I emerged as an artist – from studies in science and psychology – in a turbulent and experimental era. My M.F.A. from CalArts in 1973 provided an opportunity to study with Allan Kaprow and Judy Chicago at a formative time for performance and conceptual art. An abiding curiosity about experience, relational aesthetics and ordinary life led to my engagement in narrative. These narratives – particularly those reflective of gender, class or racial inequities – provided a field of artistic experimentation that created precedents for today’s “public practices.” How do broad audiences understand and embrace art, how do communities develop and how does art engage with social change?
My work is a frame for aesthetic questions on the boundaries between art and life, myths of audiences and popular culture’s construction of reality. Throughout my career I continue to advocate for the development of an ethical, transient, public and accessible art. My works include the intimate (recording memories of cancer patients), the vastly public (430 older women reflecting before 3,000 people); and the activist (working on peace and reconciliation in Colombia). I am drawn to social themes of race, gender and class equity alongside existential ones about consciousness and physicality.
California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, Calif.
College Art Association Distinguished Artist Award
City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Travel Grant
Durfee Artists’ Completion Grant
Center for Cultural Innovation
Select Solo Projects and Exhibitions
2010 Tattooed Skeleton (in progress, completed November 2010), Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
2009 In the Last Throes of Artistic Vision, Suzanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles
2008 Trade Talk, Installation with Peter Kirby and Michael Rotondi, for Allan Kaprow-Art as Life, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Stories of Work and Survival. performance and installation, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Select Group Exhibitions
2010 Donna: Avanguardia Femminista Negli Anni ’70 dalla Sammlung Verbund di Vienna, Galleria Nazionale de’ Arte Moderna, Milano, Italy
2009 Re-Act Feminism: Performance in the 1970s and Today, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
2008 Memory is Your Image of Perfection, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, Calif.
2007 Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Museo del Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain
Select Community-based Artworks
University of Local Knowledge, project with Knowle West Media Center, Bristol, England
Laton Live! Reunion/Reúnion (collaboration with Otis College of Art and Design MFA students), Laton, Calif.
2008 The Way That We Rhyme: Women, Art and Politics, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
2007 SWARM. Performance for Art Scene Anniversary, with Kim Abeles and Jeff Cain, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles