Eleanor Antin was born in New York City in 1935. She studied acting at the Tamara Daykarhanova School for the Stage, New York and creative writing at the City College of New York in the mid-1950s. Antin started her career as a painter and got into contact with Fluxus art in the early 1960s in New York. She didn’t want to become a member of Fluxus, but attended their activities and exhibitions and shared its anarchic attitude. Since then, Antin started to work in film, video, photography, and performance. She moved to Southern California in 1969 and has been a Professor of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego since 1975.
Eleanor Antin has a long career as a feminist performance and multimedia artist. She portrayed herself in various characters as a king, ballerina, or nurse, completed large-scale photographic works based on Greek and Roman History and Mythology. Her work includes multiple facets, like the role of women in society, issues of identity and history, whether of ancient Rome, the Crimean War or her own Jewish heritage and Yiddish culture.
Antin has had numerous exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and has also had a major retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1999. In 2007, she participated in Documenta 12.