After studying at the Music and Art High School, New School for Social Research and City College, all in New York, Eleanor Antin matured as an artist while hanging out with poets, experimental theatre makers and members of the Fluxus movement in the bohemian underground culture of 1960s’ New York. In 1968, she moved to California, where she became a key figure in the burgeoning feminist movement of the West coast. A committed activist and a pioneer in the use of new media such as performance and video, Antin soon became a referent for many American artists who were critical of tradition. Her vibrant and daring projects address questions of identity, cultural tradition and the social role of women. For over fifty years, she worked with her own body and multiple alter-egos, incorporating a variety of genres, races, professions, historical moments and geographic locations. Eager to unmask established identity markers as fictitious conventions and vindicate fluid identities, Antin’s art has played an important part in the feminist debates of the twentieth century. Since the early 2000s, she has been working on large-scale photographic compositions that question the conventions of art history.
With a long and active artistic career, major exhibitions include MoMA, New York (1973); Clocktower, New York, (1976); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1978); Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art (1981); San Diego County Museum of Art (1999); and a retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1999). Her work is included in the collections of Chicago Art Institute; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; MoMA, New York; Modern Art Museum, San Francisco; and MACBA, Barcelona, among many others.