A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s–1980s

Exhibition Website

Sep 8 2016 - Dec 10 2016

Grey Art Gallery

New York City, NY

A Feast of Astonishments is the first museum exhibition to explore the art and impact of Charlotte Moorman (1933–1991) — cellist, performance artist, and impresario. 

Best known for her collaborations with Nam June Paik, Moorman was a bold, barrier-breaking performer and a tireless champion of the avant-garde. Her landmark festivals presented experimental art for over 15 years at various sites around New York. Featuring an array of objects—sculptures, photographs, videos, annotated music scores, and newly discovered props and costumes for performance works—this exhibition considers Moorman’s life, her influence, and her transatlantic network of collaborators from diverse creative disciplines.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

Whether you go or not, the exhibition catalog, A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s-1980s, offers a fresh perspective on the artist, with more than 150 color images and essays by art historians, curators, and musicologists. Charlotte Moorman was a bold, barrier-breaking musician and performance artist and a tireless champion of experimental art, whose avant-garde festivals in New York City brought new art forms to a broad public. To date, recognition of Moorman has been limited mostly to her collaborations with other artists, including composer John Cage and pioneering multimedia artist Nam June Paik, and to her 1967 performance of Paik’s "Opera Sextronique," for which she became known as the "topless cellist" after being arrested on indecency charges. A Feast of Astonishments looks deeper to portray Moorman as a leading international figure in her own right.

  • Performance art
  • American
  • 20th Century
  • Charlotte Moorman

Exhibition Venues & Dates