About the Photographer
American, b. 1924
Art Sinsabaugh's Carolee #8 was made in Februrary 1968 as performance artist Carolee Schneemann stood at the edge of a road in Sidney, Illinois. The picture is a 12-by-20 inch panorama, the style Sinsabaugh became famous for, but is unusual among his Midwestern landscapes in its prominent use of a human figure. At the time Schneemann was a young performance artist and recent graduate of the University of Illinois art department. The inspiration seems to have been mutual, as she incorporated examples of Sinsabaugh's work in her 1968 performance piece Illinois Central at the Museum of Contemporary Art's Kinetic Theater. The shot was repeated in Sinsabaugh's photograph Carolee #9.
Art Sinsabaugh was born in Irvington, New Jersey in 1924. He began to photograph in 1937, first using what would become his trademark panoramic banquet-style camera in 1958. Between 1943 and 1945 he spent two years in the Army as a Junior Photographer for the War Department. From 1945 to 1949 he worked on his BA at Chicago's Institute of Design, taught there from 1951 to 1959, and returned from 1964 to 1967 to earn his MA. He taught at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1959 to 1983, serving for much of that time as director of Photography Option in the School of Art and Design. His first solo exhibition was at The Art Institute of Chicago in 1963, the same year he undertook the Chicago landscape project under the Department of City Planning. A John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship followed, along with a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 1976. The year 1978 saw both his solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the establishment of an archive of his photographs and records at Indiana University Art Museum in Bloomington. Sinsabaugh died in Chicago in 1983. The first complete survey of the artist's career was the major retrospective of his work American Horizons: The Photographs of Art Sinsabaugh, which began its Midwestern tour at the Art Institute of Chicago on October 2, 2004.