Carolee Schneemann’s radical and experimental art

29th November 2022

Celebrated as a feminist icon, a trailblazer in 20th-century art, and a point of reference to many of today’s leading artists, Carolee Schneemann’s interdisciplinary work is presented in a thrilling new show at the Barbican. Tracing her diverse, transgressive and interdisciplinary expression over six decades, Curator Lotte Johnson shares the thinking behind the exhibition Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics, as well as detailing why the American experimental artist’s approach is (still, to this day) so revolutionary.

Carolee Schneemann was born in 1939 and was an American visual artist, known for her experimental multi-media works addressing urgent topics from sexual expression and the objectification of women to human suffering and the violence of war. She received a B.A. from Bard College and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois. Although renowned for her work in performance and other media, Schneemann began her career as a painter, stating, “I’m a painter. I’m still a painter and I will die a painter. Everything that I have developed has to do with extending visual principles off the canvas.” Her works have been shown at the Barbican, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the London National Film Theatre, and many other venues.

Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics is on show at Barbican until 8 January, 2023.

Lotte Johnson 
Lotte Johnson is a curator at Barbican Art Gallery, London, where she has just curated the retrospective Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics, open until 8 January 2023. Her work focuses on interdisciplinary artistic expressions, feminist practices and transcultural dialogues, with a particular interest in performance. At the Barbican, she has curated solo artist commissions by Toyin Ojih Odutola (2020), Jamila Johnson-Small (2019), Yto Barrada (2018) and Bedwyr Williams (2016) and contributed to a number of major exhibitions, including Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art (2019), Basquiat: Boom for Real (2017) and The World of Charles and Ray Eames (2015), editing and authoring publications for many of these projects. She previously worked at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.