Read the full review here
Thursday, 7 January 2016
Review of Francesca Woodman: On Being An Angel at Foam, Amsterdam
Francesca Woodman: On Being An Angel
18 December 2015 – 9 March 2016
The sad thing about Francesca Woodman’s work is that it cannot be reviewed without hindsight and reference to the photographer’s premature death at the age of 22, when she jumped from a building in East Side, New York. As with her contemporary, Ana Mendieta (1948-85), who died falling from a 34th floor apartment in Greenwich Village, critics and academics have sought to see her work as a premonition of what was to come, with the female subject – commonly Woodman herself – melting into the background, becoming indistinguishable from the wallpaper or crumbling stone of the derelict building, “anticipating her own disappearance”.1 Woodman’s photographs, like Mendieta’s, often depict a silhouette or trace, a blurred impression, a delicate and ghostly absence of the subject, suggesting a sense of has-been or might-have-been. Did the teenage girl foresee her untimely end?