesca died at the age of 22 leaving a considerable body of work which has since been managed by her family. Her work would eventually go on to receive critical acclaim and be viewed around the world through numerous exhibitions.

From “The Woodmans” Excerpt ‘On being and Angel’

When asked why she used herself in photos she replied “because she was always available”

In researching Woodmans work there appears to be a veneer of debate around the way her work is viewed in the context of here death. I find that there is a playfulness, excitement , enthusiasm and fearless experimentation in her work which again I was reminded of in one of the pieces of video work where a flour truck had tipped over and she had acquired some of the flour which was used in producing some of her work. Her excitement was evident over the effect it had produced. There are some clear influences from surrealism here, which is often associated with the work of Man Ray as well as some abstract exploration into geometry in some of her work.


You Tube, The Woodmans. [online]. Available at: [Accessed 12 August 2020]

Artnet, Francesca Woodman. [online]. Available at: [Accessed 12 August 2020]

Aesthetica, Francesca Woodman. [online]. Available at: [Accessed 12 August 2020], Man Ray. [online]. Available at: [Accessed 12 August 2020]

Wikipedia, Francesca Woodman. [online]. Available at: [Accessed 12 August 2020]



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