Visual Art

J. Morgan Puett is an internationally renowned artist living on a 95-acre compound in the deciduous forests of northeastern Pennsylvania. Touching on ideas of creative domestication, radical pedagogy, and a critical engagement with one’s environment, Ms. Puett describes her unique home, which she calls Mildred’s Lane.

“It (J. Morgan Puett: A Practice of Be(e)ing) tells a unique story of an important artist that truly lives her art. It’s an exclusive biography of a woman who is widely known to the art world but, as yet, undiscovered by our culture.”

—Roderick Angle

 

In this 1993 contribution to the On Art and Artists series, artist Art Jones describes his entry into the world of activist media, and the genesis of his belief in the potential for a democratized street-level media. Hailing from the Bronx, Jones recalls his personal dislocation during college, when he began studying film and video at SUNY Purchase. At that time, Jones experienced a cultural isolation, which he mobilized to fuel his practice. This willingness to confront issues of representation and absence, asserting the validity of his own subjecthood, would become a defining characteristic of his work.

In 1958, Allan Kaprow (1927-2006) published an article on Abstract Expressionism entitled The Legacy of Jackson Pollock in which he suggested the separation of the art-making activity from the art itself. Kaprow’s concept was most famously realized through Happenings, during which the traditional role of artist-creator was replaced by what he called “the social occasion.” In these events, divisions between artist and audience—and between the artwork and the perception of it—were dissolved.

American figurative artist Alex Katz (b.1927) has produced a remarkable and impressive body of work but is best known for his large-scale, flat, yet realistic portraits of friends and family notable for their relaxed attitudes and uncomplicated bearing. In the early 1960s, influenced by films, television, and billboard advertising, Katz began painting large-scale paintings, often with dramatically cropped faces.Utilizing characteristically wide brushstrokes, large swathes of color, and refined compositions, Katz created what art historian Robert Storr called "a new and distinctive type of r

Joyce Kozloff was at the forefront of the 1970s pattern and decoration movement—a feminist effort to incorporate typically “feminine” and popular decorative arts into the fine arts. She has been involved with public art and murals for more than two decades. In this video, Kozloff prepares and installs her mural Around the World on the 44th Parallel, which features sections of maps from 12 cities around the world on the same latitude. The work was constructed at the Tile Guild in Los Angeles and installed at the library at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

Lucy Lippard (b. 1937) earned degrees from Smith College and New York University before beginning her career as an art critic in 1962, when she began contributing to publications such as Art International and later, Artforum. In 1966, she organized an exhibition entitled Eccentric Abstraction at the Fischbach Gallery in New York City.  

Lucy Lippard (b. 1937) earned degrees from Smith College and New York University before beginning her career as an art critic in 1962, when she began contributing to publications such as Art International and, later, Artforum. In 1966, she organized an exhibition entitled “Eccentric Abstraction” at the Fischbach Gallery in New York City. “Eccentric Abstraction” set the standard for what would later be regarded as postminimalism, process, or antiform art.

Originally from Canada, Agnes Martin (1912-2004) moved to the U.S. in 1931. Martin lived in Taos, New Mexico from 1954 to 1957, and then moved to New York, where she established her name as an important minimalist painter.

Originally from Canada, Agnes Martin (1912-2004) moved to the U.S. in 1931. Martin lived in Taos, New Mexico from 1954 to 1957 and then moved to New York, where she established her name as an important minimalist painter. Her work differed conceptually from the minimalist movement in that it was anti-intellectual and intensely spiritual, and her grids represented meditative reflections on Taoism.

In this 1996 interview, African-American sculptor, printmaker and designer Valerie Maynard (b.1937) describes growing up in Harlem in the mid-20th Century and her awareness of the importance of community during her upbringing. Recalling the prominence of the Baptist church in her early life, Maynard discusses how religion brought her into contact with local politicians who impressed upon her the importance of affecting change. The artist notes how an early affiliation with Congressman Adam Clayton Powell and her brother’s incarceration propelled her interest in social justice and the workings of the judicial system.

Medium, 2022

This film originated as an expanded portrait of artist Carol Bove as she created four monumental sculptures commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One week after filming began, New York City went into its first pandemic lockdown. Filmed against the backdrop of the progressing pandemic, Medium evolved into a meditation on materiality and the artist as a medium through which ideas move into the world.

Performance artist/sculptor Ana Mendieta used the raw materials of nature: water, mud, fire, rock, and grass. The consciousness of her politics and the poetics of her expression fill her work with an emotionally charged vision that is powerfully conveyed in this posthumous video profile. Drawing upon the raw spiritual power of Afro-Cuban religion, Mendieta used her art as a ritualistic and symbolic activity to celebrate the forces of life and the continuum of change.

Performance artist/sculptor Ana Mendieta used the raw materials of nature: water, mud, fire, rock, and grass. The consciousness of her politics and the poetics of her expression fill her work with an emotionally charged vision that is powerfully conveyed in this posthumous video profile. Drawing upon the raw spiritual power of Afro-Cuban religion, Mendieta used her art as a ritualistic and symbolic activity to celebrate the forces of life and the continuum of change.

Mary Miss (b.1944) is an American environmental artist who works with concepts of illusion, distance, and perception. Her site-specific work frequently uses both ancient and modern architecture as references. Miss's 1977 installation Perimeters/Pavilions/Decoys at the Nassau County Museum of Art, served as one of Rosalind Krauss's inspirations when she defined postmodern sculpture in her article, "Sculpture in the Expanded Field." 

Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) was a "second generation" abstract expressionist painter and printmaker.  She was an essential member of the American Abstract expressionist movement, and one of the few female painters to gain critical and public acclaim in the era.

Monitor, 1999

Cyclops / "monitor" / minotaur.

Note: A 20-second video loop self-portrait.

Elizabeth Murray (1940-2007)  was an American painter, printmaker and draughtsman.  She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1958–62) and at Mills College, Oakland, CA (1962–4). Elizabeth Murray’s paintings have been referred to as “dandyish abstraction.” Her work is distinctive in its use of color, shape, and surface to evoke human characteristics, personalities or humor. Murray is particularly well known for her shaped canvases, which date from 1976, on to which are painted both figurative and non-figurative elements.

Alice Neel (1900-1984) is known for portrait paintings of well-known persons and eccentric New York street types. Neel worked as a figurative painter throughout the decades of WPA realism, postwar abstract expressionism, 1960s Pop, and 1970s minimalism. She persevered in her work despite a turbulent personal life and critical neglect that continued until the 1960s. Neel lived and worked in New York City from 1932 until her death in 1984.

"A trance is a state of detachment with aspects of the ecstatic. Paradoxically, a trance can be induced by a surfeit of input or by its deprivation... In Anthony Discenza's Object 8242600, television imagery is reduced to a flood of unanchored signifiers reorganized as a motive mosaic."

—Steve Seid, Pacific Film Archive

Dennis Oppenheim was a prominent figure in various art developments throughout the ’70s. Oppenheim moved through body/performance art and related video work to earthworks to his current large-scale “factories.” In all of his work, the transference of energy is an underlying concern.

Polish-American arist Ed Paschke (1939-2004) received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1961 and his MFA in 1970. Paschke was known as a member of the late-1960s Chicago Imagist movement, a group of artists who called themselves The Hairy Who, whose expressive style of figurative painting was rooted in outsider art, popular culture, and Surrealism. Paschke's fascination with the print media of popular culture led to a portrait-based art of cultural icons. Paschke used the celebrity figure, real or imagined, as a vehicle for explorations of personal and public identity with social and political implications. 

Paint drips and body fluids ooze in this "tell all" and "hide nothing" documentary about two San Francisco males.

A philosopher and intermedia artist, Adrian Piper focuses on xenophobia, racism, and racial stereotyping

“As a black woman who can 'pass' and a Professor of Philosophy who leads a double life as an avant-garde artist, Piper has understandably focused on self-analysis and social boundaries. Over the years her work in performance, texts, newspaper, unannounced street events, videos, and photographs has developed an increasingly politicized and universalized image of what the self can mean.”

Since the early 1970s, Rackstraw Downes has committed himself to painting from observation, on site, from start to finish. He has painted both urban and rural landscapes, as well as interior spaces, in New York, Texas, and Maine. Although he paints exactly what he sees, through his labor ordinary sites become transformed into extraordinary scenes. 

Arlene Raven (1944-2006) was a feminist historian, theoretician, poet, and art historian who has published numerous books on contemporary art and written criticism for The Village Voice and a variety of other newspapers, art magazines, exhibition catalogues, and scholarly journals since 1969. She is a pioneer in progressive education and was an architect of the educational programs of the Feminist Studio Workshop, an independent school. She is also the founder of the Women’s Caucus for Art, the Los Angeles Woman’s Building, and Chrysalis magazine.