Performance Art From Futurism to the Present

RoseLee Goldberg

First published in 1979, this updated edition of the pioneering study in the World of Art series surveys a full century of performance, from the Futurist manifesto of 1909 through the second decade of the new millennium.

The standard reference since its first publication in 1979, Performance Art continues its authoritative chronicling of one of the most important art forms to emerge in modern times. Art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg has updated her magnum opus to reflect the current state of performance in an age where digital and web technologies are becoming increasingly dominant, as she shows how a medium once used in sporadic bursts of artistic dissent has become, over the course of a century, a worldwide phenomenon.

Performance is now the medium of choice for many creatives entering the global conversation of art and culture. As the medium has developed across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas it has become one of the most popular art forms for articulating “difference,” whether dealing with issues of identity, politics, race, or historical background. Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, Sanford Biggers, Tania Bruguera, Patty Chang, Rashid Johnson, Autumn Knight, and Jacolby Satterwhite are among the many new and established artists whose work can now be seen in the context of other innovators in the field from the Futurists and Dadaists to Yves Klein and Laurie Anderson. This updated edition includes more full color illustrations and a new chapter outlining developments in the second decade of the twenty-first century in the fields of dance, architecture, technology, and virtual performance.


RoseLee Goldberg


RoseLee Goldberg is an art historian, author, critic, and curator specializing in modern and contemporary performance art.Goldberg has curated the work of many prominent artists from Philip Glass to Cindy Sherman, and in 2004 founded Performa, a multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to the research, development, and presentation of twenty-first-century visual art performance.