Visual artist Suzanne Bocanegra uses theater to interrogate the history and practice of visual art. Part performance, part memoir, and part gleefully rambling cultural essay, her “Artist Performance Lectures” are intensely personal, exhaustively researched, and kaleidoscopically wide-ranging, exploring not only how and why she became an artist, but also general meditations on art-making, history, popular culture and our shifting ideals of human beauty.

NOV 27 | Starring Paul Lazar

When a Priest Marries a Witch

The second lecture in a four-part series taking the stage at NYU Skirball this season, When a Priest Marries a Witch tells a spellbinding tale set in the 1960s about a priest, an artist, and a young girl in Pasadena, Texas.

JAN 29 | Starring Ruth Negga


The third lecture in a four-part series taking the stage at NYU Skirball this season, Bodycast is inspired by the two teenage years Bocanegra spent in a body cast due to scoliosis. Bodycast mines specific details of Bocanegra’s life to create a more general meditation on art-making and shifting ideals of feminine beauty.

APR 8 | Starring Lili Taylor


Honor, starring Lili Taylor and directed by Geoff Sobelle, is based on a 16th century tapestry at the Metropolitan Museum of Art titled “Honor,” which depicts 69 historical and allegorical figures who offer personal stories as moral lessons in honor and in dishonor.  Bocanegra’s very close reading of the tapestry leads her to such diverse topics as Carole King’s Tapestry album, tableau vivant, the founding of the Girl Scouts of America, Anni Albers, and the history of theater.