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b. 1964; Freeport, Bahamas
Janine Antoni was born on January 19, 1964, in Freeport in the Bahamas. She received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in 1986 and an M.F.A. in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. Wean (1990), a work created soon after she completed graduate school, consists of plaster impressions of real and artificial nipples set into the gallery wall. This presaged the psychosocial concerns of her production throughout the 1990s, in which everyday bodily rituals such as eating, sleeping, and bathing were converted into sculptural processes. In Gnaw (1992), for example, Antoni chewed on blocks of lard and chocolate and reconstituted the masticated material into lipsticks and a candy box. In her performative installation Slumber (1993), the artist used polysomnograph recordings of her dreams to guide the weaving of a blanket that was produced in situ. For Loving Care (1994), Antoni mopped a floor with her hair after soaking it in Loving Care hair dye. A 1997 residence at a Shaker community in Sabbathday Lake, Maine, influenced and (1996–99), in which she rubbed one rock against another for days on end. This concern with pacing and endurance has become more pronounced in her recent projects. For her solo exhibition To Draw a Line at Luhring Augustine Gallery in New York (2003), Antoni walked across a tightrope strung between two massive reels of hemp rope that she had woven by hand.
Antoni's solo exhibitions include Slip of the Tongue at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow (1995), Art at the Edge at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (1996), Swoon at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (1998), and Taught Tether Teeter at SITE Santa Fe in New Mexico (2002). Her work has also appeared in the Venice Biennale (1993), Whitney Biennial (1993), Face-Off: The Portrait in Recent Art at the Institute of Contemporary Art of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (1994), Johannesburg Biennale (1995), International Biennial Exhibition at SITE Santa Fe (1999), Open Ends: Minimalism and After at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2002), and Moving Pictures at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2002). Antoni has received the Glen Dimplex Artists Award from the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin (1996), a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship (1998), the Larry Aldrich Foundation Award from the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut (1999), and the New Media Award from the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston (1999). She was a finalist for the Guggenheim Museum's 1996 Hugo Boss Prize. Antoni lives and works in New York.