Milton Resnick was born in Bratslav, Russia in 1917, and immigrated to the United States in 1922. Resnick was one of the few survivors of the second generation Abstract Expressionists and is known for his large, thickly painted abstract canvases. Like other painters of the time, Resnick was striving for an overall quality to his paintings, a way to unite the foreground and background. While others moved toward throwing or dragging quantities of paint across the face of the canvas, Resnick retained a particularly personal and impassioned relation to brush painting.
Since 1977 Mierle Laderman Ukeles has been a volunteer artist-in-residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation, allowing her to introduce radical art into a public system. Since she wrote the Manifesto for Main-tenance Art (1969), virtually all of Ukeles’s work has been public. Recent permanent commissions include Percent for Art Fresh Kills Landfill Project, New York City, the world’s largest landfill; Schuylkill River Park, Philadelphia; Creative Time, New York City; and Ayalon Park, Israel.
Michele Wallace's attention to the invisibility and/or fetishization of black women in the gallery and museum worlds has made possible new critical thinking around the intersection of race and gender in African American visual and popular culture, particularly in what she has called "the gap around the psychoanalytic" in contemporary African-American critical discourse. Wallace has taught creative writing at several universities, as well as Women’s Studies at the City College of New York.
Stuart wanders through her influences coming from the California landscape and culture of her childhood through her encounter with the New York art world. Standing as an outsider to 'mainstream' art practice, Stuart focused on the natural world of quarries, waterfalls, and Indian mounds while revealing the cultural and geological history of these spaces, and how to trace these histories onto large paper scrolls and in books layered to parallel historical change.
Interview by Kate Horsfield.
A historical interview originally recorded in 1978. Re-edited in 2008.
Meredith Monk has been composing, choreographing, and performing since the mid-1960s. Her voice has a unique timbre, which she explores through a capella singing and speech. As a dancer and choreographer, she creates hybrid, theatrical productions that incorporate ritualistic movements, lighting effects, and small props.
Mel Chin received national attention when he had to defend the artistic merits of his work Revival Field to the NEA in 1990. The work is a public sculpture aimed at cleansing toxically polluted areas of land through the introduction of hyperaccumulators, plants that absorb heavy metals through their vascular systems. In this interview with Craig Adcock, Chin discusses the research and development that went into Revival Field, which combines such disciplines as alchemy, botany, and ecology, and the subsequent controversy that resulted from the piece.
From her earlier sculptural work, Mary Miss has moved into concerns with illusion, distance, and perception. The work has grown to environmental scale and frequently uses both ancient and modern architecture as references. “A lot of things I do are illusionistic or have been almost like painting, like flattening something out while trying at the same time to give the experience of space. I’m interested in that very thin line that happens between these two different things,” Miss says in this interview with Kate Horsfield.
A historical interview originally recorded in 1978.
Martha Rosler was born in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BA from Brooklyn College in 1965 and her MFA from the University of California, San Diego in 1974. Rosler has produced seminal works in the fields of photography, performance, video, installation, criticism, and theory. Committed to an art that engages a public beyond the confines of the art world, Rosler investigates how socioeconomic realities and political ideologies dominate everyday life.
Since the 1970s Mary Kelly has worked at the fore of feminist art and theory. She has continued to address issues and methods of activist politics, psychoanalysis, political science, literature, and the history of women and gender. Kelly received recognition in the early ’80s for her epic six-year project, The Post Partum Document, a mixed-media work chronicling her and her son’s development. Kelly says her work revolves “around the recurring themes of body, money, history, and power” in this interview with Judith Russi Kirschner.
Marcia Tucker was the founding director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art from 1977 to 1999, during which time she organized major exhibitions like The Time of Our Lives (1999), A Labor of Love (1996), and Bad Girls (1994); and edited the series Documentary Sources in Contemporary Art, five books which the New Museum also published. Tucker considered the museum a “laboratory” organization where both art and the practices of the institution itself were always in question.
Marcia Tucker was the founding director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art from 1977 to 1999, during which time she organized major exhibitions like The Time of Our Lives (1999), A Labor of Love (1996), and Bad Girls (1994), and edited the series Documentary Sources in Contemporary Art, five books which the New Museum also published. Tucker considered the museum a “laboratory” organization where both art and the practices of the institution itself were always in question.
Shu Lea Cheang tackles conceptions of racial assimilation in American culture, examining the political underbelly of everyday situations that affect the relationship between individuals and society. Using video in formally innovative installations, her works include the Airwaves Project, which focused on the one-way flow of global information and industrial waste, and ThoseFluttering Objects of Desire, an installation presenting the work of women artists negotiating interracial sexual politics.
For Shigeko Kubota the video image-making process is a cultural and personal experience. She has explored cross-cultural relationships in her video diaries, transient images captured by portable equipment while traveling—Kubota’s “comparative videology.” She has also combined fleeting video images with the “objecthood” of sculptural form in her series of video sculptures inspired by Duchamp.
Sharon Lockhart is a photographer and filmmaker. Her photographic and filmic works interrogate the inversion of the static image as cinematic and the manipulation of the moving image into a static/stop-motion frame. Her work also contemplates how we perceive our own real-time realities. Her first film, Khabil, A Woman Under the Influence, was completed in 1994. In 1996 Lockhart was awarded a grant from the Asian Cultural Council to spend three months in Japan.
Rudy Burckhardt—best known as a photographer and filmmaker—moved to New York from his native Basel in 1935 at age 21. Burckhardt shot portraits of many artists for Art News during the 1950s and early ’60s, capturing their work methods in candid and intimate photos. His films, frequently portraying cityscapes and urban life, include The Pursuit of Happiness (1940), Under the Brooklyn Bridge (1953), What Mozart Saw on Mulberry Street (1956), Square Times (1967), and Inside Dope (1971). Burckhardt died in 1999.