Joan Tanner

September 8 - December 10, 2022

Image: Joan Tanner, donottellmewhereibelong #33, 2015. Graphite, chalk, pastel, ballpoint, and pencil on Arches paper, 22 x 30 inches.
Courtesy the artist.

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 8, 2022, 4:30-7:30p

The Yeh Art Gallery, St. John’s University is pleased to present donottellmewhereibelong, the first New York solo exhibition by Joan Tanner, a dynamic and engaging artist who has exhibited across the U.S. since the mid-1960s. Though she began her career as a painter, Tanner has developed her practice to encompass photography, video, sculpture, assemblage and site-specific installations. The mixed-media drawings and sculptures included in the show reflect her ongoing fascination with organic, scientific and architectural forms, as well as a persistent engagement with ideas of history, impermanence and inconsistency in her exploration of materials and form. Compelled by a curiosity to engage contradiction and an impulse to disrupt assumptions about spatial relations, Tanner has created a body of fresh and unexpected imagery that challenges the viewer’s imagination and defies simple categorization. Truly she is not to be told where she belongs.

Joan Tanner: donottellmewhereibelong is curated by Julien Robson, Director, Great Meadows Foundation.

This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of the Rev. Al Shands.

Artist’s Bio
Born in 1935 in Indianapolis, Joan Tanner received a B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (1956) before moving to Santa Barbara in the  mid-1960s. Since then, she has been consistently presenting her work in solo exhibitions and site-specific installations, including shows at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), Cincinnati; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina (2017); Suyama Space, Seattle (2016); Fresno Art Museum (2009); Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College, Los Angeles (2006); the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky (2001); MCA Santa Barbara; and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (1967, 1986 and 2023).

Her work is held in numerous collections, including the Albertina, Vienna; The Getty Center, Los Angeles; Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Stanford University; PAFA, Philadelphia; New York Public Library, Spencer Collection; the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky; and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California. She has also served as a visiting lecturer at the University of California Santa Barbara; Ohio University in Athens; Illinois State University at Normal and as an artist-in-residence at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.