Two Tributes to Carolee Schneemann and Her Impact On Today’s Experimental Art Forms

held in conjunction with the exhibition 

 “Carolee Schneemann curated by Heide Hatry at the Pierre Menard Gallery through November 25


-- Sunday, November 4th, 4 pm: “Carolee Schneemann: a live performance and film tribute”: followed by a panel discussion. Dedicated to Carolee Schneemann and her influence on current work being done in Boston. Curated by Jed Speare and Michelle Handelman; with performances by Heide Hatry, Theresa Byrnes and Mari Novotny-Jones; films by Lydia Eccles, Jesse Jagtiani, Michelle Handelman and Luther Price, ; followed by a panel discussion with the artists. $5 donation. At Studio Soto, 63 Melcher St, 1st Floor, Boston,, 617-426-7686.

-- Tuesday, November 20th, 8 pm: “Carolee Schneemann: a film tribute night” featuring Schneemann’s “Fuses”, “Plumbline”, and “Kitch’s Last Meal”. Shown and introduced by Saul Levine. $4 donation. At Mass. College of Art, MassArt Film Society, Screening Room 1, East Hall, 621 Huntington Ave., Boston,, 617-879-7441.

For more information on the Pierre Menard Gallery exhibition, see below. 


Carolee Schneemann

a selection of recent and early work

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

(still from Fuses, a silent film of collaged and painted sequences of lovemaking)


October 12 - November 25

Pierre Menard Gallery


curated by Heide Hatry

(Cambridge, MA) Pierre Menard Gallery presents Carolee Schneemann: a selection of recent and early work. October 12 -November 25, with an opening reception with the artist on Friday, October 12, 6 - 9 pm. Regular gallery hours: open daily, 12-8 pm. Free and open to the public. Pierre Menard Gallery, 10 Arrow Street, Cambridge. For more information, 617-868-2033 or


Multi-media American artist Carolee Schneemann, a pioneer of avant-garde filmmaking and video art, is the progenitrix of what is now known as performance art, particularly feminist performance art. The Pierre Menard Gallery’s exhibition will include numerous works, including paintings, that have never been exhibited, as well as a number of pieces for which she is renowned, including footage of her happenings and multi-media installations

For the last four-plus decades, Schneemann has consistently been in the forefront, exploring new forms of artistic expression long before they have become established. Her efforts cause a ripple that often takes years to finally register in the mainstream. By the mid-1970s, Schneemann’s work had already anticipated the field of women’s studies and its critique of patriarchal institutions. In the 1980s, she was one of the first to experiment with virtual environments. Schneemann is among the chief standard bearers of the iconoclastic, or more recently the “transgressive” tradition, which has punctuated the history of culture.

Throughout all her years of exploration, Schneemann has always been a painter, and she regards painting as the source of all of her work, however complex or disparate. In the late fifties, she was working in an abstract expressionist / neo-dada mode, producing a large volume of powerful paintings and drawings, always somehow concerned with kinesis as a subject. The exhibition at the Pierre Menard Gallery will attempt to clarify the relationship between painting, in the broad sense in which Schneemann avows its primacy in her work, and the extremely varied art in many media she has created in over a long and productive career.

As the limits of conventional painting to convey movement, time, emotion, force and passion became ever more evident, Schneemann experimented with new modes of approaching the broader range of experience to which painting was a stranger except by analogy. Her early three-dimensional constructions and later installations are often motorized or integrated with film. In Up to and Including her Limits (1974), her body itself, suspended from a harness, becomes a paintbrush. In happenings like Meat Joy (1964) and performances like Interior Scroll (1975) bodies, hers and others’, are by turns anarchically, ritualistically, or symbolically covered with blood as a pigment. While her iconic film works, Fuses (1964-1967), Viet Flakes (1965), and Snows (1967), apply painterly techniques directly onto the film surface to produce extraordinary tonal and emotional effects.  

In spite of her fame and the volume of scholarship her work has attracted, Schneemann has long labored in virtual isolation, neglected, often vilified, by both the established art market and the museum world. But what the commercial world has shunned, the alternative art world has embraced and championed. Her work is legendary and to this day, she continues to provoke as she explores female sexuality in relation to art-making, ritual, and culture.

A catalog, was published for this exhibition and is available at the Pierre Menard Gallery:
Edited by Heide Hatry, with essays by David Levi Strauss and Thryza Goodeve, an interview with Daria Martin and an introduction by Heide Hatry and John Wronoski

Background information:

Multidisciplinary artist Carolee Schneemann has transformed the definition of art, especially discourse on the body, sexuality, and gender. The history of her work is characterized by research into archaic visual traditions, pleasure wrested from suppressive taboos, the body of the artist in dynamic relationship with the social body. Her painting, photography, performance art and installation works have been shown at Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Centre Georges Pompidou, New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (a retrospective entitled “Up To And Including Her Limits”), and many more. Film and video retrospectives have been held at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Museum of Modern Art (NYC), National Film Theatre (London), Whitney Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Cinematheque, Anthology Film Archives (NYC), among others. Schneemann has taught at many institutions including New York University, California Institute of the Arts, Bard College, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees including the Art Pace International Artist Residency, Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Guggenheim Fellowship, Gottlieb Foundation Grant, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts (Maine College of Art, Portland, ME), and the Lifetime Achievement Award (College Art Association). She has published widely, including Cezanne, She Was A Great Painter (1976), Early and Recent Work (1983), More Than Meat Joy: Performance Works and Selected Writings (1979, 1997) and most recently Imaging her Erotics (2003), a visual and written exploration of her work, including excerpts from her diaries and dreambooks, along with interviews and essays written by a number of prominent art historians. The full breadth and depth of her work is described at

Curator Heide Hatry is a painter, sculptor, photographer and performance artist, who has also been trained as a printer, art historian and rare bookseller. She curated the exhibition entitled SKIN, in which she assembled work by seven woman artists, whose primary subject, and in some cases, medium, is skin. The show was mounted at the Heidelberger Kunstverein, the Goethe Institute in New York, and several commercial galleries. She also published the book Skin. She is currently curating a show for Elga Wimmer Gallery in New York about body-related performance art, which will travel to the Pierre Menard Gallery in the spring of 2008, and then on to a museum in Spain. Hatry will also publish a catalog for the Carolee Schneemann show and for the performance shows. For more information on Hatry, visit

The Pierre Menard Gallery was founded in 2006 by John Wronoski, proprietor of the well-known international rare book firm, Lame Duck Books (founded 1984). In its first year, the gallery mounted an exhausting 17 shows. The gallery’s space allows for multiple simultaneous exhibitions. Among the artists exhibited have been Lucien Clergue, Jim Peters, Hiroyuki Hamada, Jan Saudek, Josef Sudek, Christian Bastian, Matt Weber, Gordon Wagner, Rikki Ducornet and Elena Urbaitis.  Exhibition catalogs have been produced to accompany the majority of its shows, often with contributions by prominent authors, art historians and critics. Nathan Censullo is the gallery's director. Log onto for more details.