Telling tall tales wordpress hosting
By Robert Ayers
Published: June 16, 2008 in www.artinfo.com/news
NEW YORK—The American artist Nan Hoover died in Berlin last Monday, shortly after her 77th birthday. She had learned only a few weeks earlier that she had developed inoperable lung cancer.
Though I met Nan only a few months ago — in February 2008, when we worked together at the National Review of Live Art in Glasgow — I had been looking forward to meeting her for many years, as I believed her to be one of the unsung pioneers of video and performance art. We hit it off immediately, and I was delighted when she agreed to collaborate in a festival podcast I was working on.
Nan began her career as a painter and enjoyed some success in her native New York in the 1950s, but it was in video — which she started using in 1973 — and particularly in video/performance hybrids, that she made her most important work. She had solo shows at MoMA in 1977 and 1980, but she was most celebrated in Europe, where she was based for the last four decades of her life, moving to Amsterdam in 1969 and then Berlin in 2005. She exhibited at Documenta (twice), the Venice Biennale, and museum and galleries the length and breadth of Europe.
Last month, Nan contributed to ARTINFO’s Weekend Picks column. We featured her current exhibition, “Some Times,” a two-artist show with Bill Viola at Salzburg’s Museum der Moderne (through July 6), and she in turn was asked to select other exhibitions to see throughout the city. In her typical fashion, Nan selected not only exhibitions at galleries and museums, but also her favorite sweetshop, which offers, she said, “pastries that are sinfully delicious — fantastically arranged like works of art!”
Though she had been an ex-pat for many years, Nan maintained a passionate interest in her home country, and particularly in its politics. The last email she sent me arrived on June 3, the morning that we learned Barack Obama had clinched the Democratic Party presidential nomination. It began “CONGRATULATIONS AMERICA. ”