This exhibition presents an early episode in the artistic life of American artist Francesca Woodman (1958-81). Featuring over 40 unique, vintage prints, as well as notes, letters, postcards, and other ephemera related to the artist’s burgeoning career, this exhibition details Woodman’s creative coming-of-age primarily during the years 1975-79. Introducing this material for the first time, the exhibition is drawn from the personal collection of George Lange, a long-time friend and classmate of Woodman’s at Rhode Island School of Design.
Francesca Woodman: Portrait of a Reputation details how the artist came into her creative voice and her singular approach to photography at a notably young age. This exhibition demonstrates Woodman’s virtuosity in formation—the creative impulses that yielded a distinctive voice, and also a more nuanced understanding of the context in which she worked and which is featured so prominently in her photographs from this time. Ranging from portraits in her studio/apartment in college to self-portraits in the bucolic Colorado landscape in which she was raised, these works capture Woodman’s hallmark approach to art-making: enigmatic, rigorous, and poignant, all at once. The exhibition will also include select photographs of Woodman made by George Lange during this period. Taken together, Francesca Woodman: Portrait of a Reputation will offer a nuanced and in-depth study of this formative period in the development of this most adept artist.
Nora Burnett Abrams, Mark G. Falcone Director at MCA Denver. The accompanying publication, co-published with Rizzoli, features essays by Abrams and Drew Sawyer, curator of photographs at the Brooklyn Museum of Art
On view from
This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Fries Exhibition Fund. Additional support is provided by The David and Laura Merage Foundation. The museum also thanks The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation for its support. MCA Denver thanks the citizens of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.
WRITTEN BY NORA BURNETT ABRAMS AND DREW SAWYER, INTRODUCTION BY GEORGE LANGE
Never-before-published work by an iconic woman artist from the very start of her career.
Francesca Woodman took her first photograph at the age of thirteen. From the time she was a teenager until her death at twenty-two, she produced a fascinating body of work exploring gender, representation, and sexuality by photographing her own body and those of her friends. Featuring approximately forty unique vintage prints, as well as notes, letters, postcards, and other ephemera related to the artist's burgeoning career, the volume, which accompanies an exhibition of the same name at MCA Denver, details both Woodman's creative and personal coming-of-age during the years 1975-1979.
Francesca Woodman: Portrait of a Reputation considers how the artist came into her creative voice and her singular approach to photography at a notably young age. Ranging from portraits in her studio/apartment in college to self-portraits in the bucolic Colorado landscape in which she was raised, these works capture Woodman's hallmark approach to art making: enigmatic, rigorous, and poignant. The volume also includes select photographs of Woodman taken by friend and RISD classmate George Lange during this period. Taken together, they present a nuanced and in-depth study of this formative period in the development of this groundbreaking artist.