‘I’m trying my hand at fashion photography’
“Her images offer our atrophied organs of perception occasion to exert themselves, forcing us to focus on the moment of their creation,” wrote Elizabeth Gumport of photographer Francesca Woodman, who committed suicide in 1981 at the age of twenty-two. “Woodman reveals the injuries that occur in the time it takes to produce a single picture: hair turns wispy, flesh fades and stretches into smoke. The longer her shutter stays open, the blurrier and more transparent bodies will appear, until at last they disappear.”
The Marian Goodman Gallery presents a selection of Woodman’s fashion photography, taken between 1978 and 1980. She had difficulty attracting work from fashion magazines and, of the thirty photographs in this exhibition, many are being shown for the first time. Influenced by many of the leading fashion photographers of the time—Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and Deborah Turbeville—Woodman’s pictures draw attention to the female subject and contain narratives, rather than emphasizing clothes or accessories.
In one photograph, with the title “This photograph is more fashion than that one,” a woman in a dark dress sits on a window sill, her dark angular frame contrasted against the inpouring light. In another, “Untitled, New York Fashion,” the torso of a woman in a sheer slip appears in the left foreground, while another woman in the background wears a long nightgown or silk dress. Both of their faces are partially concealed.
For more information, visit mariangoodman.com.
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