This new volume provides insight into the life and work of Francesca Woodman via academic research and review of writings and photographs she created during two particularly fertile years spent in Rome before her untimely death.

Woodman scholars will welcome this book, but it is definitely not the best choice for an overview or introduction of Woodman's remarkable photography. This is more like an academic thesis, sprinkled with a few photographs to support the author's analysis.

The blurb on the book jacket sums it up nicely:

Francesca Woodman was nineteen when she arrived in Rome in 1977 to attend a Rhode Island School of Design overseas study program. A precocious artist, well versed in both American and Italian culture, Woodman reached the zenith of her artistic development in Rome.

Through Woodman's own writings, letters, and preparatory materials, plus the personal testimonies of her Roman friends, Isabella Pedicini takes the reader on an intimate journey where words and images combine to trace the parameters of the photographer's universe.

The author makes references to Surrealism and American photography that can be found in her work, her use of the body as language, and the topic of Metamorphosis as symbolizing the afterlife, where death is no longer seen as final.

Francesca Woodman transformed herself. She created this magical effect using two instruments, her body and the camera. 

By retracing Woodman’s everyday walks through the city and drawing us into personal stories as remembered by close friends, the author reconstructs Woodman’s most formative experiences in Rome, from the Maldoror bookshop in Via del Parione to the ateliers of the Nuova Scuola Romana at the old Cerere Pasta Factory in the San Lorenzo neighborhood.

Francesca Woodman, The Roman years: between flesh and film
by Isabella Pedicini
with an introduction by Gerry Badger
136 pages, 15 pictures
Italian and English Text
Publisher: Contrasto
ISBN 978-8869653308
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