Blueprint for a Temple

Francesca Woodman American

Not on view

This monumental collage is composed from twenty-nine photographs printed on architect’s blueprint paper. It was exhibited only once, in a group exhibition, less than a year before the artist died at the age of 22. Woodman was on the cusp of a change in her art. Feeling hemmed in by the intimate, Symbolist-inflected tableaux (in which she often appeared nude) for which she had become known, she strove to make her art less personal and greatly expand its scale. Taking inspiration from the black-and-white patterned bathroom tiling familiar to New York City tenement apartments, Woodman sought to summon the ancient past and the contemplative calm she associated with it from its most faint surviving traces in everyday life. The child of two artists, Woodman spent much of her youth outside Florence and later studied in Rome; Blueprint for a Temple channelled her own deep and lifelong engagement with the art of antiquity. She also posed her friends as sculptural caryatids, further blurring the line between past and present, inanimate and animate.

Blueprint for a Temple, Francesca Woodman (American, Denver, Colorado 1958–1981 New York), Diazo collage

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Gallery Installation, January 2012