Yvonne Rainer
Dancer and Choreographer
New York, NY
2016 USA Fellow

This award is generously supported by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Yvonne Rainer, one of the founders of the Judson dance Theater (1962), made a transition to filmmaking following a fifteen-year career as a choreographer/dancer (1960-1975). After making seven experimental feature-length films — “Lives of Performers” (1972), “Privilege” (1990), and “MURDER and murder” (1996), among others — she returned to dance in 2000 via a commission from the Baryshnikov dance Foundation (“After Many a Summer Dies the Swan”). Since then she has made six dances, including “AG Indexical, with a little help from H.M.,” “Assisted Living: Do you have any money?” and “The Concept of Dust: Continuous Project – Altered Annually.”Her dances and films have been seen throughout the U.S., including the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Kitchen, Dia Beacon; in Europe and South America at the Louvre and Montpelier, also Documenta 12, Helsinki, Italy, Dublin; London, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Museum retrospectives of her work, including drawings, photos, films, notebooks, and memorabilia, have been presented at Kunsthaus Bregenz and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2012); the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Jeu de Paume, École des Beaux Artes, La Ferme du Buisson, Paris, and Raven Row, London (2014). A memoir — “Feelings Are Facts: a Life” — was published by MIT Press in 2006. A selection of her poetry was published in 2011 by Paul Chan’s Badlands Unlimited. Other writings have been collected in “Work: 1961-73” (1974); “The Films of Y.R.” (1989); and “A Woman Who…: Essays, Interviews, Scripts” (1999). She is a recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Portrait photo by Nathalie Magnan. 

  • Artwork by Yvonne Rainer
    “Spiraling Down”, 2013. Photo by Ian Douglas.
  • Artwork by Yvonne Rainer
    “RoS Indexical”, 2007. Photo by Babette Mangolte.
Artwork by Yvonne Rainer Artwork by Yvonne Rainer