b. 1936, New York, U.S.; lives and works in New York, U.S. and Nova Scotia, Canada.
Joan Jonas is one of the most important visual artists to emerge from the 1960s and 1970s. Jonas' projects and experiments were influential in the creation and recognition of performance for video or video performance art as a genre and medium. Her influence can be felt across conceptual art, theatre, performance and other disciplines. Jonas studied with the choreographer Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer and Steve Paxton and dance is a predominant feature of Jonas’s work. The use of a mirror features prominently in certain periods of her output which helps her understand and articulate ideas of the self and its relation to others. Beyond this, Jonas explores new layers of meaning across themes and questions of gender and identity. More than this, Jonas works in video, installation, sculpture, and drawing, often collaborating with musicians and dancers to realize improvisational works. Such projects can be found in the theatre, in public settings, in galleries and museums and sometimes effectively blur the boundaries between these sites. She draws on myth and storytelling from various cultures and yet allows the politics of the present to speak through important texts, sources, and ideas from the past.
Joan Jonas' recent solo exhibitions include Joan Jonas - Draw on the wind Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan (2023); Joan Jonas Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2022); Dia Art Foundation, Beacon, New York (2021); Museo Novecento, Florence, Italy (2021); Joan Jonas: Five Decades, Pinacoteca de São Paulo (2020); Moving Off the Land II, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid (2020); Promise of the Infinite – Joan Jonas and the Mirror, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, Massachusetts (2019); Joan Jonas: what is found in the windowless house is true, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York (2017); Joan Jonas, Tate Modern, London (2018); Joan Jonas Reanimation Detail 2010-2012, National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik (2016); Joan Jonas: stream or river, flight or pattern, Fundación Botín, Santander (2016); After Mirage 1976/2014, Sant’Andrea De Scaphis, Lazio (2016); They Come to Us without a Word, US representative at 56 th Venice Biennale, Venice (2015); Joan Jonas: Selected Films and Videos, 1972-2005, MIT List Center for Visual Arts, Cambridge (2015); Glacier, Northern Norway Art Museum, Svalbard (2015); Joan Jonas year long program, CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, (2014); Joan Jonas, Galleria Alessandra Bonomo, Rome (2013); Reanimation, Documenta (13), Kassel (2012); Moving in Place 1976-2000, Yvon Lambert, New York (2006); Retrospective: Five Works, Queens Museum of Art, Queens, New York (2003); Performance, Video, Installation 1968-2000, NGBK - Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin (2001); and Film and Video Work, 1968-76, DIA Center for the Arts, New York (2000).
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