INSPIRATION: FRANCESCA WOODMAN

We went to the private view of the Francesca Woodman exhibition this week; at the Victoria Miro‘s Mayfair location. We want to share some words and work that has truly inspired us for years, ever since a friend returned from seeing these works in San Francisco. What a pleasure to now see them in person.

"This exhibition considers the zigzag and other abstract geometrical forms as recurring visual themes in Woodman’s work. Woodman’s practice is often discussed in terms of its surreal and symbolic imagery, but her work was grounded in a sophisticated understanding of form. Her photography exemplified strong compositional motifs, and the repetitive, regular shape of the zigzag, with its strong lines and angles, was a form she used in images of disparate subjects.

Many of Woodman’s gelatin silver prints feature this strong, idiosyncratic abstract lineage, and she also extended her investigation of the serial geometrical form in her large-scale diazotype prints. The artist described one of these works in a letter to a friend in 1980: ‘It will be … a long string of images held together by a long compositional zigzag, thus the corner of a building in one frame fits into the elbow of a girl in the next frame into a book in the third frame, the images are both very personal mysterious ones and harsh images of outdoor city life. It is had to get the adjoining images to fit the rigorous structural scaffold’.

The last image shows this series and is one of the most beautiful. The pattern forms and consideration across all the images linking together are subtle, careful and hauntingly beautiful".

Francesca Woodman: An exhibition of beautiful coincidences, Victoria Miro Gallery (Mayfair), until 4th October.

Images courtesy of Victoria Miro Gallery.