‘Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting’
The career-spanning survey of Carolee Schneemann’s paintings, films, and performances at MoMA PS1 is the first comprehensive retrospective in the US of this unpredictable and highly influential artist. Schneemann was born in 1939 and began her career as a painter; this show is a rare chance to see her early abstract expressionist canvases side-by-side with her slightly later paintings, which often contain sculptural and found objects. But her reputation rests on the films and performances she started making in the 1960s, in which her own body often figures prominently: the orgiastic group performance “Meat Joy” (1964); the rapturous, sexually daring short film “Fuses” (1965); the Vietnam protest performance “Snows” and its accompanying film “Viet-Flakes” (both 1967); the taboo-defying “Interior Scroll” (1975); and many other works that likewise involved fresh, bracing combinations of live performance, projected images, painting, and bodily activity. “There was a great deal of disgust, outrage and upset in reaction to the piece,” she wrote about “Meat Joy” in a letter from 1964. “But it has also been like a bright, vivid sexual light in which eyes could open.”
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