Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting

Front Cover
Museum der Moderne, 2015 - 331 pages
This publication has been produced on the occasion of the retrospective exhibition at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, and presents the first comprehensive retrospective of the work of Carolee Schneemann (American, b. 1939), bringing together over 300 works spanning her prolific six-decade career. As one of the most groundbreaking artists of the second half of the twentieth century, Schneemanns pioneering investigations into the social construction of the female body and the sexual and cultural biases implicit in traditional art historical narratives have had an indelible impact on subsequent generations of artists. Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting begins with rarely seen examples of the artists early paintings from the 1950s, charting their evolution into assemblages made in the 1960swhich integrated found objects, mechanical elements, and painterly interventions. A central protagonist of New York Citys downtown avant-garde community, Schneemann explored hybrid art forms that culminated in experimental theater events. She was a co-founder of the innovative Judson Dance Theater and the first visual artist to choreograph for the ensemble. During this period, Schneemann began to position her own body in her work with the intent of performing the roles of both image-maker and image. Responding to representations of sexuality made predominantly from the perspective of male artists, Schneemanns provocative pieces foregrounded her body in ways that challenged prevailing attitudes about female sexuality. In parallel, Schneemanns outrage over the atrocities of the Vietnam War are starkly reflected in several of her works from the mid-1960s. The exhibition grounds Schneemanns oeuvre within the context of her lifelong commitment to painting and action, tracing the early developments that would lead to her iconic performances and films from the 1960s and 1970s, through to her multimedia installations from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s exploring feminist iconography, intimacy, and personal loss, as well as political disasters, captivity, and the destruction of war.

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