(1956 - living) U.S.A.
Born in Evanston, Illinois, one of the "NEA Four", performance artists, along with John Fleck, Tim Miller and Holly Hughes, whose federal grants were cut off because of "homoerotic" content in their work. Their lawsuit against the National Endowment of the Arts achieved notoriety in the early 90's.
Her long legal struggle against applying "decency" standards to NEA-funded projects was heard by the Supreme Court - NEA vs. Finley, No. 97-371 - argued by the Clinton Administration against Finley, helped define the limits of federal influence over speech.
A resident now of Tarrytown, in 1981 she graduated at San Francisco Art Institute. In 1997 she published her third book, Living It Up: Adventures in Hyperdomesticity, a parody of Martha Stewart-style homemaking, and her latest solo show, "The American Chestnut" (at Theater Artaud through December 14), has received positive reviews from the critical establishment.
Karen Finley is a 2001 Artists' Fellowship recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). This presentation is co-sponsored by Artists & Audiences Exchange, a NYFA public program.