Joan Jonas, The Juniper Tree (1979), Performance and Installation at Whitechapel Gallery, London, Courtesy Whitechapel Gallery Archive
Joan Jonas, Reanimation (2010/2012/2013), Performance, Fondazione HangerBicocca, Milan, 2014, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Matteo Scarpellini
Joan Jonas, Double Lunar Dogs (1984), (detail) Performance Drawing, Paint on paper, 96.9 x 126.6 cm, Courtesy Wilkinson Gallery
Joan Jonas: The Juniper Tree 1979 Poster, Courtesy Whitechapel Gallery Archive
Find out why Joan Jonas is an Art Icon and delve into the Whitechapel Gallery archives in our short film featuring Iwona Blazwick.
Hear from Nadja Swarovski (Chairperson, Swarovski Foundation), Sofia Victorino (Head of Education, Whitechapel Gallery), Vicky Carmichael (Swarovski Foundation Youth & Community Curator, Whitechapel Gallery), Ruth Proctor (artist) and members of the Whitechapel Gallery's youth forum Duchamp & Sons.
Generously supported by the Swarovski Foundation, the Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon 2016 was presented to pioneering American artist Joan Jonas by Whitechapel Gallery Director Iwona Blazwick OBE on Thursday 25 February 2016 at Christ Church, Spitalfields.
Guests bought tickets for the evening to help raise funds for the Whitechapel Gallery’s education and community programmes. An auction led by Alex Branczik of Sotheby’s and introduced by Alex Sainsbury, featured work donated by leading artists including an abstract watercolour by American sculptor Lynda Benglis; a work from Amalia Ulman’s acclaimed Instagram project Excellences & Perfections (Instagram Update, 6th June 2014), (2016) and a multi-coloured print by American and British installation artist Susan Hiller. Artists who also donated a work included: Rebecca Ackroyd, Celia Hempton, Rachel Maclean, Thomas Ruff, Samara Scott and Bedwyr Williams.
Joan Jonas is a New York native and she continues to live and work in New York City. She received a B.A. in Art History from Mount Holyoke College in 1958, studied sculpture at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and received an M.F.A. in Sculpture from Columbia University in 1965. Jonas has taught at MIT since 1998, and is currently Professor Emerita in the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology within the School of Architecture and Planning.
The recipient of numerous honours and awards, Jonas’s most recent solo exhibitions include the U.S. Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale 2015, Centre for Contemporary Art, Kitakyushu Project Gallery, Japan (2014); Kulturhuset Stadsteatern Stockholm (2013); Proyecto Paralelo, Mexico (2013); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2013); Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (2011); and Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010). She has been represented in dOCUMENTA in Kassel, Germany, six times since 1972, and has had major retrospectives at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Galerie der Stadt Stuttgart, Germany; and the Queens Museum of Art, New York.
The Swarovski Foundation was incorporated in 2013, with the mission of building on the company’s heritage of philanthropic and charitable giving. The Foundation supports charitable initiatives and organizations working across three areas, including fostering Creativity and Culture by promoting the arts, advancing education, supporting cultural institutions and innovative projects with cutting edge talent and assisting the advancement and development of young people and communities. The Youth Programme Curator post at the Gallery is also generously supported by the Swarovski Foundation.