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L to R: Installation views, "Betty Woodman: Conversations on the Shore, Works from the 1990s," David Kordansky Gallery, New York, 2022. All images Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery. Photography: Phoebe d’Heurle.
Installation view, "Betty Woodman: Conversations on the Shore, Works from the 1990s," David Kordansky Gallery, New York, 2022. Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery. Photography: Phoebe d’Heurle.
CLOSING TOMORROW “Betty Woodman: Conversations on the Shore, Works from the 1990s," David Kordansky Gallery, New York, October 29-December 17, 2022

Of this group of works from the 1990s, many not seen for decades, Johanna Fateman wrote in her recent review in The New Yorker: “As with everything on view in this wonderful show, the installation is so gestural and so fluid that it’s easy to forget that the ecstatic whole is composed of brittle parts.”

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L to R: All artworks by Betty Woodman. “Balustrade Relief Vase 6-94,” 1994. 62 x 47 x 9 in / “Balustrade Relief Vase 97-01,” 1997. 72 x 53 x 8 3/4 in / “Balustrade Relief Vase 96-11,” 1996. 68 1/2 x 74 x 9 in / “Balustrade Relief Vase 96-2,” 1996. 68 x 73 x 10 in / “Balustrade Relief Vase 03-3,” 2003. 48 x 110 x 9 1/2 in / Installation view, "Betty Woodman,” Museo Marino Marini, Florence, Italy, 2015 / “Of Botticelli,” 2013. 10 1/2 ft x 32 ft x 3/4 in / “Wallpaper 16,” 2017. 112 x 209 x 1 in / "Wallpaper 19,” 2017. 65 x 59 in / “Outside and In,” 2017. 75 1/2 x 120 x 10 1/2 in. Images 1-9: All artworks glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, and paint / Image 10: Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, paint, canvas, and wood. Images 1-4: Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery. Photography: Phoebe d’Heurle.
Betty Woodman. “Balustrade Relief Vase 6-94,” 1994. 62 x 47 x 9 in. Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, and paint. Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery. Photography: Phoebe d’Heurle.
Betty Woodman's "Balustrade Relief Vases," 1990s: "Betty Woodman: Conversations on the Shore, Works from the 1990s," David Kordansky Gallery, New York, October 29-December 17, 2022

‍The Balustrade Relief Vases, which Betty Woodman began making in the 1990s, were a turning point in her work, in which she fully embraced the space and concerns of painting, through sculptural materials.

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L to R: All artworks by Betty Woodman. Images 1-2: “January Kimono Vases #2,” 1995. 28 1/2 x 45 x 9 3/4 in / “Untitled Diptych,” c. 1994. 28 1/2 x 51 x 8 1/2 in / “Seashore,” 1998. 25 3/4 x 57 x 8 1/2 in / “Green Nude,” 2007. 33 x 33 3/4 x 6 3/4 in / “After the Bath,” 2011. 35 x 37 x 7 in / Images 7-8: “Fair Welcome and Pleasure,” 2008. 33 x 78 1/4 x 7 1/2 in / Images 9-10: “Kabuki Diptych,” 2016. 35 x 67 x 8 in. All artworks glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, and paint. Images 1-4: Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery. Photography: Phoebe d’Heurle.
Betty Woodman. “January Kimono Vases #2,” 1995. 28 1/2 x 45 x 9 3/4 in. Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, and paint.
Betty Woodman's "Kimono Vases" and "Diptychs," 1990s: "Betty Woodman: Conversations on the Shore, Works from the 1990s," David Kordansky Gallery, New York, October 29-December 17, 2022

"The evolution of the Kimono Vases began with three-part vases, or triptychs. I thought about the movement from one piece to another; in and out of the negative and positive shapes so that it ultimately became one. The triptychs got bigger and the handles became flat, more abstract and complicated,” Betty Woodman wrote in 1991.

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L to R: All artworks by Betty Woodman. Installation view, Max Protetch Gallery, New York, New York, 1986 / “Persian Silk Pillow Pitcher,” 1982. 19 x 23 x 13 in. Collection of Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / “Pesce Spada,” 1989. 11 x 26 x 21 in / “Indonesian Napkin Holder,” 1984. 18 1/2 x 22 1/2 x 10 in. Collection of Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York / “Muscle Boys and Shadows,” 1984. 17 x 45 x 13 in / “Gentian,” 1986. 27 x 16 x 8 in / Installation view, “The Art of Betty Woodman,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, 2006. Photo: Eli Ping. All artworks glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, and paint. Image 2: Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Betty Woodman. Installation view, Max Protetch Gallery, New York, New York, 1986.
Betty Woodman works from the 1980s: "Betty Woodman: Conversations on the Shore, Works from the 1990s," David Kordansky Gallery, New York, October 29-December 17, 2022

Betty Woodman began her career as a potter, inspired by a Bauhaus ethos to make beautiful objects for people to use in their daily lives. By 1980, when she and her husband George Woodman—a painter and photographer—purchased the New York City loft where they lived and worked for part of each year until the end of their lives, she had already begun moving away from the purely functional concerns of ceramics.

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All artworks by Betty Woodman. “Kimono Vases ‘October’,” 1990. 30 3/4 x 43 x 9 1/2 in / “Still Life Vase #9,” 1990. 31 1/2 x 30 x 8 in / Images 3-5: “Double Vase Diptych,” 1996. 30 x 43 1/2 x 9 in / Images 6-8: “Two Women Vase Diptych,” 1996. 24 x 44 x 6 in / “Beccafumi Vase Triptych,” 1996. 33 1/2 x 74 1/2 x 10 1/2 in / “Balustrade Relief Vase 97-01,” 1997. 72 x 53 x 8 3/4 in. All artworks glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, and paint. Images 1, 2 & 10: Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery. Photography: Phoebe d’Heurle.
Betty Woodman. “Kimono Vases ‘October’,” 1990. 30 3/4 x 43 x 9 1/2 in.
Betty Woodman reviews from the 1990s: "Betty Woodman: Conversations on the Shore, Works from the 1990s," David Kordansky Gallery, New York, October 29-December 17, 2022

The 1990s was a career-defining period for Betty Woodman in which her work in ceramic declared itself as painting and sculpture through her radical formal innovations. This shift was affirmed by contemporary art critics, who increasingly discussed her work in relation to sculpture and painting of the day.

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L to R: All artworks Betty Woodman. "House of the South," 1994-1996. 159 x 246 x 9 1/2 in. Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, and paint / Images 1-2: Installation view, "Betty Woodman," Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1996 / Images 3: Installation view, "Betty Woodman,” Musée d’Art Contemporain, Dunkerque, France, 1997 / Images 4-5: Installation view, “Betty Woodman,” Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal, 1997 / Image 6: Installation view, “The Art of Betty Woodman,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, 2006. Photo: Eli Ping / Image 7: Installation view, "Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art," Hayward Gallery, London, England, 2022. Photo: Mark Blower. Courtesy of the Hayward Gallery.
Installation view, "Betty Woodman," Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1996.
Betty Woodman's "House of the South," 1994-1996 in "Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art," Hayward Gallery, October 26, 2022-January 8, 2023

Betty Woodman’s touring exhibition which began at the Stedelijk in 1996 also included another major work: “House of the South” (1994-1996). Measuring more than 13 feet high by more than 20 feet wide, this ambitious frieze evolved from Woodman’s “Balustrade Relief Vase” series begun earlier in the decade, here incorporating multiple three-dimensional vases atop ceramic shelves, surrounded by flat ceramic relief elements implying architecture, plants and other vessels.

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L to R: All artworks by Betty Woodman. Images 1, 3, 5: Installation view, "Betty Woodman," Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1996 / Image 2: “Women at the Fountain,” 1992. 86 x 144 x 57 in. Collection of the Flemish Community, Belgium / Image 4: “Conversations on the Shore,” 1994. 84 x 160 x 41 in / Image 6: “Sala da Pranzo,” 1995. 25 1/4 x 32 x 10 in. All artworks glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, and paint / Image 7: Installation view, "Betty Woodman,” Musée d’Art Contemporain, Dunkerque, France, 1997. Images 4 & 6: Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery. Photography: Phoebe d’Heurle.
Installation view, "Betty Woodman," Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1996.
"Betty Woodman," Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1996: "Betty Woodman: Conversations on the Shore, Works from the 1990s," David Kordansky Gallery, New York

‍In September of 1996, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam opened “Betty Woodman,” a major exhibition of the artist’s work and her largest in Europe at that point. The works on view included two installations—“Women at the Fountain” (1992) and “Conversations on the Shore” (1994)—in which Woodman for the first time combined free-standing vases on the floor with an array of wall-mounted vases and flat ceramic elements.

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L to R: All artworks by Betty Woodman. “Balustrade Relief Vase #52,” 1992. 82 x 45 x 10 in / “Athens,” 1991. 35 1/2 x 69 x 10 in / “Seashore,” 1998. 26 x 59 x 9 in. All artworks glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer and paint. All images Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery. Photography: Phoebe d’Heurle.
Betty Woodman. “Balustrade Relief Vase #52,” 1992. 82 x 45 x 10 in. Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer and paint. Image Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery. Photography: Phoebe d’Heurle.
Opening this week! "Betty Woodman: Conversations on the Shore, Works from the 1990s," David Kordansky Gallery, New York, October 29-December 17, 2022

This major solo exhibition—the first of the artist’s work in New York in six years—brings together a group of ceramic sculptures from a critical and career-defining period in Woodman’s practice. Anchored by the installation “Conversations on the Shore” (1994)—which was last shown in the late 1990s as part of an exhibition tour which originated at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam—the works on view include a number of wall-mounted and free-standing sculptures, each engaged in a range of conversations about materials, history, function, architecture, sculpture and painting.

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L to R: Artworks by Francesca Woodman. “A waltz in three parts - 3,” Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-78. 5 7/16 x 5 7/16 in / “Untitled,” Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-78. 5 1/4 x 5 1/4 in / “A waltz in three parts,” Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-78. 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in / “Untitled,” Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-78. 5 1/2 x 7 3/8 in / “Untitled,” Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-78. 5 1/2 x 6 1/2 in / “Untitled,” Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-78. 7 3/8 x 7 3/8 in.
Francesca Woodman. “A waltz in three parts - 3,” Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-78. 5 7/16 x 5 7/16 in. Gelatin silver print.
The shroud, Francesca Woodman: "Francesca Woodman: Alternate Stories," Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

Francesca Woodman’s engagement with the figure was not only connected to re-interpretations of classical art, but also reflective of the art of her time. In the 1970s—when Woodman made much of her work as a student at the Rhode Island School of Design—artists from Hannah Wilke to Bruce Nauman were concerned with representations of the body and self, stemming from wide-ranging concerns about its relationship to cultural and physical space. Here Woodman uses the shroud - as plaster cast or embroidered sheet - in two series’ of images to alternately hide and reveal the figure’s form, in both sculptural and perfomative ways.

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L to R: Artworks and contact sheet by Francesca Woodman. “Untitled,” Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-78. 6 3/4 x 6 3/4 in / Contact sheet, Providence, Rhode Island, c. 1975-78. 10 x 8 in / “Untitled,” Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-78. 7 3/8 x 9 1/2 in. All gelatin silver prints. © Woodman Family Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Francesca Woodman. “Untitled,” Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-78. 6 3/4 x 6 3/4 in. Gelatin silver print.
Contact sheets, Francesca Woodman: "Francesca Woodman: Alternate Stories," Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

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.

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Glimpses of hands and feet, Francesca Woodman: "Francesca Woodman: Alternate Stories," Marian Goodman Gallery New York

Francesca Woodman was well-acquainted with the traditions of Classical Western art and representations of the figure within it, which seeped into her own picture-making. While perhaps better-known for her photographs of the full female body—she specified that she used nudes “in an ironic sense like classical painting nudes"—Woodman returned again and again to highly composed glimpses of hands and feet.

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L to R: All artworks by Francesca Woodman. 1-6: Select pages and cover from "Some Disordered Interior Geometries,” 1981. From original artist book, 24 pages + cover / “Angels,” Rome, Italy, 1977-78. 3 3/4 x 3 3/4 in. Gelatin silver print / “Untitled,” Rome, Italy, 1977-78. 4 9/16 x 4 11/16 in.
Francesca Woodman. Pages from "Some Disordered Interior Geometries,” 1981. From original artist book, 24 pages + cover.
"Some Disordered Interior Geometries," Rome, Italy: "Francesca Woodman: Alternate Stories," Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

Francesca Woodman was a frequent visitor to the Maldoror bookshop during the year she spent studying in Rome. In the hours she spent rooting through the stacks there, she began to collect old notebooks filled with elaborate handwriting exercises and objective mathematical lessons, all in Italian.

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