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2019.03.08 Fri, by
Carolee Schneemann (1934–2019)


P.P.O.W, Galerie Lelong, Hales Gallery, and the Carolee Schneemann Foundation are deeply saddened to announce that Carolee Schneemann, the visionary artist and generous friend, passed away peacefully on March 6, 2019 in her beloved home surrounded by her art family and friends.

Schneemann was one of the most significant artists of the postwar period. From her canvases of the 1950s, Schneemann radicalized painting, extending its “tactile activity” — its materials, its gestures, its energetics — into a range of media, including collages, assemblages, dance and performances, films, multi-media installations, and environments of what she called “Kinetic Theater.” In Meat Joy from 1964, one of Schneemann’s most well-known works of Kinetic Theater, painting becomes an hour-long “erotic rite” with its “celebration of flesh as material.” As she describes, “its propulsion is toward the ecstatic, shifting and turning between tenderness, wildness, precision, and abandon — qualities that could at any moment be sensual, comic, joyous, repellant.”

Schneemann’s work forever redefined our understanding of the body, desire, violence, sexuality, and gender, and remains of crucial importance for the study of feminist art histories. Moreover, in works addressing the Vietnam War and the Lebanese Civil War, Schneemann gives us a searing indictment of warfare as a sublimation of sexual repression and toxic masculinity. Schneemann’s writings and performative lectures endure as a testament to her profound insights from within the foremost cultural developments of the last sixty years.

We are grateful for the chance to work so closely with Carolee Schneemann and we will continue to support her legacy. Memorial service announcements will be released in the coming weeks.


Photo by Klaus Biesenbach

Keywords: Carolee Schneemann,