Francesca Woodman: Italian Works
Sep 15 – Dec 15, 2018

Francesca Woodman

Victoria Miro Gallery is proud to announce an exhibition of works made in Italy by the celebrated photographer Francesca Woodman (1958–1981), including examples from the Eel Series, created in Venice in 1978.

Born and raised in the United States, Francesca Woodman considered Italy her second home. She lived in Florence for a year as a child, attending second grade at a public school there, and spent her adolescent summers in Antella, Tuscany, where her parents purchased a farmhouse when the artist was 11 years old. Shortly after this, at the age of 13, Woodman created her first self portrait, and the genesis of her work until her death in 1981, aged just 22, is intrinsically linked to Italian art and culture.

 

Francesca Woodman

Francesca Woodman

This exhibition is comprised of Italian images, including those Woodman made in 1977 and 1978, during the year she spent in Rome at the Rhode Island School of Design’s European Honors program. This year proved pivotal to her artistic development, and the works from this period emphasize the integral influence of Italian art and culture on her aesthetic vision. One of the key influences of Italian art on Woodman’s work was in her precise use of composition, which became more sophisticated during her time in Rome. She explored perspective and consciously used formal strategies learnt from her study of Florentine masters, particularly Giotto and Piero della Francesca, and classical sculpture.

 

Francesca Woodman

Francesca Woodman

In addition to immersing herself in the study of historic painting and sculpture in Rome, Woodman made strong connections with Italian artists her own age. She became friends with Giuseppe Gallo and Enrico Luzzi, and through them discovered the Pastificio Cerere, an abandoned pasta factory transformed into an art space that housed the studios of artists who became known as the ‘San Lorenzo Group’. It was in the cavernous spaces of the Cerere that she made some of her most iconic images. She also befriended the young painter Sabina Mirri, who became one of her favorite models.

 

Francesca Woodman

Francesca Woodman

Also crucial to her development in Rome was Woodman’s association with the Maldoror bookstore in Via di Parione, which specialized in avant garde literature of the twentieth century as well as more obscure books on subjects including the fantastical and the grotesque. Woodman spent hours in the shop, learning more about early twentieth-century artistic and literary movements. Her first Italian solo exhibition took place in the bookshop’s basement gallery space.

 

Francesca Woodman

Francesca Woodman

The exhibition will explore Woodman’s fusion of Italian classicism with aspects of narrative and performance. In Italy Woodman extended her development of classical subject matter, predominantly the female nude and tropes of still life and classical composition. At the same time she was enhancing and extending her use of narrative and performative strategies. This is evident in her use of series of images, crucially in Self-deceit, 1978, which features scenarios where Woodman refers to classical and surrealist sculptural poses using her own naked body and a single prop, a rough-edged piece of mirrored glass. Further important series Woodman worked on during this time include the Angel series, which she commenced in Providence but extended in works made in the Cerere, and Eel Series, 1978, likely created in Venice on one of her frequent visits to the city.

Bringing these diverse works to Venice for the first time reveals the ways in which Italy and its culture underscored the development of an artist whose work has garnered exceptional public and critical interest in the 37 years since her untimely death.

 

Francesca Woodman: Italian Works
September 15 – December 15, 2018 / Victoria Miro Gallery
Please visit the exhibition page >

ARS22 / Living Encounters
Apr 8 – Oct 16, 2022
Art has the power to investigate society and present alternative interpretations of our shared world. The featured works raise...
+
Charging Myths / On-Trade-Off
Mar 6 – Aug 21, 2022
How is technological innovation dependent on raw materials? This question is key in the exhibit tracing the origins of...
+
Circulation(s) / 12th edition
European Young Photography Festival
Circulation(s) is back with a program that reveals the vitality, creativity, and diversity of emerging photography. For two months,...
+
Ukraine: Updates from Magnum
Photographers in the Field
Magnum Photographers are on the ground in Ukraine documenting the Russian invasion and its impact on life in the...
+
The Last Humans
Alienation in the Anthropocene
We have fundamentally altered the earth's ecosystem by disrupting the natural rhythm of our planet and in doing so...
+
International Women’s Day / 2022
Artpil / Prescription .127
More terrible is love in Kyiv than magnificent Venetian passions. Butterflies fly light and maculate into bright tapers –...
+
Bayil – Behind The Hills
Bayil, Baku / Ongoing Project
On the horizon of the district between old, handmade fences and the sky, you can see the newly built...
+
Southern Rites / Gillian Laub
Various engagements / 2020–2023
This small town symbolized the archetype of pastoral American life. Yet this idyllic place was also held hostage by...
+
ARS22 / Living Encounters
Apr 8 – Oct 16, 2022
Art has the power to investigate society and present alternative interpretations of our shared world. The featured works raise...
+
Charging Myths / On-Trade-Off
Mar 6 – Aug 21, 2022
How is technological innovation dependent on raw materials? This question is key in the exhibit tracing the origins of...
+
Circulation(s) / 12th edition
European Young Photography Festival
Circulation(s) is back with a program that reveals the vitality, creativity, and diversity of emerging photography. For two months,...
+
Ukraine: Updates from Magnum
Photographers in the Field
Magnum Photographers are on the ground in Ukraine documenting the Russian invasion and its impact on life in the...
+
The Last Humans
Alienation in the Anthropocene
We have fundamentally altered the earth's ecosystem by disrupting the natural rhythm of our planet and in doing so...
+
International Women’s Day / 2022
Artpil / Prescription .127
More terrible is love in Kyiv than magnificent Venetian passions. Butterflies fly light and maculate into bright tapers –...
+
Bayil – Behind The Hills
Bayil, Baku / Ongoing Project
On the horizon of the district between old, handmade fences and the sky, you can see the newly built...
+
Southern Rites / Gillian Laub
Various engagements / 2020–2023
This small town symbolized the archetype of pastoral American life. Yet this idyllic place was also held hostage by...
+