Lent by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery 2009

Medium
Image rights
© Tate, London 2016

The core of Eleanor Antin’s performances, films, photographs, written texts, and installations is her wide cast of alter egos from both historic and contemporary times, who explore issues of age, race, sex, and class. As critic Kim Levin aptly said, by “impersonating the past, Antin personalizes the issues and dilemmas of the present.” Antin began creating Conceptual art in the 1960s, and in the ’70s became widely known for using then-unconventional narrative forms in her artwork, such as autobiography and impersonation, always with a transgressive, deadpan humor. One of her most famous characters was Eleanora Antinova—an imagined forgotten black ballerina from Sergei Diaghilev’s productions—as whom she has written a fictitious memoir and made films, drawings, and performances.

Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions
2019
Dirty Protest: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary CollectionHammer Museum
2016
This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Identity in American Art, 1912 to TodayBowdoin College Museum of Art
Los Angeles to New York: The Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
View all

Blood of a Poet Box, 1965-1968

Wood box containing one hundred glass slides of blood specimens and specimen list
11 1/2 × 7 3/4 × 1 1/2 in
29.2 × 19.7 × 3.8 cm
Location
Washington

Lent by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery 2009

Medium
Image rights
© Tate, London 2016

The core of Eleanor Antin’s performances, films, photographs, written texts, and installations is her wide cast of alter egos from both historic and contemporary times, who explore issues of age, race, sex, and class. As critic Kim Levin aptly said, by “impersonating the past, Antin personalizes the issues and dilemmas of the present.” Antin began creating Conceptual art in the 1960s, and in the ’70s became widely known for using then-unconventional narrative forms in her artwork, such as autobiography and impersonation, always with a transgressive, deadpan humor. One of her most famous characters was Eleanora Antinova—an imagined forgotten black ballerina from Sergei Diaghilev’s productions—as whom she has written a fictitious memoir and made films, drawings, and performances.

Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works from Los Angeles to New York: The Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971
Other works by Eleanor Antin
Related works