Joan Jonas, ‘Mirror performance I’, 1969, Galleria Raffaella Cortese

About Joan Jonas

Joan Jonas, believing that sculpture and painting were exhausted mediums, became known for her pioneering work in performance and video art. Jonas, who studied sculpture and art history, was deeply influenced by the work of Trisha Brown, with whom she studied dance, as well as John Cage and Claes Oldenburg, particular in their exploration of non-linear narrative structure and form. Jonas’s own work has frequently engaged and questioned portrayals of female identity in theatric and self-reflexive ways, using ritual-like gestures, masks, mirrors, and costumes. Over time, Jonas began to introduce more symbolic elements into her work; frequent motifs include dogs, the sun and moon, skulls, landscapes, and hurricanes. Themes of memory, autobiography, mythology, and dreams became more central themes in her work in the 1980s.

American, b. 1936, New York, New York, based in New York, New York