Francesca Woodman

I recently went to the Francesca Woodman exhibit at SF MOMA. So much work in such a short span of time! I feel like I could write (or at least think about writing) essays upon essays about her work.
I love this photograph!
It's both a contemplation of anatomical structure as well as a celebration of texture and pattern, and because it also brings to mind the fact that seemingly disparate elements can speak the same language. The rebar interior of a wall's structure references the sea life fossil or leaf remains being held, which in turn refers to her own spine. The dress with it's printed pattern of leaf fronds recalls the skeletal structure of what her hand is holding (next to her spine).
All parts of the image are ruminations on the internal structure of beings/objects, the vertebrae and bones, the things that keep us upright, moving, and protected. This image makes me reflect upon the usefulness of rigidity, such as holding a wall intact, but also the way that a skeleton (made up of rigid parts) if organized well should and can move with grace, sway, and flexibility. Strength and suppleness go hand in hand.
The exhibit at SF MOMA ended a few weeks ago, but you can check out more of Francesca Woodman's work and bio via the Marian Goodman Gallery.

Tiersa NureyevComment