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Oral history interview with Barbara Bloom, 2012 October 18-2013 January 31

Oral history interview with Barbara Bloom, 2012 October 18-2013 January 31

Bloom, Barbara, 1951-


Collection Information

Size: 9 sound files (6 hr., 12 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 132 pages

Format: Originally recorded as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hrs., 12 min.

Summary: An interview of Barbara Bloom conducted 2012 October-2013 January 31, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at Bloom's home and studio, in New York, New York.

Bloom speaks of growing up in Brentwood, California; her first experience with art; her childhood and exposure to creativity; the influence of art and philosophy; going to museums as a kid; living in Monte Factor and then Los Angeles; her creative process, influences, and life as an artist; art mentors and art lessons with Cathy Herman; traveling with her family; her mom being an actress; attending Bennington College in Vermont, the 1960s, the and collage aesthetic; attending CalArt; the changes in art education at the university level; drugs use; Fluxus; John Cage and attending 4'33; living in Europe and specifically Netherlands, German, and Holland; books and love of reading; her daughter; the post-studio era; film and meta-movies; making the The Diamond Lane; images and objects' connection to meanings; The Gaze; undressing the wall; Homage to Jean Seberg, Godard, Berlin; East Germany; being agnostic and Jewish; Venice Biennale; collectors; cycle of shows; MFA programs; The Tip of the Iceberg; surgeries; hospital visit, personal training, and recovery; The Seven Deadly Sins; her father; Tellus Magazine; Judaism; fabrications and drawings; archives; relationship between the artist and the viewer; her husband;; recent show; and As It Were, So To Speak. Bloom also recalls Monte and Betty Factor, Ed Kienholz, Ron Kappe, Robbie Robe, Ray Kappe, Matt Mullican, Eric Orr, Robert irwin, Doug Wheeler, Total: digital recordings; Claire Steinman, Rosemarie Trockel, Ash Grove, James Lee Byars, James Lee Byars, Frances Rey, Sidney Tillim, Norman O. Brown, Paul Cotton, Paul Brock, Buckminster Fuller, John Baldessari, Nam June Paik, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, Serge Tcherepnin, Simone Forte, Eric Orr, Charlemagne Palestine, La Monte Young, David Salle, Eric Fischl, Marcel Broodthaers, Susan Sontag, Tim Maul, Caroline Tisdale, Doug Wheeler, James Lee Biers, Marcel Duchamp, Laura Mulvey, John Berger, Rosemarie Trockel, Oscar Wilde, Ed Ruscha, Isabella Kacprzak, Susan Sontag, Octavio Paz, Leo Castelli, Allen Ruppersberg, Jay Gorney, Claudia Gould, Susan Bronstein, Ken Sailor, Donald Judd, Robert DuGrenier, Pistoletto, Anthony Coleman, Susan Bronstein, Mel Bochner, and Ken Saylor.

Biographical/Historical Note

Barbara Bloom (1951- ) is a photographer, designer, and installation artist in New York, New York. James McElhinney (1952- ) is an artist and professor in New York, New York.


This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

For information on how to access this interview contact Reference Services.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Barbara Bloom, 2012 October 18-2013 January 31. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.