Biography

Donald Woodman

Born September 26, 1945 – Haverhill, Massachusetts

Donald Woodman’s photographic career spans nearly five decades. As an established large format photographer, Woodman’s unique combination of traditional and digital methods lends his work technical proficiency, formal refinement, and conceptual weight. His diverse subject matter, ranging from portraits and landscapes to probing examinations of masculinity and personal identity, remains consistently intimate, characterized by a subversive perspective and eccentric wit.

Woodman holds an undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Cincinnati and an MFA in photography from the University of Houston. Over the course of his career, Woodman has collaborated with and assisted artists such as: Ezra Stoller (1915 – 2004), recognized as the leading American architectural photographer of the twentieth century, whose brilliant photographs helped establish the modern movement in architecture; Minor White (1908 – 1976), renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor and curator, whose efforts to extend photography’s range of expression made him one of the most influential creative photographers of the mid-twentieth century; Agnes Martin (1912 – 2004), noted minimalist/abstract expressionist painter of the twentieth century; Dan Margulis, specialist in the field of applied color theory and one of the first three members inducted into Adobe Photoshop Hall of Fame.

His work has been exhibited and collected both nationally and internationally and published in numerous magazines and books. His oeuvre includes the Holocaust Project: From Darkness Into Light with Judy Chicago; The Rodeo and the West; Gay Rodeo; The Therapist; Harbingers of Which Future; The Selling of the West; Attractions…Addictions…and other Kodak Moments. In 2015 he published Agnes Martin and Me, an engaging illustrated memoir as assistant, friend, and sometime adversary of the celebrated painter, Agnes Martin. Since completing the Holocaust Project in 1993, he and Judy Chicago have collaborated together on a variety of creative projects.

In addition to being included in numerous private and museum collections, Woodman’s photo archives are being acquired by the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, which plans to showcase aspects of his work over the coming years. Though Woodman has been an ingrained figure in the international art world for decades, the artist has chosen to remain at the margins, living and working primarily in the American Southwest. Regarding this tendency, Woodman says, “For most of my career, New Mexico has provided me with a respite from some of the unbearable excesses of civilization. I have chosen to stay out of the limelight in order to preserve the freedom to pursue my personal vision.” Woodman is married to the artist, Judy Chicago, where along with their cats lives in a wonderful, one hundred and ten year old, brick Victorian hotel in Belen, NM.

Education

  • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. Graduated with a BS in Architecture 1969.
  • Assistant to Architectural Photographer Ezra Stoller (recognized as the leading American architectural photographer of the 20th century, his brilliant photographs helped establish the modern movement in architecture), Mamaroneck, NY, 1968 – 1970.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. Graduate level work in photography and assistant to Minor White (1908 – 1976 renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, whose efforts to extend photography’s range of expression made him one of the most influential creative photographers of the mid-20th century) 1970 – 1972.
  • Assistant to painter Agnes Martin (noted minimalist/abstract expressionist painter of the 20th century), Galisteo, NM, 1977 – 1984.
  • University of Houston, Houston, TX. Graduated with MFA in Photography 1981.
  • Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, Santa Fe, NM: Fundamentals of Digital Photography 1997.
  • Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, Santa Fe, NM: Sam Abell’s Project Workshop 1997.
  • Applied Color Theory with Dan Margulis (specialist in the field of applied color theory and one of the first three members inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame) 2006.
  • Advanced Color Theory with Dan Margulis 2007.

Teaching Experience

  • University of New Mexico Valencia Campus — Photography 187 & 287 — 1997 – 2002.
  • Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY — Special photo documentary project At Home a Kentucky Project with Judy Chicago and Donald Woodman — Fall 2001.
  • Cal Poly Pomona / Pomona Arts Colony / Ptizer College Pomona and Claremont, CA — Special project Envisioning the Future, a unique interdisciplinary and multi exhibition site project to imagine, create and exhibit diverse images of the future, facilitated by artist Judy Chicago and photographer Donald Woodman — Fall 2003.
  • Vanderbilt University, Donald Woodman & Judy Chicago were invited to be the first Chancellor’s Artists in Residence. They helped 12 Vanderbilt students and 13 Nashville community artists create an art exhibition, titled Evoke/Invoke/Provoke: A Multi Media Project of Discovery using Judy Chicago’s participatory art pedagogy. Spring 2006.

Selected Collections

  • The Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM
  • New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
  • The New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
  • Butler Art Institute, Youngstown, OH
  • Museum of Art and History, Fribourg, Switzerland.
  • Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Japan.
  • Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
  • Polaroid Collection, Polaroid Corp, Cambridge, MA
  • The College of Mainland, Texas City, TX
  • Patrick Lannan, Santa Fe, NM
  • Barbara Van Cleve, Santa Fe, NM
  • Graham Nash, Los Angeles, CA
  • Julia J. Norrell, Washington, DC
  • David Scheinbaum & Janet Russek, Santa Fe, NM
  • George H. Waterman III Library, New York, NY
  • Elyse and Stanley Grinstein, Los Angeles, CA
  • Audrey and Bob Cowan, Los Angeles, CA
  • Elke Stone, New York, NY
  • Hall, Dickler, Lawler, Kent & Friedman, New York, NY
  • Various private collections