Dorit Cypis, who lives and works in Los Angeles, uses performative strategies, photography, and sculpture to explore the psychological, physical, and social aspects of history, knowledge, and experience. In the fall of 1992, Cypis was the first living artist to exhibit in the Gardner Museum’s newly-created Special Exhibition Gallery in the Historic Palace. Her exhibition of photographs, The Body in the Picture, explored the hidden inner identity of her subjects, provoking social/psychological/fantasy memories for the viewer, and—in certain cases—considerations on what it meant to inhabit a female identity. While in residence at the Museum, Cypis offered a number of public programs, including salons examining Isabella Stewart Gardner's iconography and its implications for issues of identity within private and public personas. Participants were guided through discussions about art collecting and its relationship to memory, control, desire, and history. Additionally, during her stay at the Gardner, Cypis created three new portraits and a triptych that became part of an ongoing series she had begun in 1990.
Dorit Cypis’s work has been presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the International Center of Photography, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montreal; Musée des Beaux Arts, Brussels; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Orange County Museum of Art; and more. She has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Japan Foundation, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. In 2014, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rauschenberg Foundation Residency. She is a founding member and Chair of the Middle East Initiative at Mediators Beyond Borders, building creative leadership for social change.