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17/09/2022 - 29/10/2022

Mid C20th - Painting


Carolee Schneemann: 1955-1959

Wed-Sat: 11-6pm

Hales is proud to announce Carolee Schneemann: 1955–1959, the gallery’s third solo exhibition with the late artist. This exhibition of early work runs alongside Body Politics — the first major survey of Schneemann’s work in the UK, organized by and on view at The Barbican Centre from 8 September 2022 to 8 January 2023.

Carolee Schneemann: 1955–1959 brings together significant nude figurative paintings and an early body of drawings, on view together for the first time. Made at a critical period of intellectual and artistic growth, the works demonstrate the importance of the act of drawing—of drawing as action—that would remain constant.

Schneemann’s formalist and aesthetic concerns are rooted in painting and drawing. These works are the crucial precursor to the work’s extension off the page and canvas, to encompass assemblage and performance. ‘Action Drawings’ depict a connection to the physical body and a kinetic movement. Here in the early stages of her life, she is finding ‘action,’ palette, and the body as subjective experience, which would all come to be synonymous with the artist. Indicative of this future, in 1957 she wrote, ‘Every time I work well from the figure I “break” with the figure; for I don’t want “it.” I want its limitless possibilities for forms and spatial expressiveness.’


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Shoreditch 7 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA