Ideas, Themes, & Forms

PLOTLINES is a serial feature of works by the Foundation’s three artists. These visual narratives explore recurrent threads and themes and highlight lesser-known bodies of work. Alternating by artist, PLOTLINES unfolds over a month on Instagram. Each study will be presented in its entirety here upon conclusion.

PLOTLINE 3: BETTY WOODMAN / Alluding to Architecture

Betty Woodman is widely known for her seven-decade, groundbreaking engagement with clay, in particular her deconstruction and re-framing of the classical vase. In the early 1980s, Woodman embarked on architectural investigations that combined ceramic sculpture with vividly colored and patterned elements. These works are lyrical illusions of space and scale, influenced by Italian architecture from the Roman, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. Woodman's dynamic takes on colonnades, courtyards, rooms, walls, windows (and yes, vases) oscillate between form and function, two- and three-dimensionality. In these inspired and ambitious works, ceramic is both an embellishment of architecture and the means through which to represent it. Click here to view the series.


Beginning his career in the 1950s as an abstract painter, by the mid 1960s George Woodman turned his focus to geometric abstractions grounded in complex patterned systems and rigorous formal structures. His exploration of pattern, in varied articulations, continued through the next two decades. Click here to view the series.


Francesca Woodman often employed light as figure, form, and architectural element. Click here to view the series.