1 / 7       Francesca Woodman, Untitled, New York (N.313), 1979-1980. Vintage gelatin silver print. Image: 6 1/8x9in. (15.6x22.9cm); Paper: 8x9 7/8in. (20.3x25.1cm). Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery/New York.

2 / 7       Francesca Woodman, Untitled, New York (N.407), 1979 Vintage Color Print. Image: 3 5/16x3 7/16in. (8,4x8,7cm); Paper: 3 5/16x3 7/16in. (8,4x8,7cm). Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery/New York.

3 / 7       Francesca Woodman, Untitled, New York (NF.466), 1979-1980. Vintage color print. Image: 6 1/2x6 1/2in. (16,5x16,5cm). Paper: 10x8in. (25,4x20,3cm). Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery/New York.

4 / 7       Francesca Woodman, I'm trying my hand at fashion photography, Providence, Rhode Island (P.076.5), 1977. Vintage gelatin silver print on two-sided postcard. Image: 4 11/16x4 15/16in. (11,9x12,5cm); Paper: 8x10 15/16in. (20,3x27,8cm). Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery/New York.

5 / 7       Francesca Woodman, Untitled, New York (NF.401B), 1979-1980. Vintage gelatin silver print. Image: 4 5/8x4 7/8in. (11.7x12.4cm); Paper: 6 7/8x5 1/2in. (17.5x14cm). Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery/New York.

6 / 7       Francesca Woodman, Untitled, New York (NF.408), 1979-1980. Vintage gelatin silver print. Image: 5 7/8x8 15/16 in. (15x22.7cm); Paper: 8x9 7/8 in. (20.3x25.1cm). Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery/New York.

7 / 7       Francesca Woodman, Untitled, New York (NF/I.166.1), 1979-1980. Vintage gelatin silver print. Image: 2 13/16x4 1/8in. (7.1x10.5cm); Paper: 8x9 7/8in. (20.3x25.1cm). Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery/New York.

Francesca Woodman and fashion

Francesca Woodman: I’m trying my hand at fashion photography is the fourth solo exhibition in the New York Marian Goodman Gallery dedicated to Francesca Woodman’s vintage photographs, following our inaugural exhibition in 2004 and sequels in 2008 and 2012.
The exhibition is focused on a selection of approximately thirty works following the successful survey exhibitions held at the Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, and Guggenheim Museum, New York, and will be on view until March 13th, 2015.
This group of pictures is dedicated to Woodman’s fashion photographs which she pursued and developed in the later years of her life, between 1978 and 1980 primarily while living and working in New York City. Most are shown here for the first time. The works form a finite chapter within Woodman’s oeuvre when she was continuing to explore the female subject both through self-representation and the positioning of models within the image, but with an eye toward the commercial realm.
Francesca Woodman’s fashion photographs had many precursors during her formative years in Colorado, Italy, Providence, and New York City and antecedents can be found not only in her images, but also in her working notebooks, drawings, and artist’s books. As Alison Gingeras writes, «fashion had become a vital tool for both Woodman’s emerging artistic practice as well as for her self-definition. More than just providing props, fashion was a creative catalyst in her life and in her image making. From an early age, she had a conceptual understanding of fashion as a powerful signifier and performative tool.»
Early inspirations for this body of work, as noted by scholars, included Surrealist traditions as well as Gothic proclivities that had previously infused her work. However the fashion pictures also suggest the influence of such photographers as Deborah Turbeville, who was aptly navigating a balance between commercial and critical success with her melancholic, narrative images, and Guy Bourdin, whose fetishized female subjects may have been objects of Woodman’s fascination. «Mirroring the paradigms pioneered by the triumvirate of fashion photographers that ruled the pages of Vogue in the late 1970s – Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and Deborah Turbeville – Woodman’s approach to the genre shunned the simple foregrounding of clothes and accessories. Emulating this Seventies fashion editorial archetype, Woodman’s images were deliberately constructed to entice the viewer into consuming a complex story rather than the products that might be featured in the pictorial.» (Alison Gingeras, Francesca Woodman: Another Almost Square, A Fashion Photograph, New York: Marian Goodman Gallery, 2015).
A new catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition, with an essay by curator and writer Alison Gingeras titled Francesca Woodman: Another Almost Square, A Fashion Photograph, examines the images, their circumstances and influences. The text, devoted to this group of photographs largely unknown to the public, considers the fashion pictures within historical and biographical contexts, and offers a new perspective on Woodman’s widely respected body of work.

Francesca Woodman: I’m trying my hand at fashion photography
Marian Goodman Gallery, 24 West 57th Street New York, NY 10019 USA
February 12 – March 13, 2015

opening times: from Monday to Saturday, 10 am - 6 pm
admission: free
info: +1 212 9777160
goodman@mariangoodman.com
www.mariangoodman.com

published on 2015-02-28 in NEWS / EXHIBITIONS

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