performance art


: a nontraditional art form often with political or topical themes that typically features a live presentation to an audience or onlookers (as on a street) and draws on such arts as acting, poetry, music, dance, or painting
performance artist noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The hair is performance art, a palmier one day, a Medusa nest of towering curls the next. Karen Heller, Washington Post, 30 Dec. 2022 Whatever the medium, Mr. Graham seemed more interested in exploding genres than fitting into them, making forays into painting, performance art, sculpture and music in his half-century career. Alex Williams, New York Times, 3 Nov. 2022 The 1975, still continuing their half-performance art/half-bangers tour, recently turned down an opening slot for Ed Sheeran, Healy explained in a September interview with The New York Times. Brenton Blanchet, Peoplemag, 28 Nov. 2022 The music and media platform is partnering with the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on Black HERSTORY Live, a two-day multidisciplinary experience of music, art, poetry, dance, and performance art taking place February 24-25. Brande Victorian, Essence, 15 Nov. 2022 Lavery testified at the end of the second week of hearings, on Oct. 29, after four members of Hollywood Ten had completed their performance art. Thomas Doherty, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Oct. 2022 Unmentioned by Xi was the most notorious part of the show: A 26-year-old art student had illegally fired a gun, as part of her performance art, after which she was immediately arrested. Eva Dou, Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2022 His mother was a fortune teller and a clown, and introduced him to the world of performance art. The Arizona Republic, 29 Dec. 2022 Although known to many as a punk band, they are best understood as artists working in the tradition of performance art. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 16 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'performance art.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1971, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of performance art was in 1971

Dictionary Entries Near performance art

Cite this Entry

“Performance art.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on performance art

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?