Our latest Artist You Need To Know is Mira Schor. She’s an artist and writer based out of New York City who has been a significant voice in helping to define painting in a ‘post medium visual culture.’ Her critical writings (in many books and essays) are essential to feminist art history. Her most recent exhibition, Tipping Point, runs January 8 – February 7, 2021 at the Lyles & King Gallery.
Schor has been, since her graduation from CalArts in 1973, engaged in articulating (through images and words) “issues of gender and experience, setting out as coherently as possible what it means to inhabit a female body “with a mind.” (from Fabian Lang Gallery). The very direct nature of her aesthetic – often embodied in a rich painterly ‘hand’ that melds with the clarity of her social, political and personal ideologies – is a reason why Mira Schor is an artist you need to know, in light of some of the events already taking place in Schor’s home of the United States, in early 2021.
Schor, speaking about her recent exhibition HERE/THEN, THERE/NOW featuring works from 2008 to the present, offered these words: “At that point I felt that my work should contain any aspect of whatever I had ever done in a long history of work which has seemingly shifted appearance and focus perhaps more than some other artists – landscape, language, figure, politics, etc.” The last of these themes quickly entered Schor’s practice, as in the Occupy Series, but in retrospect she thinks of that period – from 2009 to 2015 – as before. That is to say, before what she sees as the end of American constitutional democracy. Which means now is the period during, “a hellscape from which we have no knowledge yet whether we will survive or escape.” That Schor is a first generation American whose parents fled fascism and disaster serves only to heighten her fears about that place of refuge they made home.” (from Fabian Lang)
Schor was part of the CalArts Feminist Art Program and a participant in the historic feminist art installation Womanhouse. She is the recipient of awards in painting from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Marie Walsh Sharpe, and Pollock-Krasner Foundations and of the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism. The Hammer Museum, P.S.1, The Neuberger Museum, The Jewish Museum, and The Aldrich Museum have all exhibited her work.
Her critical writings are extensive: she’s the author of Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture, editor of The Extreme of the Middle: Writings of Jack Tworkov, and co-editor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings, Theory, and Criticism and M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online. Schor was awarded a Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant in 2009 to develop A Year of Positive Thinking, a blog which includes writings on contemporary art, culture, and politics to accompany and provide a positive counterpoint to the publication of her 2009 book A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life. For over a decade, Schor has been an Associate Teaching Professor in the MFA Fine Arts Program at Parsons The New School For Design. Previously, she has taught at NSCAD in Halifax, Nova Scotia (1974–1978), SUNY Purchase (1983–1985), Sarah Lawrence College (1991–1994), Rhode Island School of Design (1999–2000), and was a resident artist at Skowhegan School in 1995.
Her art has alternated between projects in “which gendered narrative and representation of the body have been featured; in other periods the focus of her work has been representation of language in drawing and painting….[but the most recent paintings respond to] the experience of living in a moment of radical inequality, austerity, and accelerated time, set against the powerful pull of older notions of time, craft, and visual pleasure.” (from her site)
Mira Schor was awarded the 2019 Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award ‘for her work as a feminist painter, art historian and critic’ (2019). When you visit her own site (here), it’s a legacy site, which offers many images over the past fifty years of her practice. However, Schor’s most recent projects can be seen at Lyles & King Gallery and Fabian Lang Gallery.