Colette Lumiere

Full CV (PDF)

Colette Lumiere is a trailblazer whose vast and enduring body of work has both innovated and defied the categories of street art, installation, performance, mixed media works, staged photography, and painting from the early 1970s through the present. Moving fluidly between the public sphere and her own private space, Colette’s work embraces an unapologetic eroticism and effete femininity that short-circuits feminist politics. Channeling various heroines throughout history in performances and staged photographs, by wearing custom clothing on a daily basis, Colette has created an individual mythology in which the line between art and life is largely indiscernible. In addition to her bold and boundary-pushing work, Colette Lumiere has also become known for her use of herself as a central element in her art. Throughout her career, Colette has become well known for her creation of "living personas" which often challenge traditional gender roles, and is a recurring theme in her performances and installations, as she pushes the boundaries of societal expectations. These personas include Justine of the Colette is Dead Co aka Justine & the Victorian Punks (Reverse Pop Series) (1978–83), Mata Hari and the Stolen Potatoes (Berlin,1984-86), Countess Reichenbach as part of her Bavarian Adventure (1986-91), the House of Olympia (1991-2001), and Post 9/11 Lumiere (Maison Lumiere 2001-2007), which she renamed Laboratoire Lumiere after losing her legendary Pearl St. Atelier. Her ever-shifting personas allow Colette to embody and explore different aspects of herself and her art, and have become an integral part of her unique artistic vision.

Colette’s artwork is in the collections of the Guggenheim, New York; MOCA, Los Angeles; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Aldrich Museum, CT; The Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; The Wolfsburg Museum, Wolfsburg, Germany; The Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Germany; Orange County Museum of Art, CA; FIU Miami Museum, FL, and Newport Harbor Museum, CA among others. Recent solo exhibitions include Notes on Baroque Living: Colette and Her Living Environment, 1972 - 1988, Company Gallery, New York (2021-22). She has presented her work at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1977); The Musee Dart Moderne Lausanne; MoMA PS1, New York (2009); the New Museum, New York (1981); the Grey Art Gallery, New York (2006 and 2011); the Museum of Contemporary Art Houston (1981); the Berlin Kunstverein (1981); the Munich Kunstverein (1989); the Munster Kunstverein (1981); the Museum of Modern Art, Finland; and the Musee National De Montreal. The artist has participated the Paris Biennial in 1977, Venice Biennial in 1984, and Montreal Biennial in 2002. Colette has been the recipient of grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation in 2013, Warhol Foundation in 2013, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2016, Pollock-Krasner Foundation in 2004, and the National Endowment for the Arts in 1978 and 1985, among others. In recognition of her innovative work, Colette Lumiere was invited by the DAAD to live in Berlin for a year in 1984, where she remained for another year, during which time she created stunning sets and costumes for the Berlin Opera in 1985.


Notes on Baroque Living: Colette and Her Living Environment, 1972–1983


Selected Press

Mar 26 2024

Art Explora

Colette Lumière - Cité Internationale Des Arts Residency Programme

Mar 19 2024

The Serious Ink Press Journal

Colette Lumiere

Mar 6 2024

World Kunst

What did you see, Mr. Obrist

Oct 10 2023

Pioneer Works

Waking Dreams: Colette’s Performance Art

Jun 15 2023


10 of the Best Artworks at Art Basel 2023, From New Provocations by Anne Imhof to a Bravura $22 Million de Koonin

Jun 14 2023


The 10 Best Booths at Art Basel in Basel 2023

May 30 2023

Art Basel

Colette Lumiere: ‘Being joyful is completely underrated’

Feb 23 2023


Art Basel Has Unveiled the Exhibitors for Its 2023 Flagship Swiss Fair

Mar 19 2022

Art news

How I Made This: Reconstructing Colette Lumiere’s “Living Environment”

Mar 1 2022


Canada Choate on Colette Lumiere

Feb 3 2022

The Brooklyn Rail

Helène Aylon & Colette Lumiere

Jan 13 2022

NY Times

‘Notes on Baroque Living: Colette and Her Living Environment, 1972-1983’

Jan 10 2022


The Punk Marie Antoinette of the 1970s New York Art Scene

Jan 5 2022

Park Mag

Colette Lumiere…Artist Reborn

Dec 20 2021

e-flux (Art Agenda)

Colette Lumiere’s “Notes on Baroque Living: Colette and Her Living Environment, 1972–83”

Dec 14 2021


Eternally Colette

Dec 10 2021


Colette Lumiere

Nov 30 2021


Your Concise New York Art Guide for December 2021

Jan 27 2021

The Art Newspaper

Underground New York artist Colette is reborn ‘victorious’ as crowdfunding saves her legendary Living Environment

Dec 28 2020


Colette, iconic artist of 70s NYC, on saving her most important artwork

Mar 1 2020

Flaunt Mag

Colette / Saving the Victorian Punk 70s Icon's Greatest Artwork

Oct 2 2017


Critics Picks: Colette

Apr 23 2015


(R)evolution in Berlin: Colette's New DO Rides the Surfgeist

Dec 23 2013

Quiet Lunch

An Homage to Colette the Artist

May 2 2013

Bomb Magazine

Colette Lumière

Apr 1 2013


MOMA features a performance art bamboozle

Dec 14 2012


We Wanna Be Sedated: Punk Under Glass at the New Museum

Oct 1 2012

White Hot Magazine

October 2012: Interview with Lumiere

Mar 3 2011


Show and Tell

Oct 20 2010


Recalling Experimental Music In '70s New York

May 12 2007


Colette in Transition

Jun 1 1993

Art U


Sep 22 1991

New York Times

Installations by 2 Early Performance Artists

May 1 1991



Feb 1 1991


Cover: Colette

Dec 15 1986

Arts in America

Review of Exhibitions

May 1 1983

Arts Magazine


Mar 1 1980



Oct 1 1974

Viva Magazine

People You Should Know


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