Contact sheets, Francesca Woodman: "Francesca Woodman: Alternate Stories," Marian Goodman Gallery, New York
NOW ON VIEW “Francesca Woodman: Alternate Stories” at Marian Goodman Gallery through December 23rd.
Francesca Woodman’s contact sheets are revealing about her process, demonstrating ways that ideas took shape as she explored and realized them while printing. Each contact sheet has at least a half a dozen frames trying to work out what the right composition should be for a particular photograph. Here she experiments with a variety of compositions and poses, concerned with juxtaposing various patterns, fabrics and the body. Once Woodman made selections from a group of negatives, her work in the darkroom began. She almost never made a straight print, rather, as this contact sheet shows, she made a series of deliberate choices—exposing, cropping, dodging, burning—all to achieve her desired effect in the final print. “I feel that photographs can either document and record reality or they can offer images as an alternative to everyday life: Places for the viewer to dream in…” she wrote of her work.
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