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RoseLee Goldberg is an American-based art historian, author, critic and curator. She wrote a study of performance art, Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present. First published in 1979 and now in its third edition (2001), Goldberg's book is now a key text for teaching performance in universities and has been translated into over seven languages, including Chinese, Croatian, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Born in Durban, South Africa, Goldberg studied Political Science and Fine Arts at Wits University, Johannesburg, and Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. As director of the Royal College of Art Gallery, London, Goldberg set precedents for exhibiting modern and contemporary performance and organized exhibitions, performance series, and symposia on a broad range of multi-disciplinary artists including Marina Abramovic, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Christian Boltanski, Brian Eno, the Kipper Kids, Piero Manzoni, Anthony McCall, and Christo and Jeanne Claude.
Goldberg was curator at The Kitchen, New York. Her programming included the creation of an exhibition space, a video viewing room, and performance series. While at The Kitchen, Goldberg presented works by Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Peter Gordon, Meredith Monk, and Robert Wilson and curated the first solo exhibitions of Jack Goldstein, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, David Salle, and Cindy Sherman, among others.
Goldberg has curated several performance series including "Six Evenings of Performance," as part of the High and Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture, exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Couleurs Superposees: Acte VII, a performance by Daniel Buren, (in association with Works & Process), at the Guggenheim, New York.
In 2001 Goldberg commissioned and produced Logic of the Birds, a multi-media performance by Shirin Neshat in collaboration with composer and singer Sussan Deyhim. Developed in residency at Mass MOCA, Logic of the Birds was presented in workshop at the Kitchen in 2001, and premiered at the 2002 Lincoln Center Festival, and toured to the Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, and Artangel, London. In 2004, Goldberg founded PERFORMA, a non-profit multi-disciplinary arts organization for the "research, development, and presentation of 21st Century visual art performance".
Goldberg has taught at New York University since 1987 and has lectured at Columbia University, the Guggenheim Museum, New York, Kyoto University of Art and Design, the Mori Museum, Tokyo, the Tate Modern, London, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Yale University, among other institutions. She is a frequent contributor to Artforum, and her publications include Performance Since 1960 (1998), Laurie Anderson (2000) and Shirin Neshat (2002). Goldberg has two forthcoming books in 2007: PERFORMA, the first in a series of publications to accompany the PERFORMA biennials and Performance Now: New Art, New Dance, New Media published by Thames and Hudson. She was recently named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture and Communication.
- Hughley, Marty (2000). "A Tribute to the Eye of Laurie Anderson." The Oregonian. June 18.
- Rockwell, John (2004). "Preserve Performance Art?" New York Times. April 30.
- Smith, Roberta (2005). "Performance Art Gets Its Biennial." New York Times. November 2.