Carolee Schneemann, 1939–2019

Carolee Schneemann, Eye Body - 36 Transformative Actions, 1963, gelatin silver print. Courtesy Hales, London


The pioneering feminist artist Carolee Schneemann has died aged 79. As a multidisciplinary artist whose work covered painting, installation, video and photography, she was best known for her socially provocative performances which challenged and promoted new discourses around the body and gender. From her early work as a painter inspired by Neo-Dada and Post-Impressionism in the 1950s, Schneemann gradually moved away from the medium, finding an affliation with works by the writings of Simone de Beauvoir, Antonin Artaud and Wilhelm Reich, before going on to develop an oevre of work that positioned her within the feminist art movement of the 1970s that swept across the US and Europe. From here, Schneemann consistently produced works that were critical of gender politics as well as social taboos around the body. Awarded the Venice Golden Lion for lifetime achievement in 2017, Schneeman also inspired a generation of artists through her work as a teacher at institutions including School of the Art Institute of Chicago, New York University and California Institute of the Arts. Her most recent exhibition was Kinetic Painting (2017–2018), which travelled from Museum fur Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt to MoMA PS1, New York. 

7 March 2019