CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN

~~Carolee Schneemann appeared on the New York art scene in the early '60s, after graduation from Bard College and the University of Illinois. It was then that the scope of her work began to venture beyond the canvas. "As my painting expanded," Schneemann says, "it became involved in an extended surface, which led to the inclusion of my body as one of my materials.
Concepts of space integrating time provoked works in performance and film." Eye Body (1963), anticipated 'body art' by using her own nude body within a kinetic installation. In her pioneering group work, Meat Joy (1964), performers enacted mythic rituals culled from dreams, popular culture and the evocation of the sacred erotic in her own body.

In the early years in New York she was a member of Fluxus. The first visual artist to experiment with choreography in collaborations with the Judson Dance Theater, she worked with artists Claes Oldenberg and Robert Morris in their legendary piece, Site (1964). Her book, More Than Meat Joy (1978), documenting performance pieces from 1962 to 1978, includes photographs, scores, scripts, annotations, and essays on perception and culture.

In the '60s Schneemann began working in film. Her first film, Fuses (1965-67), was chosen for the Cannes Film Festival in 1968, and remains a controversial classic. Fuses, along with Plumb Line (1971) and Kitch's Last Meal (1978), form the Autobiographical Trilogy. "What's unique about these films," says Schneemann, "is they examine ordinary visual aspects of 'lived' life, rather than invented or idealized lives. Painterly rhythms, collage and color organize these ordinary events, so that the invisible structures in everyday life are made visible."

Later performances expand the motifs which infuse her works. In Fresh Blood - A Dream Morphology (1981), images from her dreams translate into iconographic metaphors. By 1988, Fresh Blood had evolved into a large installation with video monitors called Venus Vectors, shown at the Everson Museum's "Sacred Spaces" exhibition. Her most controversial and audacious work, Interior Scroll (1975), explored the theory of 'vulvic space," a concept which dared to turn traditional Freudian symbolism inside-out.

For 30 years, Schneemann has exhibited or performed world-wide in group and solo exhibitions, including the Whitney Museum, New York. A 1982 retrospective of works 1960 - 70 at Max Hutchinson Gallery in New York earned critical plaudits. Grace Glueck of The New York Times said the exhibition presented "...an extraordinary group of works - paintings, constructions, assemblages and kinetic works... as a record of a decade, it's impressive."

Her work is in private collections and major museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, and the Cincinnati Art Museum. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts awards, a frequent lecturer on topics relating to women and the arts, and has taught at Yale, UCLA, and Ohio State. She continues to work in a variety of media, always in a quest to expand the horizon of the creative arts.


Monday and Saturday, 1994
~~Schneemann continues her morphological exploration of images from archaic sources, media (computer and video/television), art history, and her own body. Silkscreen in nine colors on two sheets of Rives BFK white paper(diptych), each sheet 10.5 x 60 inches. The screens were produced photographically, using numerous collages of layered, hand-worked photographic negatives and film positives created by the artist. Signed and numbered edition of 32.


Detail of Print
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