Artpace San Antonio is pleased to announce our first exhibition of 2021: After Carolee: Tender and Fierce, guest-curated by Annette DiMeo Carlozzi. On view in the Hudson Showroom, After Carolee: Tender and Fierce was conceived for Artpace’s 25th anniversary year to give tribute to one of its most iconic former residents, Carolee Schneemann, and to welcome to Artpace for the first time more than a dozen women artists with Texas ties. In striking and dynamic ways, these artists’ works can be seen in dialog with Schneemann’s intellectual, performative, and erotic artistic legacies.
Carolee Schneemann was a pioneering artist whose long career, beginning in the 1960s and continuing until her passing in 2019, significantly influenced the trajectory of contemporary art and the possibilities for women working in the cultural realm. Renowned for performative works such as Meat Joy and Interior Scroll, Schneemann’s painterly aesthetic mobilized gestures, movements, objects, film, installation, publication, and performance in a radical exploration of the politics of female sexuality and spirit. In 1999 she participated in Artpace’s International Artist-in-Residence program, creating the multi-media installation, Vesper’s Pool, whose notions guide this show.
After Carolee: Tender and Fierce partners “Carolee’s Room,” a curatorial reflection on Vesper’s Pool and Carolee’s time at Artpace, with a multisensory exhibition of 30 works by a new generation of artists exploring the power and expansiveness of the feminine, a pursuit more urgent now than ever. The exhibition features artists who, like Carolee, work across mediums and platforms, marrying intellectual rigor with deeply empathetic explorations of personal politics and current concerns. Featured artists are Amber Bemak & Nadia Granados, Kristen Cochran, Liss LaFleur, Yuliya Lanina, Beili Liu, Paloma Mayorga, Virginia Lee Montgomery, Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud, Lovie Olivia, SAINTLORRAINE (Britt Lorraine & Kristy Perez), Megan Solis, and Julia Claire Wallace.
“This exhibition speaks to the continuing relevance of Schneemann’s most transgressive works—like Vesper’s Pool—and their apparent mirroring in much contemporary art of the moment, especially that made by women,” Carlozzi tells Artpace. “Carolee serves as inspiration—and for some, as muse—to their reimaginations of self. Three nuanced themes that were generative for Carolee’s 1999 Artpace residency foster a rich conversation with these exhibiting artists: self-portraiture and the body’s trace; transformation through empathy; and communication among the intelligences of the natural world. Cutting across disciplines, these assembled works of art—including several created especially for the exhibition—start with the body and move outwards towards new notions of the individual, family, and community.”
Because contemporary art can explore powerful issues, some of the work in this exhibition may not suitable for younger viewers. After Carolee: Tender and Fierce will be accompanied by a series of performances, interviews, and more. Details to be announced.
This exhibition has been made possible through the generous support of Sarah E. Harte and John S. Gutzler and the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation. Artpace would also like to thank the City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture, the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation of the San Antonio Area Foundation, and the Texas Commission on the Arts for their ongoing support of Artpace’s exhibitions and programs.
Photo Credit: Beth Devillier