Getting her start in New York’s downtown art scene of the 1960s, Jonas—like her artistic peers—set out to rethink the status of the artwork in the wake of Pop art and Minimalism. Adopting the idea of art-as-process, Jonas turned to performance, systematically yet intuitively exploring every aspect of how live events could be structured. She moved outdoors, emphasizing the physical properties of sound and vision in real space, and used mirrors to reverse her audience’s gaze, turning spectators into spectacle. Delving into new technology, she forged bold paths for a phenomenology of video, in all its permutations. She donned costumes and appropriated folkloric traditions, unearthing forgotten archetypes of the feminine just as the women’s movement gained power. By the early 1980s Jonas had begun to create complex, nonlinear narratives premised on literary and historical texts, reaching back to medieval Icelandic sagas, the work of the poet H.D., and, more recently, the writings and biography of famed art historian Aby Warburg.
Jonas has been the subject of several major retrospectives organized by the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; and the Queens Museum of Art, Flushing, New York. She has performed and exhibited her work extensively, working internationally with institutions too numerous to list, and collaborating with such contemporaries as the Wooster Group. Most recently, she presented her multimedia installation Reading Dante at this year’s Venice Biennale to much critical acclaim.
Above content from www.guggenheim.org