Providence, Rhode Island , 1976
© Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman

Reference URL

Providence, Rhode Island , 1976 1976
  • Artist Rooms
Woodman perches naked on a chair, appearing defensive and vulnerable. This is one of the few self-portraits where we see the artist’s full face. The vague black body imprinted on the floor seems to walk through the ground, as if descending into a nether world, while the desolate setting creates a chilling atmosphere. This is one of a series of photographs displaying the influence of Surrealism in the way it explores the supernatural. Woodman usually puts herself in the frame, although these are not conventional self-portraits. Instead, she explores issues of gender, self and the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings. An underlying fragility is emphasised by the small and intimate format of the photographs.

Glossary Open

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.

Surrealism

Details

  • Acc. No. AR00352
  • Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
  • Size 14.30 x 14.40 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