A Tribute to Carolee Schneemann (1939 – 2019)

Bruce McPherson, among many others, at The Brooklyn Rail:

After the shock and tears, the feelings of personal loss and collective grief, as well as after the dutiful if hagiographic journalism, one is left wondering how Carolee Schneemann’s life’s work is likely to be seen over time. There are many things I could say, but two things above all else occur to me to suggest here as ways forward.

First, that while Carolee insisted on many occasions that she was a painter, what this meant was that the forms of her art should not and could not be separated into discrete categories—painting, performance, film, dance, theater, writing, photography, sculpture/combine, installation, etc.—that it is one thing altogether, a Gestalt. This, I believe, was thoroughly demonstrated by her Salzburg/Frankfurt/New York retrospective, where it became possible for the first time to trace and embrace the coherence of her formal expression and aesthetic integrity as a continuum. Her aesthetic is too complex to describe here, but it is fundamentally gestural, a physical propulsion outward of an inward state of being. Her awareness of that inward state occurred on many levels—physically, psychologically, interpersonally, communally, and through eidetic dreaming. Painting was her early passion and rigorous training, but it is of special importance as the gateway into and foundation underlying all other media and forms of expression that she mastered, altered, and creatively employed.

more here.

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