Francesca Woodman

If I could have one wish that would get me anywhere this month, I would go to London to see the Francesca Woodman exhibition at the Victoria Miro gallery, which runs until the 22nd January. I love her work.

When I first saw some of her photographs, in the Angels of Anarchy exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery a year ago, I made two wrong assumptions: that she was a contemporary of many of the other surrealist women artists exhibited, and that she was in her mid to late twenties, if not older, when she took the pictures.

I'm glad in a way that I first encountered her work without any kind of background story, because I was free to make what I wanted of it. Once you know a little about someone you can't lose that knowledge and it is too tempting to use it as a frame through which to see their work. Rather than looking at how their work grows, you view it the wrong way round; imposing the ending on everything that came before. The fact Woodman mainly took pictures of herself makes this even more tempting. But as she wrote in her notes 'You cannot see me from where I look at myself'.

I found the jpgs above through a Google image search, all the images are © the estate of Francesca Woodman. The first is House 3 (Providence, Rhode Island 1976), the second is House 4 (Providence, Rhode Island 1976), and the third is from the Space2 series (Providence, Rhode Island 1977).