Carolee Schneemann (October 12, 1939 – March 6, 2019) was an American visual experimental artist, known for her multi-media works on the body, narrative, sexuality and gender. She 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. 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 Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the London National Film Theatre, and many other venues.
Schneemann taught at several universities, including the California Institute of the Arts, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Hunter College, and Rutgers University. Additionally, she published widely, producing works such as Cézanne, She Was a Great Painter (1976) and More than Meat Joy: Performance Works and Selected Writings (1997). Her works have been associated with a variety of art classifications including Fluxus, Neo-Dada, performance art, the Beat Generation, and happenings.
For many centuries artists have been fascinated by the magical, visceral power of projected light as action, as a performative …