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 >

Art Will Set You Free
Conversation with Photographer Bill Phelps
As life was turning constantly during this past year, one of the things that constantly kept me looking, hoping...
+
Dalton Paula: Portraits
Jul 29 – Oct 30, 2022
Dalton Paula works in painting, drawing, video, performance and sculpture around Afro-Brazilian histories and experiences. This exhibition focus in...
+
ARTPIL / Prescription .130
The Summer's End
The summer's end is upon us, the respite from a life on pause rounded out. The pandemic in the...
+
Futurities, Uncertain / 2022 Cornell Biennial
Jul 13 – Dec 18, 2022
Inviting celebratory imaginations and enactments, the 2022 Cornell Biennial performs an artistic call and response to counter singular utopic...
+
Bernd & Hilla Becher
Jul 15 – Nov 6, 2022
Bernd & Hilla Becher changed the course of late 20th century photography. Working as a couple, they focused on...
+
Our 5th Year Anniversary
ARTPIL / Prescription .129
We are rounding out our fifth year with nearly 3 million visits strong. A very exciting journey it has...
+
Deana Lawson
Various / 2022–2023
This exhibition is the first museum survey dedicated to the work of Lawson, a singular voice in photography today...
+
Rencontres d’Arles 2022
Jul 4 – Sep 25, 2022
Artists who use the medium are there to remind us of what we want to neither hear nor see....
+
Art Will Set You Free
Conversation with Photographer Bill Phelps
As life was turning constantly during this past year, one of the things that constantly kept me looking, hoping...
+
Dalton Paula: Portraits
Jul 29 – Oct 30, 2022
Dalton Paula works in painting, drawing, video, performance and sculpture around Afro-Brazilian histories and experiences. This exhibition focus in...
+
ARTPIL / Prescription .130
The Summer's End
Pack up the beach bags and the picnic baskets. Count the votes. Back to school, return to work, live the new normal.
+
Futurities, Uncertain / 2022 Cornell Biennial
Jul 13 – Dec 18, 2022
Inviting celebratory imaginations and enactments, the 2022 Cornell Biennial performs an artistic call and response to counter singular utopic...
+
Bernd & Hilla Becher
Jul 15 – Nov 6, 2022
Bernd & Hilla Becher changed the course of late 20th century photography. Working as a couple, they focused on...
+
Our 5th Year Anniversary
ARTPIL / Prescription .129
We are rounding out our fifth year with nearly 3 million visits strong. A very exciting journey it has been, indeed.
+
Deana Lawson
Various / 2022–2023
This exhibition is the first museum survey dedicated to the work of Lawson, a singular voice in photography today...
+
Rencontres d’Arles 2022
Jul 4 – Sep 25, 2022
Artists who use the medium are there to remind us of what we want to neither hear nor see....
+