Gagosian, the world’s largest gallery, will now represent the estate of enigmatic photographer Francesca Woodman, who before her death, at 22, helped define a style of contemporary photography through her inward reflection that drew from Gothic, Victorian, and Surrealist influences.
Gagosian will be showing a selection of these prints at Art Basel next week, with an exhibition on the artist’s work planned for next spring in New York. Woodman’s estate was previously represented jointly by Marian Goodman Gallery and Victoria Miro Gallery.
The representation comes in partnership with the Woodman Family Foundation, which recently received the totality of Woodman’s oeuvre, much of which was closely guarded by her family and has not yet been seen publicly. The collection includes all the artist’s prints and books, as well as private letters, journals, and notebooks.
“Upon receiving the complete holdings of Francesca Woodman’s work,” Lissa McClure, the foundation’s executive director said in a statement, “the Board of Directors has determined that a different approach and global reach is needed to carry out its goals, for which Gagosian Gallery is uniquely suited.… We remain extremely grateful for the many contributions and accomplishments on Francesca Woodman’s behalf by Marian Goodman Gallery and Victoria Miro Gallery.”
Woodman, who died in 1981, began making pictures at a young age. Born and raised in Colorado, she grew up surrounded by the arts: her mother was the ceramicist Betty Woodman, and her father, George Woodman, was a painter. The majority of her work was made between 1975 and 1978, during her studies at the Rhode Island School of Design and in Rome, Italy, in the school’s honor program.
Like her contemporary Cindy Sherman, Woodman was often the subject of her own work. Symbolism and allegory characterized her work, which often utilized decaying exteriors and reflections from glass display cases or mirrors to introduce a narrative element.
She produced one book, Some Disordered Interior Geometries, before her death. This June London-based publishing house MACK will release Francesca Woodman: The Artist’s Books, which will reproduce her eight existing artist’s books, two of which have never been seen before.