Carolee Schneemann (1939 – 2019) was a seminal visual experimental artist known for her multi-media works on the bod, narrative, sexuality, and gender. Schneeman was memorialized in the New York Times as “a feminist visionary and one of the most influential artists of the late 20th century.” She was revered for pushing concepts of painting beyond the canvas in a traditionally male-dominated field into physically charged performances that radically centered the artist’s body as an integral material amongst objects such as mirror shards, meat, and even live snakes.
Schneemann received a B.A. in poetry and philosophy from Bard College and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois.
Originally a painter in the Abstract Expressionist tradition, Schneeman was uninterested in the masculine heroism of New York painters of the time and turned to performance-based work,primarily characterized by research into visual traditions, taboos, and the body of the individual in relation to social bodies.
During her time at Eyebeam as an artist in residence in 2003, Schneeman produced Devour, a powerful multi-channel video installation that confronts the onslaught of contemporary media and addictive consumption through contrasting speeding images of disaster and domestic intimacy. The artist refers to the piece as being about “menace,” that “disturbs and questions the tenor of normality.” The work has since been shown internationally, most recently in Schneemann’s career retrospective Kinetic Painting at MoMA PS1.