Visual Performance Art Collection on Display at Delaware Art Museum

Curator RoseLee Goldberg establishes herself as a true pioneer.

The Music of Regret, Act 2, 2006. Laurie Simmons (born 1949). 35mm film transferred to HDCam, 40 min. Courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York.

“Performance Now,” now on exhibit at the Delaware Art Museum, is a survey of visual performance art at the start of the 21st century. Curator RoseLee Goldberg first mapped the development of the form in her 1979 book, “Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present.” In 2004, she founded Performa, the international organization, and in 2005 started the Performa 05, the first biennial of visual art performance. “Performance Now” examines the role the medium has taken in contemporary art and culture. It includes objects, ephemera, sound and video of the performances displayed through large wall projections and monitors. The exhibition is composed of work by leading artists such as Marina Abramović, Jérôme Bel, Christian Jankowski, William Kentridge, Jesper Just, and Laurie Simmons. Goldberg’s book is regarded as the leading text for understanding the development of performance art. While director of the Royal College of Art Gallery in London, Goldberg established a program that pioneered an integrative approach to curating exhibitions, performance and symposia by involving the various departments of the RCA in all aspects of the exhibitions program. As curator at the Kitchen in New York she continued to advocate for multi-disciplinary practices to have equal prominence by establishing the exhibition space, a video viewing room and a performance series. Most recently, her vision in the creation of Performa has set a precedent for performance art that is now impacting museum programming and diverse audiences around the world. “Retro·active: Performance Art From 1964-1987,” organized to complement “Performance Now,” presents a historical view of performance art. The genre exploded onto the scene in the mid-1960s and has developed over the past 50 years to incorporate dance, music, theater, technology and audience participation and to address aesthetic, personal, social, economic and political concerns. Six groundbreaking works by artists Chris Burden, Dan Graham, Joan Jonas, Paul McCarthy, Yoko Ono, and Carolee Schneemann trace this pivotal moment and provide a context for contemporary performance art. See both exhibitions through Sept. 21.


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