Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Eleanor Antin

Eleanor Antin

Eleanor Antin works in photography, video, film, installation, performance, drawing and writing. One-woman exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum and a major retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which traveled to St. Louis and toured the UK. She has been in major group exhibitions at the Hirshhorn Museum, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Kunsthalle Wien, the Sydney Biennale, the Beaubourg, the forthcoming Dokumenta 12, among others. She is represented in major collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Beaubourg, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among many others. As a performance artist, she has appeared in venues around the world including the Venice Biennale and the Sydney Opera House. She has written, directed and produced many videotapes and films, among them the cult feature, The Man Without a World, 1991 (Berlin Film Fest., U.S.A. Film Fest., Ghent Film Fest., London Jewish., San Francisco Jewish, Women in Film, etc.). She is represented by the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York.

She has written 4 books, Being Antinova (Astro Artz), Eleanora Antinova Plays (Sun & Moon), 100 Boots  (Running Press), Man Without A World: a Screenplay (Green Integer, Sun & Moon Press). A major monograph on her work was published by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Eleanor Antin by Howard Fox.

She received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 from the Women's Caucus of the College Art Association; in 2002, the Best Show Award from the AICA (International Assoc. of Art Critics), and earlier in 1999, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture Media Achievement Award.

She is an Emeritus Professor of Visual Arts at the University of California at San Diego.
My work was originally conceived as an argument against the writers I loved – Flaubert, Tolstoi, Dostoyevski, etc. With the exception of Defoe and Ibsen, we have always been losers. It has been part of woman’s glamour as an artistic subject that she was seen as pathetic, passive, in short – the superb victim. Most artists are gentlemen and treat us with compassion – liberals are always compassionate – but their verdict is inexorable. Anna Karenina doesn’t leave her up-tight husband to become commissioner of railroads. She leaves only when she finds another host to live off. Tolstoi calls that bizarre practicality a romantic nature. Flaubert may say he is Madame Bovary, but she never locked herself into a room to write unpopular novels or went to court to defend them. I was determined to present women without pathos or helplessness. Since a life style is the ability to recognize in the morning the same person who went to bed at night, it can be said to be a person’s most important decision. My selves (including my absurd male self) had all chosen life styles independent of men’s. It is true that some life styles proved more successful in practice than others, but they were all interesting and complex enough to be worth the try. Finally I deliberately chose styles whose linguistic structures were ambiguous, because a puzzle is harder to love than a fact. And we women have had enough love. Frank O’Hara said once that he loved Marilyn Monroe. Protect us from such love! If Monroe hadn’t had yellow teeth or if her body hadn’t been deformed, would he have loved her then?

View Eleanor Antin's CV (PDF)

Triumph of Pan (after Poussin), from "Roman Allegories"The Death of Petronius from "The Last Days of Pompeii"Pocahontas from Recollections of My Life with Diaghalev 1919-1929"here?" from The King of Solana Beach100 BOOTS Move OnCarving: A Traditional SculptureBlood of the Poet Box

San Diego, California


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