Pat Steir, ‘Exquisite Corpse 17’, ca. 2011, Mana Contemporary


More than 180 internationally recognized visual artists, architects, designers and photographers participated in the Armitage Gone! Dance Exquisite Corpse Project, beginning in 2011. The artists created one hundred and thirty nine artworks to benefit Armitage Gone! Dance, an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company under the direction of renowned choreographer Karole Armitage. Using the 1920's surrealist parlor game "cadavre exquise," a drawing that combines words and/or images by multiple artists on one sheet of paper, the project celebrates the theme of chance encounters, surprise and radical juxtaposition. Each artist adds to the composition, in sequence, without seeing the contribution of the previous person. The chance juxtaposition of images and styles results in a work that is both unexpected and amusing. Each drawing is a combination of the work of three or four artists.

The Exquisite Corpse project is a way for a wide range of artists to express their support for Armitage’s work and also a way for her to acknowledge artists who have played such a large role in her career. The project also highlights the “performative” aspect of art-making by demonstrating that drawing, performance art, and dance all have in common spontaneity and an unpredictable nature. The evanescent quality of dance is mirrored in the surprising juxtapositions of the Exquisite Corpse.

Series: The Armitage Gone Dance Exquisite Corpse Project

Image rights: (Top-Bottom) Pat Steir - India Ink; Dana Hoey - Photo Collage; Ryan McGinness - Marker

About Pat Steir

Though her early work was loosely allied with Conceptual Art and Minimalism, Pat Steir's poured “Waterfall” paintings of the 1980s gained her acclaim. Profoundly influenced by Chinese painting traditions and techniques—especially the marks of the eighth- and ninth-century Yi-pin “ink-splashing” painters—mentorships from John Cage and Agnes Martin, and the harmony between man and nature espoused by Taoist philosophy, Steir considers elemental forces active participants in her work, intentionally removing herself from the action and allowing gravity, time, and the environment to determine the work’s result.

American, b. 1940, Newark, New Jersey, based in New York, New York

About Dana Hoey

Photographer Dana Hoey achieved recognition for her staged compositions investigating women's social roles and relationships, often depicting counter-cultural, idealistic figures, as in Freedom Officers (1999), two female correction officers on four-wheelers, or Pregnant Smoker (2002), a woman reclining in ecstatic triumph. Recently, she has departed from her narrative style in series like "Pattern Recognition" (2006), kaleidoscopic collages of original and appropriated images of women, and "Experiments in Primitive Living" (2007-2008), a photographic cycle exploring life under different weather conditions.

American, b. 1966, San Francisco, California, based in New York, New York

Solo Shows

Angela Meleca Gallery, 

About Ryan McGinness

Equal parts Pop, Baroque, commercial, and street, Ryan McGinness’s psychedelic paintings merge slick biomorphic abstraction with surrealistic imagery. Trained as a graphic artist, McGinness transfers and subverts the images and techniques of commercial illustration—logos and symbols, silkscreening, hard edges, and vibrant colors—into his boldly graphic yet graceful works. “My paintings are composed of many units of meaning,” he says. “Individual drawings come together to create non-linear narrative mindscapes—random access memories.” McGinness has translated these same concerns across a range of mediums, creating sculptures, projections, and immersive installations of fluorescent light. His recent work Women: Blacklight Paintings & Sculptures (2012) exploded his body of nude figurative studies into an installation of glow-in-the-dark sculptures and exuberant, layered paintings. Of his predilection for neon, McGinness has said: “When I look inward, those are the colors I see.”

American, b. 1972, Virginia Beach, Virginia, based in New York, New York