Performance, Embodiment, Spirituality and Sexuality with Barbara T Smith
- October 5, 2019 | 2pm
Known for her transgressive performances in the 1970s, artist, Barbara T Smith drew largely from her inner life, evaluating what it was to be a woman within a patriarchal society at the time. In the 1950s Smith was in a traditional marriage and had three children. By the late sixties she was divorced and her life re-focused thereafter on her art over domesticity. Through various performances such as Ritual Meal (1969), Feed Me (1973), Intimations of Immortality (1974), and Birthdaze (1981) Smith contemplated ideas of spirituality, feminism, collective consciousness, the body, sexuality, and institutional power structures. She looked deep into human consciousness and found ways to embody these constructs through performance.
Barbara T. Smith (b. 1931) has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area her whole life. She received a BA from Pomona College in 1953, and MFA in 1971 from University of California, Irvine where she was a founding member of F-Space with Chris Burden and Nancy Buchanan. Smith has been represented in historic survey exhibitions including Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia? at Office for Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway (2009); WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (traveling exhibition 2008-09); Drawing in L.A.: The 1960s and 70s, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2016); and in several major exhibitions as part of Pacific Standard Time organized by the Getty (2011-12), including State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970, Orange County Museum of Art, CA and Bronx Museum, NY; and Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974 – 1981, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Recent notable exhibitions include The 21st Century Odyssey at The Box LA, Outside Chance, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York; Artists and Their Books / Books and Their Artists, the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Experiments in Electrostatics, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; 56 Artillery Lane, Raven Row, London, UK; Still Life with Fish: Photography from the Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Mommy, Yale Union, Portland, OR. In 2005, Smith had a retrospective The 21st Century Odyssey Part II: The Performances of Barbara T. Smith at Pomona College Museum of Art, CA.