Yvonne Rainer: Dances and Films

May 27–October 12, 2014, GRI GalleriesGetty Research Institute Galleries

Dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, and writer Yvonne Rainer (American, b. 1934) is one of the most influential artistic figures of the last 50 years. Her work has been foundational across multiple disciplines and movements: dance, cinema, feminism, minimalism, conceptual art, and postmodernism.

Rainer first came to prominence as a leading figure in the Judson Dance Theater movement, a loose collection of dancers and artists whose performances (often held at the Judson Memorial Church in New York City) crossed fluidly between the fields of dance and visual art, creating a striking and intellectualized form of performance that denied the theatricality and emotionalism of modern dance in favor of movements that seemed casual, spare, and cool.

Over time, Rainer's works became increasingly personal and political, and by the early 1970s she had begun to focus on producing experimental feature films. Over the next 25 years, Rainer produced an extraordinary series of films that engaged with the most advanced theoretical thinking of the time while also grappling with issues of power, privilege, and inequality. In 2000, Rainer returned to choreography and has continued to produce provocative and surprising new works to the present day.

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