FACE, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
5⅜ by 5½ in. (13.7 by 14 cm.)
This photograph, on light- to medium-weight paper with a surface sheen, is in generally excellent condition. As is sometimes typical of Francesca Woodman's lifetime prints, it has been printed slightly asymmetrically on the sheet. When examined in raking light, a 2-1/4-inch soft crease is visible at the lower left corner as well as a few other very small handling creases in the margins, none of which appear to break the emulsion.
There is some wear at the margin edges, with a tiny tear at the lower left edge, and a sharp crease at the upper left corner. The margins are curling slightly.
The overall tonality of this photograph is less dense and saturated than its catalogue illustration.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Gift of the photographer to the present owner, 1970s, when students together at the Rhode Island School of Design
Francesca Woodman: Photographic Works (New York and Zurich, 1992), p. 68
Francesca Woodman (Fondation Cartier pour l'art Contemporain, 1998), p. 87
Chris Townsend, Francesca Woodman (London and New York, 2006), p. 95
Marco Pierini, ed., Francesca Woodman (Siena: SMS Contemporanea, 2009), p. 164
Gabriele Schor and Elizabeth Bronfen, eds., Francesca Woodman: Works from the Sammlung Verbund (Köln, 2014), pp. 85 and 135
In this complex and psychologically-loaded self-portrait, Francesca Woodman fully cropped her head of out the frame and supplanted it by a strategically-placed mask. Of this image, Lorenzo Fusi writes: ‘A white mask, a coarse cast from an androgynous face, hides the epicenter of the image, that is to say the artist sex in the foreground. The fire, the heart, the encounter between Cartesian axis – as well as the reason itself for the pose Woodman chose – are denied to us, even though the orifices on the mask function as powerful semantic detonators, their cavities a clear metaphor of the clefts in the female body . . . [her] “symbolic” body represent[s] the annihilation of the individuality of each woman to the eyes of a man, in the moment in which his gaze concentrates on her sexual organs only’ (‘You Cannot See Me from Where I Look at Myself: the Mask in Francesca Woodman’s Work,’ in Marco Pierini, Francesca Woodman, pp. 174-5).