Discover the Work and Tragedy of Francesca Woodman on PBS, December 22
The Woodmans, produced and directed by C. Scott Willis, is an intimate, tragic portrait of photographer Francesca Woodman and candid introduction to her parents, artists George and Betty Woodman, and brother, electronic artist Charles Woodman. It premiers on Independent Lens (PBS), Thursday, December 22, 2011 (check local listings for time).
Francesca Woodman was born in 1958, and by 1975 had developed an interest in photography and a graphic style that was decades ahead of its time. It was not until after her suicide in 1981 that her brilliant work was recognized. It is now considered to be “among the most important and distinctive of her time.”
Francesca’s mother, Betty Woodman, is a world renowned ceramic sculptor; her father, George Woodman, is a photographer and painter whose works are included in the collections of the Metropolitan and the Whitney Museums, as well as others. Francesca and her brother, Charles, grew up in a home that focused on art above all else, and lived somewhat boho lives, traveling with their parents and occasionally living in Italy.
Profoundly depressed, Francesca committed suicide in 1981. C. Scott Willis was given unrestricted access to all of her photographs, private diaries, and experimental videos. Friends, family, colleagues, and associates were interviewed and share their memories of Francesca and her talent. The family recounts Francesca’s life so frankly that at times viewers will have less than a favorable impression of George and Betty Woodman and their parenting style.
Francesca Woodman was precocious, determined, ambitious, sophisticated and supremely talented. Her work was often stark and she was “her own nude model in complex, textured environments.” It’s ironic that the work of such a young artist was too advanced to be appreciated in her lifetime. Through Francesca’s own words and pictures, The Woodmans paints a portrait of a bright star that was extinguished too quickly.