Art Principles and History

Art Fundamentals

What is performance art?

Performance art combines theater, music, video, and visual arts and often features artists actively participating in their own work. Though performance-based ritual art has existed for thousands of years around the world, contemporary performance art developed as part of the early twentieth-century Futurist and Surrealist movements. Notable performance artists include Joseph Beuys and Bruce Nauman. (For more information about contemporary performance art, see the chapter on “Contemporary Art 1960s to Present.”)


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Art History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App