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Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington showcases performance art for the first time
Joan Jonas (born 1936), Double Lunar Dogs, 1984. Video (color, sound), 24 min. Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.

WILMINGTON, DE.- This summer, the Delaware Art Museum explores performance art for the first time in its exhibition history. Performance art is a term developed in the mid-1960s to describe live presentations by artists, and it has advanced over the past 50 years to incorporate dance, music, theater, technology, and audience participation and to address aesthetic, personal, social, economic, and political concerns. Today performance art has arguably become one of the most significant forms of artistic expression of the 20th and early 21st centuries. To celebrate this artistic movement, the Delaware Art Museum presents Retro•active: Performance Art from 1964 –1987 June 14 – September 21, 2014 and the traveling exhibition Performance Now July 12 – September 21, 2014

Curated by RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Curator of Performa, Performance Now showcases a selection of works by 21 artists from a vast repository of performance art from around the world since 2000, a period that has witnessed an exponential growth in the field. Bringing together some of the most significant practitioners today, the exhibition surveys critical and experimental currents in performance art internationally, featuring works by Marina Abramović, Jérôme Bel, Spartacus Chetwynd, William Kentridge, and Clifford Owens, among others.

In conjunction with this traveling exhibition, Retro•active: Performance Art from 1964 –1987 offers a historical view of performance art and was curated by Margaret Winslow, Associate Curator for Contemporary Art at the Delaware Art Museum. Six groundbreaking works by artists Chris Burden, Dan Graham, Joan Jonas, Paul McCarthy, Yoko Ono, and Carolee Schneemann trace this pivotal moment in the development of the art form and provide a context for the contemporary performance art seen in Performance Now.

“Performance Now is the first major survey of performance art from the 21st century, curated by the preeminent scholar in the field,” explains Winslow. “Hosting this exhibition gives the Delaware Art Museum the opportunity to share this significant art form with the region and to highlight connections between the Museum's contemporary American art collection and artists working today.”

Both exhibitions include objects, ephemera, sound, and video displayed through large wall projections and monitors, revealing how live performance is captured by artists and transformed into new work that contains the power and content of the original work.

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