CharlotteMoorman

Biography

Charlotte Moorman (1933 Little Rock, Arkansas, USA – 1991 New York City, New York, USA) was an American cellist and performance artist—one of the most relevant figures of the New York avant-garde. Moorman and her most significant collaborator, Nam Jun Paik, began collaborating after meeting at the 1964 edition of the New York Avant Garde Festival (1963–80), which Moorman had founded and organized. Moorman regarded her body as a “living sculpture,” using her cello as a powerful extension. During the infamous interpretation of Nam June Paik’s Opera Sextronique in New York in 1967, she was arrested due to her partial nudity and convicted of obscenity, earning the moniker of “Topless Cellist” by the press. Among the first rare editions curated by Francesco Conz and published by Editions Pari & Dispari, the portfolio Retrospective 1964–1974 (1975) brought together photos, unique works, and documents attesting to Moorman’s performance and the subsequent trial for “acts of pornography.” The friendship between Conz and Moorman extended into a lasting collaboration centered not only on the creation of multiples but also on considerable unique works now housed at the Archivio Conz. Charlotte Moorman’s extensive archive is now being studied by several institutions, including the Northwestern University Library. Here, a major retrospective took place in 2016, followed by another comprehensive exhibition in the Museum der Moderne Salzburg in 2017.

Artworks (24)