At the age of thirteen Francesca Woodman took her first self-portrait. From then, up until her untimely death in 1981, aged just 22 she produced an extraordinary body of work (some 800 photographs) acclaimed for its singularity of style and range of innovative techniques. Woodman studied at Rhode Island School of Design, from 1975 – 1979, receiving a grant to spend a year in Rome to continue her studies. Whilst there she produced an extensive body of work and had her first solo exhibition at a bookshop and gallery specializing in Surrealism and Futurism.
Since 1986, her work has been exhibited widely and has been the subject of extensive critical study in the United States and Europe. Woodman is often situated alongside her contemporaries of the late 1970s such as Ana Mendieta and Hannah Wilke, yet her work also foreshadows artists such as Cindy Sherman, Sarah Lucas, Nan Goldin and Karen Finley in their subsequent dialogues with the self and reinterpretations of the female body.
Born in 1958 in Denver, Colorado, Francesca Woodman lived and worked in New York and Italy until her death in 1981. Since 1986 her work has been exhibited widely. Significant solo presentations of Woodman’s work include Francesca Woodman at the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco (2011-12), which subsequently toured to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2012); Francesca Woodman: Retrospective at the Sala Espacio AV, Murcia, touring to SMS Contemporanea, Siena (both 2009); Francesca Woodman: Photographs at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (2003) and Francesca Woodman at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris (1998), which subsequently toured to Kunsthal, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (1998); Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal (1999); The Photographers’ Gallery, London (1999); Centro Cultural TeclaSala, L’Hospitalet, Barcelona (1999-2000); Carla Sozzani Gallery, Milan, (2001); The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2001) and PhotoEspana, Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid (2002). Woodman’s work is represented in the collections of major museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Detroit Institute of Arts; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and Tate/National Galleries of Scotland.
Sleeping Beauty – 1959 Theatrical Teaser
Floyd Norman, clean-up artist/inbetween artist (uncredited)
Floyd Norman: An Animated Life’: He Broke Barriers at Disney
The animator Floyd Norman at Disney in 1956, in a documentary about him. Credit Michael Fiore Films/FilmBuff
FLOYD NORMAN: AN ANIMATED LIFE Directed by Michael Fiore, Erik Sharkey
“Every time there’s a great moment in animation, look around, there’s Floyd Norman,” one colleague says. Another remarks, “He’s like the Forrest Gump of animation.”
Mr. Norman was hired at Disney in 1956 and became the first African-American animator on its staff. There he helped hand-draw scenes in “Sleeping Beauty,” “Mary Poppins,” “The Jungle Book” and other films, then went on to work at Hanna-Barbera, Pixar and elsewhere. The list of films and cartoons (“Fat Albert” and “Scooby-Doo” among them) he was involved with is enormous.
FLOYD NORMAN: An Animated Life TRAILER (Documentary, 2016)
Titles aside, this documentary, directed by Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey, features its own clever and original animation that illustrates scenes from Mr. Norman’s life. While he’s a tireless and upbeat presence, his path hasn’t been without setbacks, including what may have been age discrimination.
At 65 Mr. Norman was let go from Disney. Yet, like a mad cross between Bartleby the Scrivener and a cheery tour guide, he continued to show up at the company’s offices for years and help others until eventually being rehired. Now in his early 80s, he’s still making art.
The humble Mr. Norman is always ready with a laugh, and it’s tough not to smile yourself when he reaches for a pencil and starts drawing. When that happens, it’s redundant to say he’s special. Anyone can see it.
Norman McLaren, Neighbours/Voisins, 8:02 mins, 1952
Norman McLaren here employs the principles normally used to put drawings or puppets into motion to animate live actors. The story is a parable about two people who come to blows over the possession of a flower. Film without words. McLaren won an Oscar for Neighbours/Voisins
Norman McLaren was born in Scotland in 1914. His interest in filmmaking began early in life after he became acquainted with works by the great Russian filmmakers Eisenstein and Poudovkine and the German animator Oskar Fischinger. While a student at the Glasgow School of Fine Arts, McLaren’s fascination with dance led him to make such stylized documentaries as Seven Till Five (1933). He subsequently joined the General Post Office Film Unit (GPOFU) in London, where he worked under John Grierson. It was there that he created Love on the Wing (1937), using the technique of drawing directly on the filmstrip. In 1939, McLaren immigrated to the United States, where he made several abstract films, including Stars and Stripes (1940) and Dots (1940). In 1941, he came to Canada and met up once again with John Grierson, who, at the request of the Canadian government, had founded the NFB. Grierson asked McLaren to put together the NFB’s first animation team.