The Easel

Archives: Hettie Judah

13th September 2022

Vagina scrolls and tongue-kissing with cats: Carolee Schneemann is one of art’s great rebels

Irate at the unfair treatment of female artists, Schneemann decided to provoke. When her abstract paintings didn’t have much impact, she tried performance art, working in the nude. Some of her performances may now look silly, like writhing around among chickens and fish. One critic hints at exhibitionism by an artist who was “flawlessly beautiful”. Still, Schneemann emphatically made her point with works that are “highlights of the performance art canon”.