Five artists who also made painting into performance
Ten days later. Work in progress. Ylva Snöfrid’s From the Eyes of the Painter, a One Month Performance. The audience has been able to follow the artist in her work. To let life and painting melt together, to push the boundaries of what painting could be, is well rooted in art history. CFHILL lists five artists who have made unforgettable works including performance painting. We are open Saturday 12–3 PM.
Jackson Pollock – Action painting, 1950's
Pollock's most famous paintings were made during the "drip period" between 1947 and 1950. He rocketed to fame following an August 8, 1949 four-page spread in Life magazine that asked, "Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?" At the peak of his fame, Pollock abruptly abandoned the drip style. The term “action painting” was coined by the American critic Harold Rosenberg in 1952, in his essay "The American Action Painters", and signaled a major shift in the aesthetic perspective of New York Schoolpainters and critics. According to Rosenberg the canvas was "an arena in which to act".
Yves Klein – Antropométries, 1960
Yves Klein used naked women as ‘human paintbrushes’ to make his Anthropometry paintings, which were produced as elaborate performances in front of an audience. Klein, in bow-tie and suit, would conduct the women as they covered themselves in paint (a colour he patented as ‘International Klein Blue’) and made imprints of their bodies. During the performance musicians played his Klein's Monotone Symphony – a single note played for twenty minutes, followed by twenty minutes of silence.
Niki de Saint Phalle – Shooting paintings, 1961–1970
Shooting Picture is a relief work by the artist Niki de Saint Phalle. The surface of the work is rough and textured, featuring a white background and multiple streams of differently coloured paint including purple, yellow, blue, red and black. Each of the colours appears to have dripped down the canvas from a hole, which exposes a dark surface beneath the white. Saint Phalle made this work by shooting with a gun at bags of paint that were placed on the canvas. Before the shooting began, the surface was covered with white plaster and pigment to resemble a blank canvas.
Olafur Eliasson – Green River, 1998
In turning the river green, Eliasson transformed it into a critical object, either laying bare the construction of perception, raising awareness of environmentalism or critiquing conditions of representation, depending whom you ask. But uncertainty of reading is part of Eliasson’s critique, and the covertness of Green River enables this uncertainty. Olafur Eliasson performed this piece in Iceland, Tokyo, Stockholm, Los Angeles, Moss and Bremen among others.
Janine Antoni – Loving Care, 1993
An iconic feminist work from the early nineties. Antoni used her hair as a paintbrush and Loving Care hair dye as her paint. Antoni dipped her hair in a bucket of hair dye and mopped the gallery floor on her hands and knees and in the process pushed the viewers out of the gallery space. In this process Antoni explored the body, as well as themes of power, femininity, and the style of abstract expressionism. Her performance was at the Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London.