June 1, 1950 |
New York City
|Occupation||Artist, Writer, Editor & Educator|
Mira Schor (b. in New York City in 1950) is an American artist, writer, editor, and educator, known for her contributions to the critical discourse on the status of painting in contemporary art and culture as well as to feminist art history and criticism.
Early life and education
Mira Schor's parents Ilya and Resia Schor were Polish-born artists who came to the US in 1941. (In 2003, Schor produced a video documentary on her parents’ work, The Tale of the Goldsmith’s Floor, originally created for the 2003 Brown University and differences conference, “The Lure of the Detail,”). Mira Schor and her older sister Naomi Schor (1943–2001), a noted scholar of French Literature and Feminist theory, were both educated at the Lycée Français de New York. After receiving her Baccalauréat in 1967, Mira Schor studied art history at New York University (WSC B.A. 1970). During this time she worked as an assistant to Red Grooms and Mimi Gross. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 1973. There she was a participant in the CalArts Feminist Art Program’s renowned project Womanhouse (1972). In the Feminist Art Program she studied with Miriam Shapiro and Judy Chicago. Later at CalArts she studied with Los Angeles-born sculptor Stephan Von Huene.
Schor’s visual work balances political and theoretical concerns with formalist and material passions. Her work has included major periods in which gendered narrative and representation of the body has been featured, but the predominant focus of her work has been representation of language in drawing and painting. Her paintings have been foregrounded by these various disciplines: by painting, with shows such as "Slow Art: Painting in New York Now," at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center; by feminism, with exhibitions such as "Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago's 'Dinner Party' in Feminist Art History," at the Armand Hammer Museum; and by language, with shows such as "Poetry Plastique," at Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York.
In the 1980s and 90s, Schor's work was also been exhibited in New York at the Edward Thorp Gallery, Horodner Romley Gallery, and in group exhibitions including at the Santa Monica Museum, the Armand Hammer Museum, The Neuberger Museum, and the Aldrich Museum. Her visual work and her writings are included in Art and Feminism (2001) and Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party in Feminist Art History (1996). In 2009 Schor exhibited her work at Momenta Art in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in a solo exhibition entitled "Suddenly," marking a departure in Schor's work, from the depiction of language as image to the suggestion of its lack in a space where we expect to see it. A solo exhibition, "Mira Schor: Paintings From the Nineties To Now," was held at CB1 Gallery in Los Angeles, CA (November 20, 2010 – January 9, 2011) with a catalogue essay by art historian Amelia Jones. Schor exhibited her work at Marvelli Gallery  in 2012. In 2009 painter and critic Robert Berlind wrote, "An intimist whose candor is akin to Emily Dickinson’s.". In a 2012 New York Times review, critic Roberta Smith wrote "Mira Schor’s small, sharp, quirky paintings have been thorns in the side of the medium for more than three decades now" and "Ms. Schor hardly tells the whole story of creative labor, but she lays out its essential elements: the isolation, reading, thinking and percolation that enable a Voice to emerge. At once poetic, lyrical and oddly real, her paintings give rare and sardonic visual form to the life, and the work, of the mind". Reviews of Schor's recent exhibitions have been published in Art in America and on Artforum.com.
Writing and Scholarship
Schor has written frequently on issues of gender representation, including “Backlash and Appropriation,” a chapter of The Power of Feminist Art, 1994, an historical overview of the Feminist movement published by Abrams, “Patrilineage”, 2002, republished in The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader edited by Amelia Jones, and on artists such as Ida Applebroog, Mary Kelly, and Ana Mendieta. Schor is the author of Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture, 1997, and co-editor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings, Theory, and Criticism, 2000, and of M/E/A/N/I/NG Online. Schor has sometimes been criticized for taking an essentialist position in terms of feminism and many of her writings take on this debate. In her writings on paintings in essays such as “Figure/Ground,” 2001, Schor is seen as making a case for the relevance of painting in a post-medium visual culture and for arguing for the compatibility and mutuality of painterly and theoretical practices.
Schor was awarded a 2009 Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant to develop A Year of Positive Thinking, a blog on contemporary art.
She taught at NSCAD in Halifax, Nova Scotia (1974–1978), SUNY Purchase (1983–1985), Sarah Lawrence College (1991–1994), RISD (1999–2000), and was a resident artist at Skowhegan School in 1995. She has also taught in the Vermont College and MECA low-residency MFA programs as an artist/teacher, and at School of Visual Arts in the MFA in Art Criticism and Writing Program in 2006. For over a decade she has taught in the Fine Arts Department at Parsons The New School for Design.
- A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life, 2010
- The Extreme of the Middle: Writings of Jack Tworkov, Yale University Press, 2009.
- M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists' Writings, Theory, and Criticism, co-edited with Susan Bee, Duke University Press, 2000.
- Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture, Duke University Press, 1997.
- “I am not now nor have I ever been …”, Brooklyn Rail, February 2008
- “She Demon Spawn from Hell,” M/E/A/N/I/NG Online, 2006
- "Backlash and Appropriation" in The Power of Feminist Art, Norma Broude & Mary Garrard, eds, Abrams, 1994
- "Patrilineage," Feminist Art Criticism issue, Art Journal 50, No. 2 Summer 1991. Anthologized in New Feminist Criticism: Art/Identity/Action, HarperCollins, 1994 and The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, Routledge, 2003; Translated into Czech, Neviditelná zena, Antologie soucasneho americkeko mysleni o feminismu, dejinach a vizualite, Martina Pachmanova, ed., One Woman Press, Prague, 2002.
- “Figure/Ground,” M/E/A/N/I/N/G #6, reprinted in Wet & M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology, excerpted in Helen Reckitt & Peggy Phelan, Art and Feminism, London & New York: Phaidon Press Ltd., 2001.
- "Medusa Redux: Ida Applebroog and the Spaces of Postmodernity," Artforum, March. Updated and published as catalogue essay for Ida Applebroog, Orchard Gallery, Derry, Northern Ireland, 1993; excerpts included in Ida Applebroog, Are You Bleeding Yet?, New York: La Maison Red, 2002.
- "On Failure and Anonymity," Heresies 25, 1990.
- “Appropriated Sexuality,” M/E/A/N/I/N/G #1, 1986. Anthologized in Theories of Contemporary Art, Richard Hertz, ed. (Prentice Hall, 1985), and republished in Wet and M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists' Writings, Theory, and Criticism.
Schor is the co-founder and co-editor, with Susan Bee, of the art journal, M/E/A/N/I/N/G. M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists' Writings, Theory, and Criticism, was published by Duke University Press in 2000. The archive of the journal was acquired by the Beinecke Library at Yale University in 2007. This respected artist-run editorial project continues at M/E/A/N/I/NG Online
Grants and Awards
- Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, 2009.
- Residency at The Rockefeller Foundation’s Study and Center in Bellagio, Italy, 2001.
- College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism, 1999.
- Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, 1997.
- Guggenheim Fellowship in Painting, 1992.
- The Space Program of The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, 1992.
- National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Arts Fellowship in Painting, 1985.
- Knechtel, Tom. "Mira Schor: WarCrawl,” 2008, in Critical Models vol.1
- Drucker, Johanna. Sweet Dreams: Contemporary Art and Complicity, UChicago Press, 2006. 124-8, color plate 6.
- Jones, Amelia. Sexual Politics. UCLA at the Armand Hammer of Art and Cultural Center, UC Press, 2003.
- Drucker, Johanna. The Century of Artists' Books, Granary Books, 1995.
- Duncan, Michael. "Reviews," Art in America, April 1994.
- Canning, Sue. "Reviews," Art Papers, Volume 18, no. 1, January & February 1994.
- Humphrey, David. "New York FAX," Art Issues, no. 31, January/February 1994.
- Phelan, Peggy. "Developing the Negative: Mapplethorpe, Schor, and Sherman" chapter of Unmarked, Routledge, 1993.
- Larson, Kay. "The Painting Pyramid," New York Magazine, May 25, 1992.
- Morgan, Robert C. "After The Deluge: The Return of the Inner Directed Artist," Arts Magazine, March, 1992. Reprinted with reproduction in After the Deluge: Essays for Art in the Nineties. New York: Red Bass, 1993.
- “The Tale of The Goldsmith’s Floor,” an illustrated video script, appears in differences, Vol. 14, Number 3, Fall 2003
- “Exhibition Reviews: Mira Schor, Momenta Art,” Art in America, June–July, 2009, 199, repro. 198
- Constance Mallinson, Reviews, Mira Schor, Art in America, April 2011, p.131
- Robinson, Walter. “Art Show as Think Tank”. Artnet.com. February 18, 2010
- "Awards". The College Art Association. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
- http://www.artonair.org/archives/j/content/view/581/147/[dead link]
- Mira Schor at CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles
- Mira Schor and Jason Andrew in Conversation with Phong Bui, Brooklyn Rail, October 2009