I am not sure when or where my fascination with Francesca began... I know it must have been close to my grad school days at Wash U. My studio-mate Lila Hays had studied under Francesca's brother Charlie at OU and I am certain that we must have mused over her work quite frequently. Nonetheless my own personal work had long since unknowingly shown undertones of so many of the things that I had come to later find so effortlessly depicted in this fragile young woman's images. I am riveted any time that her work is present in a discussion and I cannot completely identify why. Frozen in time, her issues are like so many that young and creative individuals' psychic landscapes that remain unresolved. Hers was particularly due to the fact that she tragically removed herself from this world at a very early age. Every time I engross myself in her work I see it as if it was made just last week instead of 30 years ago... an undeniably admirable quality in a photograph... but at what cost?
Interestingly enough, I just saw that the show of her work, which I narrowly missed at SFMOMA this past spring, has traveled to the Guggenheim in NY until June 13. I am actually having fleeting thoughts of hopping on a plane with my best little gal and going just for the show, if that tells you anything about my minor obsession here... Hmmm, how can I get out of surgery to go to NY???
More on the topic...
Exposures(Aperture's blog) previewing the Guggenheim exhibition, Art in the 1970's: Through the lens of Francesca Woodman
Exposing the Body, Barring the Soul, an article from the NYTimes