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What to see in London this week

‘Carolee Schneemann: 1955–1959’
Hales Gallery

Through October 29, 2022

Pioneering feminist artist Carolee Schneemann forged a career that was grounded in painting but extended into experimental performances, assemblage works, and films. The range of her oeuvre is on view in ‘Body Politics’ at the Barbican Centre (marking Schneemann’s first major survey in the UK), while Hales Gallery is hosting an intimate showcase of the artist’s figurative paintings and drawings made between 1955–1959. Spanning her final years at Bard College and Columbia University, the pieces articulate the frustrations Schneemann encountered as a woman studying at and navigating these institutions. When denied access to life models, for example, she responded with nude self-portraits that resulted in her temporary expulsion. Regarded as a precursor to her later paintings, these works are early examples of her lifelong exploration of the social construction of the female body and its politics.