top of page

Carolee Schneemann

Artist 112 Carolee Schneemann Performance Art Kinetic Painting

Carolee Schneemann (October 1939 – March 2019) was an American visual experimental artist, known for her multi-media works on the discourse of taboos, body, narrative, sexuality and gender.

One of Schneemann's primary focuses in her work was the separation between eroticism and the politics of gender.

In Schneemann's earlier work, she is seen as addressing issues of patriarchal hierarchies in the

1950s American gallery space. She addressed these issues through various performance pieces that sought to create agency for the female body as being both sensual and sexual, while simultaneously breaking gallery space taboos of nude performances beginning in the 1960s.

Unlike much other feminist art, Schneemann's revolves around sexual expression and liberation, rather than referring to victimization or repression of women. Her performance, video and body art challenged social mores of the time and often had the power to shock.

Today’s focus is on her series of ‘Kinetic Painting’ Schneemann began positioning her own body within her work, performing the roles of “both image and image-maker.”

As a central protagonist of the New York downtown avant-garde community, she explored hybrid artistic forms culminating in experimental theater events.

The exhibition considers Schneemann’s oeuvre within the context of painting by tracing the developments that led to her groundbreaking innovations in performance, film, and installation in the 1970s, as well as her increasingly spatialized multimedia installations from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

Schneemann summarised her long and radical career: “I think I’m stubborn. In the beginning, I had no precedent for being valued. Everything that came from a woman’s experience was considered trivial. I wasn’t sure if my work would shift that paradigm or not, but I had to try.”

Her abstracted drawing works on the Abject in feminine experience and challenging drawing conventions.


bottom of page