November 27, 2014 to January 10, 2015

Opening: November 27, 6-9 pm; remarks and readings at 7pm

Thursday-Saturday 12-5 pm

CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN: b. 12 October 1939 grew up in Penna. & Vt. a painter who has worked with bodies light movement technologies industrial environments natural environments heat sound collage music musicians dancers cooks ropes steel girders water snow mud cars crowds groups troupes rocks fire meat chickens blood glass trees pastures

passionate compassionate funny angry generous selfish shy aggressive self determined needing constant approval cant miss a party must have time alone sophisticated nave organic gardener lives in the country lives in the city

Carolee Schneemann cemented her place in art history in the 1960s with radical feminist performances in which her own body was her instrument. Though best known for Meat Joy 1964 and Interior Scroll 1975, Schneemann has lead a prolific and varied life as an artist, producing experimental films, artist books, installations and lecture-performances that consistently push against conventions of sexuality, aesthetics, and the role of the artist. Throughout, Schneemann has written and retained hundreds of letters to friends, lovers, poets, dancers, directors, critics and curators in which she defines her position in a tirelessly patriarchal art world. She wrote frequently, candidly and instinctively.

Dear Carolee: Carolee Schneemann in Letters organized by Kunstverein Toronto and hosted at G Gallery is an alternative retrospective of the life and work of the groundbreaking artist Carolee Schneemann. Schneemann refuses to call her lifes work a career: it is her life and her correspondence is her work. For the first time, this exhibition takes Schneemanns correspondence from 1956 onwards as the focal point. A selection of letters is presented alongside writings, ephemera, artist books, photographs and films from the artist and her correspondents counting Stan Brakhage, Yvonne Rainer, Dick Higgins and James Tenney among them. Fifty years after Meat Joy, Dear Carolee builds a portrait of Schneemann from her own written record, introducing a nuanced understanding of an artist whose work often remains anchored to the sensationalism of her famous early performances.

Every Thursday during the exhibition, guest readers will present selections from Schneemanns correspondence. On December 18, Kunstverein Toronto Publishing launches a new edition of Schneemanns iconic artists book, Czanne; She Was a Great Painter 1976.

A biography of Carolee Schneemann, as printed in elima: a journal of writing, issue 1, 1973