The Artist’s Books

Francesca Woodman



Francesca Woodman made her first mature photographs at the age of thirteen and went on to create a body of work that has been critically acclaimed for its singularity of style and innovative approach to photography. Despite her lifetime accomplishments – which included solo and group exhibitions and the publication of one of her books – and her work being celebrated widely in the years since her untimely death in 1981, very little has been published about her remarkable series of artist’s books until now.

Francesca Woodman: The Artist’s Books collects for the first time every page of all eight of Francesca Woodman’s unique artist’s books in one comprehensive volume, including two newly discovered books which have never been seen before, alongside better-known titles such as Some Disordered Interior Geometries. The basis of these works is in tattered nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century journals and notebooks that Woodman collected from bookshops and flea markets in Rome in the late 1970s. She later transformed these found volumes, attaching her prints, transparencies, and written annotations to their evocative pages. These books demonstrate a sophisticated relationship to narrative and sequence and offer a new understanding of the scope of Woodman’s engagement with the book form.

Embossed hardcover using Japanese paper, with tipped-in image
24.5 x 30 cm, 416 pages

ISBN 978-1-913620-88-2
May 2023
€80 £65 $80

‘There’s something about the book format – the hint of personal confessional, the sense of suspense and surprise as you turn the pages, the private dialogue between artist and reader – that makes you feel that you’re being given access to secrets that others are not privy to. They beckon you into her world.’ The Financial Times

‘Telling us more about Woodman than we knew before, her artist’s books also create a new set of haunting questions about what might have been.’ The Brooklyn Rail

The Artist’s Books casts new light on Woodman’s career in DIY bookmaking, a medium that allowed the photographer to deepen her interests in metaphor and temporal indeterminacy.’ Bookforum

The Artist’s Books [offers] fresh insight into the mind and creative process of the precocious artist, and into her extensive body of work, as the first publication to collect all eight of her artist’s books.’ Hyperallergic

‘The collected artist's books [make] you want to delve deeply into her unique oeuvre again.’ De Standaard

‘A tribute to a prodigious and precocious photography talent of our time.’ Skye Arte

‘With their words, their stains, their creases and marks, these books add another layer of materiality, time, memory, and knowledge to Woodman’s enigmatic work.’ PhMuseum

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