Untitled, 1975-1980
© Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman

Reference URL

Untitled, 1975-1980 1975-1980
  • Artist Rooms
Crouched against a dilapidated interior, Woodman conceals her face with her hand. The combination between the vintage pattern of her dress and the peeling wall behind her create an antique, romantic air. Woodman’s photographs exhibit many influences, from Symbolism and Surrealism to fashion photography and Baroque painting. She explores issues of gender and self, looking at the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings. Woodman usually puts herself in the frame, although these are not conventional self-portraits, since as 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

Baroque

A general term for European art and architecture from the 17th to the mid 18th centuries. It particularly refers to works characterised by a sense of movement and theatricality.

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.

Symbolism

The representation of subjects or ideas by use of a device or motif to create underlying meaning. A literary and artistic movement that originated in France and spread through much of Europe in the late 19th century. There was no consistent style but rather an appeal to the idea of the artist as mystic or visionary and the desire to express a world beyond superficial appearances.

Baroque, Exposure, Surrealism, Symbolism

Details

  • Acc. No. AR00351
  • Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
  • Size 14.10 x 14.00 cm (paper 25.20 x 20.20 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