FIRST U.S. RETROSPECTIVE FOCUSED ON PIONEERING ARTIST CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN OPENS OCTOBER 22
Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting
October 22, 2017–March 11, 2018
LONG ISLAND CITY, NY, August 2, 2017—MoMA PS1 will present the first
comprehensive retrospective of the work of Carolee Schneemann (American, b.
1939) in the United States, 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, Schneemann’s 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 will be on view from
October 22, 2017 to March 11, 2018.
Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting begins with rarely seen examples of the artist’s
early paintings from the 1950s, charting their evolution into assemblages made in the
1960s—which integrated found objects, mechanical elements, and painterly
interventions. A central protagonist of New York City’s 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, Schneemann’s provocative pieces foregrounded her body in ways that
challenged prevailing attitudes about female sexuality. In parallel, Schneemann’s
outrage over the atrocities of the Vietnam War are starkly reflected in several of her
works from the mid-1960s.
The exhibition grounds Schneemann’s 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.
The exhibition features several works of key historical significance that were recently
acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, including the pivotal painting-construction
Four Fur Cutting Boards (1963) and related photographic portfolio Eye Body: 36
Transformative Actions (1963), as well as the landmark installation Up to and
Including Her Limits (1973-76).
Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting is organized by the Museum der Moderne
Salzburg. The exhibition is curated by Sabine Breitwieser, Director, Museum der
Moderne Salzburg; and consulting curator Branden W. Joseph, Frank Gallipoli
Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, Columbia University, New York; and
organized at MoMA PS1 by Erica Papernik-Shimizu, Associate Curator, Department
of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art; with Oliver Shultz,
Curatorial Assistant, MoMA PS1.
Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting originated at the Museum der Moderne
Salzburg, Austria, from November 21, 2015 to February 28, 2016, and is currently
on view at the Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, Germany through
September 24, 2017.
The catalog Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting was published in conjunction with
the exhibition in German and English editions. This major publication, the first of its
kind on Carolee Schneemann’s work, is edited by Sabine Breitwieser for the Museum
der Moderne Salzburg and features essays by Sabine Breitwieser, Branden W.
Joseph, Mignon Nixon, Ara Osterweil, and Judith Rodenbeck, as well as selected
writings by Carolee Schneemann. Separate German and English editions, hardcover,
280 x 240 mm, 320 pp., Munich: Prestel.
Carolee Schneemann is a multidisciplinary artist who has worked in painting,
photography, performance, film, video, mixed media, and installation. MoMA PS1 has
a history of exhibiting her work: Schneemann performed Noise Bodies (1965) in
1983 as part of the exhibition PS1 Re-Opens the Sixties, and Four Fur Cutting Boards
(1963) was displayed at the Museum in 1984. Schneemann has been the subject of
solo exhibitions at the Musée départemental d'art contemporain de Rochechouart,
France (2013); the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain (2014);
Dia:Beacon, New York (2011); and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
(1997), and group exhibitions at Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum
of American Art, New York; Haus der Kunst, Germany; and the Los Angeles Museum
of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; among others. Schneemann’s work is included in
museum collections around the world, including the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte
Reina Sofía, Spain; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of
Modern Art, California; Tate Modern, England; Centre Georges Pompidou, France;
and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. Schneemann
currently lives and works in upstate New York.