Yvonne Rainer was born in San Francisco, California in 1934. She attended acting school in San Francisco but soon moved to New York and became involved with the visual arts scene. At the age of 25 she began training full-time at the Martha Graham School of Dance and later moved on to the Merce Cunningham studios. Rainer began choreographing in 1961 and soon became a central figure in the American postmodern dance movement, especially at the Judson Dance Theatre. Her dances are known for their tension between content material and performance. These themes are carried into her work in film, which she began in 1967. Issues of performer/spectator relationships were also carried from her dance performances into film work. She completed her first full length film in 1972, Lives of Performers. Rainer has continued to make feminist, queer, and experimental films throughout her career. She has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Wexner Prize, and a MacArthur Fellowship. She currently teaches at the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum in New York. Her memoir Feelings Are Facts: A Life was published in 2006. Rainer was photographed by Babette Mangoldte inside a Robert Rauschenberg box, and Tom Burr finds traces of her influence in Emily Wardill's work.
Yvonne Rainer is featured in Edition: Guest Editor, Tom Burr