Sherman Fleming

Lives & works in Philadelphia, PA.


I have been actively creating happenings, performance and function actions since the 1970s. My work often explores the body’s expressive power and the limits of endurance, confronting issues of black masculinity and the psychosexual tensions surrounding the black male body. 



1975 - 1977 Hartford Art School

1971 - 1975 Virginia Commonwealth University


Grants & Awards 

2018 - Artist Residency. African American Museum in Philadelphia residency For Art & Social Justice in partnership with Rush Arts Philadelphia

2013 - The Franklin Furnace Fund


Selected Bibliography

Johnson, Ken. Riffs on Race, Role and Identity. The New York Times. September 2013.  Weaver, A.M. Am I Black Enough For You? Artvoices Magazine. August/September 2012. 

Oliver, Valerie Cassel. Thunderbolt Special: The Great Electric Show and Dance (after Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins). Art Lies: A Contemporary Art Journal. Issue 62. Summer 2009. 
Cohen, Lawrence, Tebow, eds., Washington Art Matters: Art Life in the Capital 1940 – 1990. Washington Arts Museum. 2013

Stiles, K. and Selz, Peter, eds.,. Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings. University of California Press, 2012.
Warr, Tracey ed., Jones Amelia ed. The Artist’s Body (Themes and Movements). Phaidon Press. 2000. Schimmel, Paul ed. OUT OF ACTIONS: Between Performance and the Object, 1949 - 1979. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Thames & Hudson Ltd. London. 1998.

Riggs, Thomas, ed., St. James Guide to Black Artists, St. James Press. 1997.
Powell, Richard J., Black Art & Culture in the 20th Century. Thames & Hudson Ltd. London. 1997. Driskell, David ed. African-American Visual Aesthetics: A Post-Modernist View. Smithsonian Press. 1995.
Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art. Outside the Frame: Performance and the Object.1994. Carr, C. On Edge: Performance at the End of the 20th Century. Wesleyan University Press. 1993. 

Selected Action Functions

Underground Structures,                                                                     Duke University,Durham,1989,                                                           

UN/SUB: De Jacht op Zwarte Piet,Maatschappij Arti Et Amicitiae,

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1995, The Making Of Steam, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania,

1995, Pretending To Be Rock, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2003, The Making of Steam, Philadelphia Museum of Art. Coming Soon, Philadelphia. 2010,  OLYMPIC, MOMA PS1, March 2012.  The Car Ride, Artisphere, Arlington, Va. June 2013. pose with JOCKO, JACK Performance Space, Brooklyn, NY. July 2013. Straight Line, Cross and Point. Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. November 2013. n00se. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 2015 - 2016.