Known for her pioneering feminist photography, Jo Ann Callis emerged in the late 1970s after studying a range of mediums, including photography at UCLA under Robert Heinecken. Callis’s proficiency in sculpture and painting enable the artist to construct models and staged scenarios, which she has photographed throughout her career. Among the various themes that emerge in her work are: solitary domestic moments, a sense of beauty, and an attention to the tactile nature of objects and people, all pervaded by feelings of anxiety or tension. Callis told The New Yorker in 2014: “The images are more about the routine of life, the actions in which we partake every day. I set my photos in a home because having a home is something for which I’m so grateful and consider a backbone to my life. It is the stage for so many crucial things that occur in a lifetime.”
Callis, who began teaching at CalArts in 1976, has exhibited her work throughout the United States and the world, including at institutions such as the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.