Joan Jonas

Legendary video and performance artist

‘It has taken art-world power brokers almost fifty years to catch up to Jonas’s mythopoetic vision,’ The New Yorker recently noted. Artists too
 – so much work today looks like the frayed-edge mix of video, performance and sculptural installation that she has been essaying for decades, though nobody gets close to her dense weave of mythical, animist, shamanistic thinking and ecological consciousness. How far ahead the octogenarian Jonas has been, and remains, became more widely apparent after her winning representation for the US at the 2015 Venice Biennale, and was reaffirmed by this year’s three-floor show inaugurating Gavin Brown’s new Harlem space (her biggest exhibition in over a decade) and her honorary artist status at this year’s Sequences Festival in Reykjavík. Next year, and not a moment too soon, there’ll be a survey of her work at Tate Modern.