Joan Semmel

Joan Semmel. Knees Together . 2003


+ Alexander Gray Associates . Brooklyn Museum

Joan Semmel (b.1932) is a painter who has centered her practice around issues of the body, from desire to aging, as well as those of identity and cultural imprinting. She studied at the Cooper Union, Pratt Institute and the Art Student’s League of New York. In the 1960s, Semmel began her painting career in Spain and South America, where she experimented with abstraction. She returned to New York in the early 1970s, when her practice turned towards figurative paintings, many with erotic themes in response to pornography, popular culture, and concerns around representation. Her practice traces the transformation that women’s sexuality has seen in the last century, and emphasizes the possibility for female autonomy through the body.
Alexander Gray Associates


Untitled . 2010

Triptych . 2009

Centered . 2002

Erotic Yellow . 1973




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