Francesca Woodman: On Being an Angel, 05 Nov 2016 — 19 Mar 2017

Francesca Woodman: On Being an Angel

Francesca Woodman is considered one of the world’s foremost photographers, and her work has inspired generations of other artists. Now a comprehensive retrospective of her photographs is being shown in the Öresund region for the first time. In the exhibition at Moderna Museet Malmö, visitors will get a chance to discover and explore Woodman’s distinctive and captivating art.

Starting on November 5, the entire upper level of Moderna Museet Malmö is being devoted to the American photographer Francesca Woodman (1958–81). Exploring Woodman’s imagery is a challenge and an adventure, and her photographs address issues that still feel relevant today. The end of the 1970s and start of the 1980s, when Woodman was working as an artist, was a time of transition and many photographers who had been working in the traditional black-and-white idiom began experimenting with other methods. Woodman created a captivating and wide-ranging collection of photographic images—primarily portraits of herself and her friends—that explore issues of gender, representation, sexuality, and body. She often worked in alternative environments, and frequently we find props such as glass and mirrors in her pictures.

Growing up in a family of artists, Woodman began making photographs when she was 13 years old. When she died just nine years later, she left behind an extensive body of work, of which some 800 gelatin silver prints have been preserved.

“Francesca Woodman. On Being an Angel” presents about 100 of the artist’s photographs, from early student work to her later experiments with large-format diazotypes as well as a unique video piece. Woodman’s art is usually divided into five different periods: her early work, her years at the Rhode Island School of Design, in Italy, at MacDowell Colony, and finally in New York. The works included in the exhibition are a representative selection of most of the different series and thematic groups with which she worked, such as “Polka Dots” (1976), “From Angel Series” (1977), “Swan Song” (1978), “Charlie the Model” (1976–77), and her great “Caryatid (Study for a Temple Project)” (1980).

“Francesca Woodman. On Being an Angel” was first shown at Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 2015, and since then has been on tour to the FOAM Photography Museum in Amsterdam and the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris. The exhibition has been highly acclaimed by critics and the visiting public alike. It is accompanied by a catalogue that includes all of the photographs in the show, as well as essays by author Anna-Karin Palm, curator Anna Tellgren, and Francesca Woodman’s father, the artist George Woodman.

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