Carolee Schneemann [b. 1939] was one of the first artists to use her body to animate the lived experience and the imagination, addressing gender roles and sexuality. A pioneer of performance art, Schneeman’s multidisciplinary works also includes assemblage, photography, film, video, and installation, while consistently referring to painting. Her works had a trailblazing influence on subsequent generations of artists.
This exhibition will explore the evolution of Schneemann’s object like “painting constructions” alongside her well-known works and performances with examples of rarely or never shown works to date.
In many of her works, Schneemann reflected on the female body in its historical and social context and investigated desire and eroticism from the feminine viewpoint.
Eye Body a series of performance photographs, Schneemann merged her own body with the environment of her paintings and constructions – paint, glue, fur, feathers, garden snakes, glass, and plastic.
Up To and Including Her Limits was a discussion with Jackson Pollock to vitalise the whole body as stroke and gesture in a dimensional space. Meat Joy revolved around eight nude figures dancing and playing with various objects and substances including wet paint, sausage, raw fish, scraps of paper, and raw chickens.
Portrait Partials depicts visual and structural similarities in an arrangement of bodily orifices, removing cultural frameworks and enabling us to view these as parts of a body—and as no less and no more.
Schneemann used simple mechanisms to set her paintings in motion – forcing a kinetic approach and intergrating photographs and everyday objects into works she referred to as “painting constructions”, a term she coined herself.
Throughout her body of work, Schneemann consistently confronts situations, gives herself the time to exist with and come to know their distinct dynamics. Her wish to take painting beyond bounds of the canvas and double up as the creator and performer of her art led to a hybrid form of performance and photography that cast her body in a prominent role.
Admission: €16 (regular), €8 (reduced).
Credits and Copyrights: Artwork Images (Courtesy Carolee Schneemann, P.P.O.W Gallery New York, Hales Gallery London, Galerie Lelong Paris and VG Bild-Kunst Bonn 2017. Photo: Axel Schneider).