Untitled (FW Crouching Behind Umbrella)
© Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman

Reference URL

Untitled (FW Crouching Behind Umbrella) About 1980
  • Artist Rooms
Woodman crouches amongst an array of domestic objects, the curve of the upturned umbrella echoing the curve of her back. The umbrella is a much-used prop by the Surrealists, a fact that underlines Woodman's relationship with the movement. Her cropped body and averted gaze give her equal importance to the objects around her. Woodman’s photographs explore issues of gender and self, looking at the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings. She usually puts herself in the frame, although these are not conventional self-portraits, since she is either partially hidden, or concealed by slow exposures that blur her moving figure into a ghostly presence. This underlying fragility is emphasised by the small and intimate format of the photographs.

Glossary Open

Exposure

The length of time a photosensitive surface is exposed to light. The term ‘multiple exposure’ is used to describe the act of recording more than one image on a single sheet or frame of film.

Surrealism

A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.

Exposure, Surrealism

Details

  • Acc. No. AR00364
  • Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
  • Size 17.10 x 16.50 cm (paper 25.20 x 20.30 cm) (framed: 45.80 x 40.20 x 2.00 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008