|Francesca Woodman: House #3, Providence, RI 1976|
I've generally been disappointed by the shows we've seen there in the past, but I wanted to catch a new exhibit of pre-Columbian mexican art so we took a chance. We had forgotten that there was also an exhibit of female surrealist artwork still up that friends had recommended as a cut above. Turns out that they were right!
The show is called In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States. It includes many of the works you might expect by artists like Frida Khalo (wonderful to see in person) and Kay Sage, as well as a lot of work that was new to me. Dorothea Tanning, for instance, was a name I had heard but whose work I was quite unfamiliar with. If you don't know who she is, do yourself a favor and find out.
And then there was Francesca Woodman's photographs. I had never even heard of Woodman before, but I found her work so intriguing that I had to find out more. Turns out that she died so young (at the age of 22) that her body of work is quite small. Only a quarter of it has ever been available to the public.
|Francesca Woodman: From Angel Series, Rome, 1977-1978|
|Francesca Woodman: Untitled, Providence, RI 1975-1976|
Almost all of her pieces are petite, just 8x10 inches or smaller, inviting close examination. The ghostly imagery is irresistible. It's sad to think that she could have still been working today, as she would have only been in her early 50s by now. But I'm glad that she left behind as many images as she did, and I'm glad that Gabriel and I spent some of a sunny LA day in a hushed museum, discovering new things.