© Courtesy George and Betty Woodman and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

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Francesca Woodman


Untitled, Providence, Rhode Island, 1976



Gelatin silver print
15 x 14.8 cm, Framed: 41.8 x 41.8 x 2 cm
Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

A series of photographs taken in Providence, Rhode Island in 1976 in which the persona of “Francesca”, the artist’s alter ego, as argued by Arthur C. Danto is shown as a central character in different mise-en-scènes. “I have given Francesca’s character the name ‘Francesca’ just to underscore the problem of sorting out what pertains to the artist and the young woman in the photographs. Let’s then say that there are four short pictorial novels—Francesca in Boulder, Francesca in Providence, Francesca in Rome, Francesca in New York.” (Arthur C. Danto)
But beyond the “symbolic enactments” of body in space(s), the Providence photographs seem to continue Francesca Woodman’s exploration of the “subjectivisation of objective enquiry” exemplified by the photographic artist book some disordered interior Geometries (SdiG). The work comprises a complex system of photographic and textual interventions to a ca. 1900 advanced geometry manual for Italian students entitled Esercizi Graduati di Geometria. It is “a three-way game that plays the text and illustrations for an introduction to Euclid against Woodman’s own text and diagrams, as well as the geometry of her formal compositions.” (Chris Townsend)


*1958 in Denver, Colorado, † 1981 in New York City