Joan Jonas: I Know Why They Left, printed in conjunction with the 2019 exhibition at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, is an artist’s book featuring full-color reproductions of a new series of drawings by this seminal artist. As an Artist-in-Residence in 2017, Jonas was drawn to the vast array of mythical and archetypal animals present in the Gardner’s collection. Drawn from objects made of lace, stone, metal, wood, and ceramic, or found in tapestries and paintings, the animal figures allude to the importance of nature’s life force in the face of disruptive human presence. In this book, which includes a conversation between Joan Jonas and Pieranna Cavalchini, Jonas’s ability to conjure wonder, fear, and humor through poetic imagery continues to work its magic.
Joan Jonas (b. 1936, USA) is the recipient of numerous fellowships, honors, and awards. She received her B.A. in Art History from Mount Holyoke College, studied sculpture at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and received her M.F.A. in sculpture from Columbia University. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Jonas was active in the New York art scene, mingling with Nancy Holt, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, and Robert Whitman; dancers and choreographers Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer, and Trisha Brown; and composers and musicians John Cage, Terry Riley, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and La Monte Young. Exposure to these various disciplines fed into the layering of art forms in her own work. Jonas began teaching at MIT in 1998 and is currently Professor Emerita at the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology with the School of Architecture and Planning.
By Pieranna Cavalchini, the Tom and Lisa Blumenthal Curator of Contemporary Art, in collaboration with artist Joan Jonas
Published by Corraini, 2019
8 x 8 inches
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's Artist-In-Residence Program is one of the oldest in the country, arguably beginning in the early days of the Museum when Gardner's friend John Singer Sargent stated in an apartment on the ground floor, using a room on the third floor as a studio.
In 1992, the Museum began inviting artists to once again stay on the premises and respond to the collection, offering fresh perspectives to Gardner's creation. This book reflects on the AIR Program from its inception until today, revealing the surprising insights and discoveries that arise when contemporary artists are given space and time to research and develop new work in an extraordinary setting.
Our esteemed Artists-in-Residence:
Hamra Abbas • Lida Abdul • Heather Ackroyd / Dan Harvey • Andrea Anastasio • Laura Anderson Barbata • Stefano Arienti • Nancy Aronie • Joan Bankemper • Alessandro Baricco • Paul Beatty • Natasha de Betak • Manfred Bischoff • Ashley Bryan • Ambreen Butt • Maurizio Cannavacciuolo • Jason Cheriyan • Dorit Cypis • Edwidge Danticat • Constance DeJong • Jeremy Denk • Marty Ehrlich • Martín Espada • Cliff Evans • Heide Fasnacht • Lara Favaretto • Moritz Fehr • Carla Fernández • Vadim Fishkin • Ivana Franke • Ken Frazelle • Henrik Håkansson • Stefon Harris • Mona Higuchi • Susan Howe • Abdullah Ibrahim • Michele Iodice • Jyotindra Jain • Joan Jonas • Bharti Kher • Joseph Kosuth • Luisa Lambri • Ann Lauterbach • Ledoh • Laura Lima • Lee Mingwei • Liz Lerman • Steve Locke • David Ludwig • Barbara Lynch • Gregory Maguire • Denise Marika • Walter Mayes • Josiah McElheny • Todd McKie • Gcina Mhlophe • Helen Mirra • Abelardo Morell • Alicia Hall Moran • Victoria Morton • Melvin Moti • Juan Muñoz • Anne Nivat • Jay O’Callahan • Luigi Ontani • OpenEnded Group • Jean-Michel Othoniel • Laura Owens • Olivia Parker • Zhang Peili • Adam Pendleton • Rachel Perry • Cesare Pietroiusti • Ana Prvački • Luisa Rabbia • Raqs Media Collective • Elaine Reichek • Paula Robison • Barry Schwabsky • Taro Shinoda • Michael Singer • Dayanita
Singh • Zoe Strauss • Elizabeth Swados • Jennifer Tipton • Su-Mei Tse • Nari Ward • Charmaine Wheatley • David Wilson • Serra Yilmaz • Nevet Yitzhak • Jessica Yu • Danijel Žeželj
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