Feminist Interview Project: Mira Schor in Conversation with Charlotte Kent

The Feminist Interview Project, organized by Katherine Guinness and Jocelyn Marshall on behalf of CAA’s Committee for Women in the Arts, examines the practices of feminism by interviewing a range of scholars and artists, preserving oral histories while expanding the boundaries of what might be considered feminist. Throughout its interviews, this project reimagines the possibilities of feminist practice and feminist futures.

For our ongoing collaboration with Art Journal Open, the Feminist Interview Project is excited to present artist and writer Mira Schor in conversation with Charlotte Kent, arts writer and Associate Professor of Visual Culture at Montclair State University. The two met for a conversation over Zoom on March 9, 2021. This interview has been edited for clarity.

Mira Schor with her paintings Strange Fruit, 1988 and Dicks, or the Impregnation of the Universe, 1988 (photograph provided by the artist)

Charlotte Kent: Let’s start in the context of your long history thinking about feminism and art, including your work with the feminist art program at CalArts. When you joined, the program was in its first year. What made you think, “I want to go across the country and do that?”

Mira Schor: I had been an art history major at NYU, and I decided that I did not want to pursue art history. So that was the first decision. Then there’s a series of decisions that brought me to going to graduate school in art. And besides that, where was I going to go? So, I took a year off, during which I tried to develop a little bit more of a portfolio and apply to art schools. There were far fewer schools and programs at that time than there are now.

I had been discouraged by a family friend, the artist Jack Tworkov, from applying to Yale. He had recently retired as the head of the School of Art there. I’m not sure he actually said: “Go West young woman!” but that’s the way I understood the advice. I think he was afraid of two things—I’ll never know for sure. One, he may have thought, well, she’s never going to get into Yale. Because the work I was doing was considered illustration and absolutely didn’t fit the Yale aesthetic. And two, I think he might have felt charitable; that if I had been accepted to Yale and gone, I would have been destroyed by the kind of formalist macho art criticism that was in vogue then.

I applied to wherever I could think of, and during that year my older sister, Naomi Schor, told me about CalArts via her friend Sheila de Bretteville, whom I also knew. So, I applied there, even though at that time the school was only a few months old. I have the draft of a letter that I sent—I kept all my handwritten drafts—to Miriam Schapiro saying that I was applying to CalArts and I’d heard there was going to be a feminist program, could she tell me more about it? I have her letter saying, “Well, I’m going to be in New York because I have a show opening—why don’t you come to the gallery and we’ll meet?” I went and she and Paul Brach were there—I didn’t know that they were married, but I knew he was the director of the School of Art.

Mira Schor, Goodbye CalArts!, 1972 (work © Mira Schor; image provided by the artist)

The irony is that I got into every school I applied to—even the most conventional schools. But CalArts was the only one that made sense. That summer, Sheila sent me a copy of Everywoman,1 which was specifically about Judy Chicago’s feminist art program at Fresno. Meanwhile, my sister had joined a consciousness-raising group. One summer day—in the summer of 1971—my sister, my mother, Nancy Miller, Hester Eisenstein—who were brilliant young feminist academics— and I had lunch; we talked about feminism until dinnertime. We never left the table. I was contesting it, partly to be contrary, because of my older sister’s intense involvement, but also partly because I think every young woman has to pass a threshold to realize that there are limits on you, socially constructed limits, and it’s like taking off rose-colored glasses. But I think I was pretty primed for feminism. That was a very important day. I registered to vote and marched on August 26, 1971—it was the fifty-first anniversary of women getting the vote.

At that time, formalism and symbology or iconography were the main subjects. I had no problem applying those ways of thinking about an artwork, but I had absolutely no interest in having it applied to my own work.

But the feminist program at CalArts was its own thing, it was a separatist program, so you studied only within it and you didn’t work with other people. And when I got there, it was very intimidating and intense. But I don’t regret the decision to have been involved.

CK: You’ve mentioned how CalArts was less conventional, and that appealed to you. Why do you think you were interested in taking what might be considered the harder, less conventional road?

MS: I don’t think I took the harder road, I think I took the only road I could. I was not interested in a formalist art education—in part because I knew a lot about art through my parents who were artists—but even more because I had studied art history. At that time, formalism and symbology or iconography were the main subjects. I had no problem applying those ways of thinking about an artwork, but I had absolutely no interest in having it applied to my own work.

My work was based on personal narrative, influenced by Surrealism, early Italian narrative painting, Northern Renaissance painting, all those influences. I was interested in my own narrative, so somebody saying, “Well, you really should have put the blue over here,” well, I’m sorry, that is not relevant to me. Besides, I’d been working for Red Grooms and Mimi Gross. I hung out in their studio. I helped Red Grooms and Rudy Burckhardt produce a stop motion animation; that was kind of unconventional already. I got a sense of a different art world, but it connected with the art world I’d been brought up in. It was really the first place that felt welcoming of what I did, and that sort of anticipated CalArts for me.

At CalArts, I didn’t have to take stuffy academic classes. I tell this to my students, because I think it’s funny, but I never had to submit my work to a critique. The only time I did was after we finished Womanhouse [1972, a Los Angeles performance space and installation intitated by Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, and other women from the program at CalArts] and we returned to a slightly more conventional situation on campus. It was during that critique that I left the feminist program.  

CK: What happened?

MS: I did a painting—which was actually in a show I had a couple of years ago—and it was about fear. I was twenty-one years old, I was still a virgin, at the time that was the biggest impediment of my life. It was a small gouache painting, and I don’t know what I said about it, but I didn’t want a formalist criticism and I didn’t want to be attacked. Mimi Schapiro turned to me and said, “Do you want to know what I think? It’s smug, rigid, and boring.” And then all my friends in the room, out of some kind of group thing, started agreeing, as if it was finally their chance to be critical to me. It was so ad feminem. Rather than bursting into tears, which might have been my response earlier. in my time in the program, I said, “You know, I’m expecting a phone call from New York. I have to leave.” I walked out of the room, and I never came back. And I mean, I never came back to the program.

When I arrived at CalArts, I met a teacher, Stephan von Huene, a wonderful sculptor who wanted to work with me. He had actually seen my work [during the admissions process] and responded to it—it was amazing to me, to have someone at that level say, “I want to work with that student.” After I walked out, I went to him and told him he could be my mentor, which was the system there. After that, my work really flowered. It’s when I started my story paintings.

CK: Wow. I know how much the program meant to you. So even though you left it, it seems as if you carry it with you, to this day?

MS: Oh, absolutely. I would say the decision to go to CalArts—which meant leaving home for the first time, leaving New York, and leaving my mother to go to the only experimental art school in the country—and the decision to be in the feminist program were the most important decisions I’ve ever made in my life. And the minute I left the feminist program, I became a representative of it in the school itself. I know that part of the reason all of this was able to happen for me was because I came from the art world, I could relate, and I could relate to the male teachers. Not just because I was young and pretty, but because I shared their basic understructure.

CK: Speaking of that previous connection to the art world, could you talk more about the influence your parents had on you? Particularly through their work and through the household?

MS: Definitely. My father, Ilya Schor, and my mother, Resia Schor, were artists. They met in art school at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. It was a classical training, with figure drawing, printmaking, painting, composition; they were influenced by the School of Paris and the Cubists. My father came from Zloczow (now Zolochiv), which was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and is now in Ukraine. He went to Paris in 1937—on the equivalent of a Fulbright Fellowship to go to France and Italy, although he didn’t go to Italy because of Mussolini. My mother joined him in Paris in 1938. I think they hung out around some quite significant people—go to the Café Flore and see Picasso. My mother said he had eyes that burned through you; she was very pretty, so I’m sure he burned his eyes through her.

My father had apprenticed with a goldsmith engraver when he was younger, learning skills which I feel connect him to guild training from the Middle Ages on. While in Paris, he began to make little bits of jewelry that he could sell, and he made his first piece of Judaica—a very complex and beautiful cup. It was in the Salon d’Automne, and his piece was singled out for mention in a review, which was rare for an outsider with no connections. Then my parents had the presence of mind and incredible luck to escape Paris, first for Marseille then America, to New York. They arrived four days before Pearl Harbor. My mother went to work in a tie-painting factory with a whole bunch of other people who all had advanced degrees in philosophy and stuff, but were all refugees learning English so that they could find work in their fields. My father started to work on paitnings, engravings, jewelry, and objects of Judaica. Because of the Holocaust, my father returned to his Hasidic past as a subject.

I was very influenced by my parents working at home; my mother painted in the bedroom, my father had his own small studio room. I watched my father making things, watched my mother painting. They encouraged me. I went to a lot of galleries and museums. And then there was Jack Tworkov, who I was close with both before and after my father died, as a kind of alternate father figure. That led to a really strong lived awareness of what some of the issues were in that world at that time; namely the demonization of European aesthetics as being pretty and feminine and in opposition to the American school of thought. The Abstract Expressionists were so intent on creating their own identity—big, brutal, real.

When my father died, in 1961, my mother realized she couldn’t make a living out of painting, and sat down at my father’s work table, thinking maybe to finish some of his work. She took one class on soldering at the Y. That’s it. I’m wearing a ring that she made in 1964. And she gave it to me—whenever she showed it to anyone I would tell her not to sell it, and finally she said, “Look, I’m never going to sell it if you’re sitting there moaning. So here.” She had really found her own style and direction bringing her previous painterly aesthetic into the more resistant, sculptural media of silver and gold.

My teen years were involved with watching the development of her work, and I loved to watch her. She valued my opinions and she knew that I didn’t flatter people. I was a rude child, and when I edited Tworkov’s writings, I found him saying I was incredibly rude because I was outspoken. But my mother respected me because of that.

CK: What you’re describing is remarkable—this mother encouraging your opinions as a disagreeable, outspoken adolescent. But your mother’s work kept progressing. It became transgressive.

MS: My mother started to make jewelry because it was something she could sell. My father’s work in some way was rather feminine, at least in the way that the New York school would ascribe femininity to detail. My mother’s work was more abstract and muscular; there was a physicality to it. There was a lesson in feminism through her work. When my father died, she had no family and only a life insurance policy of $10,000. Usually, a woman would remarry in order to support herself and her children, but she felt my father was irreplaceable, so she turned to her own work. And that is the feminist message.

She started to make these hybrid works, which included metal—brass and steel—and geometric painting. They were like sandwiches of plexiglass, painting, and metal. In every mezuzah, there’s a text—like a talismanic text—which is not supposed to be seen or touched by any woman’s hands. My mother would go to this Judaica store, buy these little mezuzahs. They are all identical, but each one is hand-done. She placed them in the front of her work so that you could see what is usually hidden from view, and then she began cutting them up, like a collage element. That was transgressive. And she knew that it was. She enjoyed it. She was definitely a protofeminist. Her actions influenced me, along with my father’s connection to a kind of mystical Hasidic tradition. This comes into play with reversibility—that there was always another side—it’s a major practice in my work. Reversibility is a major theme and method. Almost everything I do has another side (which can sometimes be a problem in terms of exhibition).

Mira Schor, Reversible Painting: Theory/Visual Pleasure, 2013 (work © Mira Schor; image provided by the artist)

CK: You have a deep relationship to materials. In your practice, you keep adopting new materials and new ways of using them.  

MS: That history of materials, again, comes from my parents. My father painted on cardboard—the cardboard that came when he got his shirts back from the dry cleaners. My mother painted gouache on Arches paper. So, gouache was like the family medium. In my teens, I was working with gouache, ink, and paper. And that’s what I did when I got to CalArts. I very rarely ever tried oil painting, even though there was a lot of pressure on me to paint with oil, because gouache on paper was considered not high art.

When I got my first teaching job at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, then known for its connection to European art and conceptual art, Joseph Beuys came to visit. I didn’t know about him until I got there, and he was like a god there. I never met him, but it was like a legend—the legend of when Joseph Beuys came to Halifax. He was actually the speaker at graduation one year, and a lot of people in the audience, especially local Nova Scotia parents who had served in World War II, were not amused by a strange German guy who had been in the Luftwaffe.

But about materials . . . after leaving CalArts I started using language in a more abstract way, somewhat influenced by Joan Snyder and Pat Steir, who I was friends with, and then also Hanne Darboven, whose work I saw at Castelli Gallery in the early ’70s. I was also encountering a lot of experimental work at Halifax. There was something in the air that had to do with concept melded with process and materiality. I shifted to rice paper. The paper would become translucent, so I started to write on both sides of it. I began to make things—works that weren’t really sculpture or painting. These works were very physical, and people would criticize me because the work looked like it had been aged since the medium gave it a burnished color. And I was using burnt umber, raw sienna, black dry pigment rubbed into the rice paper, some of which had a lot of fiber in it. The work began to grow in size. Some criticism came from questions of materiality: was I a painter or did I work on paper? At a certain point, I was ready to paint in oil on my own terms. And I began to look at all of the art that I had loved, not for what it represented, but for how it was painted. I always tell my students that you should feel as if you could make almost any artwork that you see, but that doesn’t mean you can or should. At first, working with oil, I was very nervous, and so I used media that would keep it in check in some way. Besides, the last group of gouaches I did were seventy-two inches high. I was really pushing it with dry pigment, pushing past its potential. It just can’t go that big—it’s too expensive and not meant for that. Then I became crazy about oil painting—really it was like a sexual passion. I mean, I would literally say, “If I could fuck it, I would,” begging pardon to the College Art Association, I would! Materiality was and is extremely important to me.

CK: There’s a very visceral experience that many oil painters describe with that medium—something about its tactility and the way you mix it with meaning. And yet, so much has been said against it, and how painting is dead. How can we recuperate painting, not only for artists, but also for its politics and especially its feminist politics? Could you talk about your own writing on painting?

MS: The first thing that you’re pointing to is a chronological conjunction between the moment I started to make the decision that I was going to switch to oil and the beginning of my writing. In 1983, I saw a painting by David Salle, who I’d gone to school with. He had been a student of John Baldessari. We were back in New York around the same time. One painting called Autopsy (1982) shows a scene of a woman sitting naked on a bed, wearing a dunce cap, alongside an abstract image in blue, white, and black. I just instantly could see, could understand that something had radically shifted from what had been before.  I knew David Salle had been at CalArts at a time when you could not ignore feminism. But that woman with the dunce cap . . . I just thought, “Okay, I’m sorry.” I started reading what was being written about David and every article asked, “Is this work pornographic?” They never would say “misogynistic,” just pornographic. He was taking photos of women for his paintings; he was creating porn for his paintings. So, I wrote an essay—an essay nobody wanted to publish. I have a letter in my archive from Douglas Crimp because I had submitted the essay to October. In the letter, he basically said, “We don’t like David Salle either. But the problem is not what he’s painting, but that he’s painting.”

This is to say: you have the moment of postmodernism, and that mainly concerns men, but it concerns women in the sense that women are being told to do something else, something other than painting. And that something else is not as valuable financially. This is why I started writing, starting with that essay on David Salle— “Appropriate Sexuality”2—that I couldn’t get published. And because of that, I joined a little artists and critics group that occasionally met to discuss recent exhibitions. In order to write, I read about the critique of painting. And if you read the critique of painting, you have to start reading some French theory. And of course, if you’re not in school, it’s not easy to do. I read some of the French feminists—most notably Irigaray. My sister was an expert on Irigaray, and I also gravitated toward her writing. What she did with Speculum of the Other Woman was fascinating—piggybacking on Freud’s writing and then twisting it against him. Her use of language was fascinating. That book and Male Fantasies are among the two most important things I’ve ever read. They’re so valid to this day and should be required reading.3

The 1980s into the early ’90s, were very painful because in art, including painting, all the values and processes and ethos of honesty of the ’70s had been turned upside down. There was a turn toward commodity culture, and the critique of commodity culture. The most painful was the demonization and critique of ’70s American feminism as essentialist when feminism was meant to be anti-essentialist. There was something particularly painful about being considered essentialist as a feminist, but also painting was decentralized and somehow the two were melded together. So that’s where the essay “Figure/Ground” comes in.4 I was able to bring those two critiques into the same space to try to make a case that there was a hatred of fluidity in the critique of painting, which was also a gender critique of hatred or fear.

Conceptuality, physicality, and visuality are so deeply embedded in my whole life. All the art I’ve seen is physically in my body.

CK: So often assumptions surrounding craft presume no reading or writing— just excellent making. It’s a romantic view of the process, or completely ideological. In “A Plague of Polemics” you state if work becomes entirely ideological, it becomes a type of propaganda and it loses what you encourage artists to retain: their trust in the metaphoric capability of materials, forms and spatial interventions.

Can you talk about how you manage those things in your work, in your studio, when there’s so much political anger, especially in this moment? Even though “Plague of Polemics” was written in the early 1990s, it couldn’t possibly be more relevant now.

MS: Generally speaking, I think I truly am a Gemini. I really have a dual nature. Conceptuality, physicality, and visuality are so deeply embedded in my whole life. All the art I’ve seen is physically in my body. I wrote recently that I remember going to Chartres Cathedral when I was eight years old. I feel that I remember the temperature of the wall in the little antichamber. It was the most transformative and important aesthetic experience; I was eight years old, but in a way, everything was already there, verticality, materiality, religion, color, you know, sort of transcendent color. And, around that time, I read a biography of Queen Elizabeth I where the author notes her beautiful handwriting—that it was like birds’ footprints. I’ve never forgotten it. I gave a lecture a few years ago, which I never wrote up as text titled “Negotiating the Antithetical.” I was interested in the critique of painting and I love painting.

CK: How do you push that agenda, for lack of a better word, forward?

MS: Let’s say in writing: Who do you reference? Who do you think is significant? To some extent my world has been a world of women—women artists, primarily, as well as a supportive mother. In my book A Decade of Negative Thinking,5 I have a chapter called “Generation, 2.5” about how I felt my generation between second and third wave had fallen out of history. There was interest in the feminist pantheon and then the door closed about 1978. That was it; feminist art had six or seven years. Miriam Schapiro was not a feminist artist until the time that I met her, she was an Abstract Expressionist artist. Judy Chicago was a Minimalist. We were all learning the same things at the same time. What I’m trying to say is, I lived in a world where, of course, you reference if you talked about Carolee Schneemann, and you talked about Mary Kelly, and you worried about what so and so thought of Griselda Pollock (Old Mistresses was such an important book).6 But, you live in the real world where the dominant male voices are always returning to the fore.

CK: Do you find that you are still trying to cultivate those references by continuing to do readings so that there can be more references, and to keep seeing shows so that there continues to be more women in art who can be recognized? It’s hard to break out of the greatest hits, or the canon, and so you’re constantly having to figure out how to add. What I’m asking is: Is going to shows and doing readings still a part of what you do?

MS:  I do go to shows, I keep track of what’s happening through Instagram, and in terms of reading, it’s always been a catch-up because I’m not doing it in school. I like to read books, I like to underline, so about four years ago, I began a ritual of getting a couple of books, go up to Provincetown—I have an old oak tree in my back yard and I lie underneath it in an old broken lawn chair—and I read a book, maybe I’ll read two. I had always been selective in my reading but sadly now I also find it harder to read as much as I used to. The time suck and the format of social media has made it harder for me to concentrate but also perhaps I don’t feel as much I did in the ’80s and ’90s that I had to study and read new texts in order to save my life.

But the short answer is, yes, you have to keep up. And you have to keep reinforcing the influence and influential reality of women artists of all time periods. I think we’re in a strange moment, because there are many women artists, and there are many younger women artists, and their work is worth a lot more money than it used to be. And then there is the phenomenon, which goes in and out, of older women artists being resurrected—when they get their retrospective and they’re in a wheelchair. I’m joking, but actually, I find it tragic. And I can see that it’s my fate. Also, I hope I’m not in a wheelchair. And now here, I’m totally serious. And I want to find out.

I’m friendly with Joan Semmel, and her career has picked up a lot. She’s older than me, and she’s continuing to keep her work alive with her experience, shifting imagery and brushstroke to express her sense of the female body in time and space as it ages, and just in the last few years her work has been purchased and shown, finally, at MoMA, for example. Joan and I had a conversation a couple of years ago where she said, “Yeah, this thing with older women artists, it could stop on a dime.” And you know, I can see that happening because the art world has shifted. And you don’t always live to see that moment, or you may not have all your faculties. Mary Beth Edelson and I got Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Women’s Caucus for the arts. Well, I was still young enough to enjoy it, but Mary Beth, to whom it would have meant a lot, is in a home, she couldn’t be there, she didn’t know who she was. That’s cruel. It’s cruel that women would have to wait that long. Of course, some younger women under fifty have incredible careers.  

One way I try to continue the ideas of Patrilineage7 is that I try to insinuate into press releases for my shows references to the influence of women artists because it is likely these references will end up in any reviews of my shows. I’m not so happy always with what’s written about my work, because I feel like I’m looking for Mira Schor to write about my work. One of the essays I’m proudest of is one I wrote about Ida Applebroog for Artforum in 1989.8 And what I loved about Ida is that I when told her I had been asked to do it, she pretty much said, “I’m not listening. I don’t want to know about it. Don’t tell me about it. Don’t raise my hopes, nothing!” I never asked her anything. I just researched her, looked at her paintings, wrote the essay. And then she called me up and said, “You helped explain to me why I fell through the cracks.” I’m waiting for somebody to kind of do the same thing for me. What Patrilineage was really suggesting is that—no matter the gender of the artist you are writing about—if the influence of a woman artist is relevant, if it is there, you have to make sure to mention it. And the artist needs to bring that information into the discourse themself.

CK: You’ve mentioned so many women artists and writers who have been colleagues of yours and part of your own thinking across this process. But I was wondering if you might list for us some of the ones who are most present to you, or that you recommend to your students and the next generation. Those who you find yourself saying, you know, “Hey! That was really amazing!”

MS: Let me start with saying that since I didn’t see many women artists, except for my mother, in my earlier years, I later realized that I gravitated toward work that, in the history of art, were feminized in some way. Whether it was Northern Renaissance painting, or Paul Klee, or Surrealism, there was a connection to looking for femininity in the psychoanalytic sense. I was in the studios of Mimi Gross and Pat Steir growing up. There was Yvonne Jacquette, an artist whom I met before going to graduate school. Joan Snyder visited CalArts and helped me shift away from more representational work.

Then, in the mid-1970s, I found a book—I’m going to start crying, the emotional importance of it is such that I cannot say the artist’s name without crying—I found a book about an artist who I’d never heard of before called Charlotte Salomon.9 It was remaindered in the bookstore in Provincetown. The fact that she depicted herself and her parents in her life, and that it was work on paper, that it included language, and of course, her Holocaust story, it was all so important. So, Charlotte Salomon: hugely, hugely important and influential.

There’s influence and there’s resonance. Eva Hesse’s work is always a presence. Similarly, Elizabeth Murray, especially when I started to paint in oil. Ana Mendieta and Louise Bourgeois are key. I didn’t know about Florine Stettheimer until after I was already doing work that related to hers in many ways,  but she’s there and knowing her work made a difference. I saw Hanne Darboven in the early ’70s at Castelli Gallery, and she wasn’t writing things that made sense, but it was writing, script, on paper. I love Alice Neel’s work and Emily Carr’s work. Then there are those that are not like my work at all, but probably are influenced by feminism in a similar way, like Adrian Piper’s Mystic Being.

My friends’ work is part of me. My friend Maureen Connor—the work she did in the ’90s was trying to deal with theory, with new materials and the critique of patriarchy. Ida Applebroog remains a model for me and an inspiration. And then there’s so many more of course; my friends’ work is part of me. Susan Bee’s work is important to me, and my friend Susanna Heller10 was a very good painter. It’s like family, their work is family. Hermine Ford, the daughter of Jack Tworkov, who is absolutely doing the most outstanding work of her life. My friend Faith Wilding is a really interesting visual and performance artist.

There’s a huge matrilineage that I cannot imagine life without. I’ve lived in this alternate universe where all these people are incredibly important, you know, and they’re not just incredibly important, they’re more important than many artists who were world famous. But they aren’t known, not as known, and so you must constantly talk about them and write about them.

CK: Well, I think that was an extraordinary list. Thank you for that. Thank you for all the answers to these questions. And I hope you keep doing all the work that you’re doing.

MS: I hope I do, but it’s getting harder to do everything. I don’t write as much as I used to, because . . . I don’t know why really. I’m trying to focus on painting at this point, which is good. Now, I must get back to the studio.

Mira Schor is a New York-based artist and writer noted for her advocacy of painting in a post-medium visual culture and for her contributions to feminist art history. She is the author of Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture and A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life, andwas co-editor with fellow painter Susan Bee of the journal M/E/A/N/I/N/G and M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings, Theory, and Criticism. Schor is the recipient of awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship in Painting and an Anonymous Was a Woman Award as well as CAA’s Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism. Schor is represented by Lyles & King Gallery in New York and Marcelle Alix in Paris.

Charlotte Kent is Associate Professor of Visual Culture at Montclair State University and an arts writer. Contributing to numerous culture magazines and academic journals, she is also an editor-at-large for The Brooklyn Rail where she produces a monthly column on art and technology. She is co-editor with Katherine Guinness of Contemporary Absurdities, Existential Crises, and Visual Art (forthcoming, Intellect Books). Kent is Scholar-in-Residence at NXT Museum where she co-curated with Jesse Damiani the first RealTime exhibit, Lilypads: Mediating Exponential Systems.

  1. Everywoman Magazine, “Miss Chicago and the California Girls,” May 7, 1971. To read more about this issue from the perspective of Faith Wilding, see “Don’t Tell Anyone We Did It!”
  2. Mira Schor, “Appropriate Sexuality” in M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists’ Writings, Theory, and Criticism, Mira Schor and Susan Bee, eds. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2000).
  3. Luce Irigaray, Speculum of the Other Woman (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985); Klaus Theweleit, Male Fantasies (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987).
  4. Mira Schor, “Figure/Ground,” in M/E/A/N/I/N/G, 2000).
  5. Mira Schor, A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010).
  6. Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollock, Old Mistresses: Women, Art, and Ideology (New York: I. B. Tauris, 2013).
  7. Mira Schor, “Patrilineage,” in Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture by Mira Schor (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997).
  8. Mira Schor, “Medusa Redux: Ida Applebroog and the Spaces of Post-Modernity,”Artforum (March 1990).
  9. For more on Charlotte Salomon see Charlotte Salomon and the Theatre of Memory by Griselda Pollock (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008).
  10. Susanna Heller died two months after this interview took place. Mira Schor wrote about the artist and friend in her review of Susanna Heller’s Beyond Pain, The Last Drawings by Studio Dumas in The Brooklyn Rail.