The Drawing Center will present the first major drawing retrospective of Joan Jonas, one of the most experimental and significant voices in American art of the postwar period. Although Jonas’s work has received critical attention and acclaim over the past few decades, her voluminous drawing oeuvre, which constitutes the backbone of her video, performance, and sculpture practices, has never been surveyed. This exhibition will be a definitive look at the integral place of drawing in the career of this pioneering feminist artist. The exhibition is organized by Laura Hoptman, The Drawing Center’s Executive Director, working in close collaboration with the SoHo-based artist. Animal, Vegetable, Mineral will occupy the entirety of The Drawing Center’s gallery spaces and will feature more than three hundred individual drawings dating from the 1960s to the present as well as a recent drawing environment that will be presented in the United States for the first time. On view beginning March 6th.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication devoted to Jonas’s drawing practice, co-published by The Drawing Center and DABA. Founded by artist Adam Pendleton, DABA explores relationships between conceptual practices, Blackness, and the avant-garde, publishing artist’s books, books on art, and experimental writing.
Joan Jonas: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral will run concurrently with a retrospective of Jonas’s work at MoMA, on view from March 17 through July 6, 2024.
About the Artist ~ Born in 1936 in New York, Joan Jonas is an acclaimed video and multimedia performance artist. She received a BA in Art History and Sculpture from Mount Holyoke College in 1958 and an MFA from Columbia University in 1965. In works that examined space and perceptual phenomena, she merged elements of dance, modern theater, the conventions of Japanese Noh and Kabuki theater, and the visual arts. Jonas has exhibited and performed extensively around the world. Notable exhibition history includes a self-titled exhibition at the Tate Modern in London (2018); her representation of the United States at the 56th Venice Biennial with an exhibition titled They Come to Us Without a Word II(2015); Performance 7: Mirageby Joan Jonas at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2009); and Drawings and Videosat Wako Works of Art in Tokyo, Japan (2008). In 2008, Jonas was invited to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, MA) to work on her ever-evolving performance and installation Reading Dante, originally created for the 2008 Sydney Biennial. For the Gardner Museum performance, she invited friends and artists in residence, including Adam Pendleton, to recite select portions of the text as part of the performance. Jonas is the recipient of many awards including the Kyoto Prize (2019); The Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon (2016); the Maya Deren Award given by the American Film Institute (1989); and the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2009).
Joan Jonas: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral will be on view from March 6 to June 2, 2024 at The Drawing Center, 35 Wooster Street, NYC.