Charlotte Moorman (© Julie Abeles)

Being labeled "the topless cellist" was a mixed blessing for one American artist of the avant-garde. Charlotte Moorman's occasional nudity in her performances attracted curiosity, but it also may have distracted from the pioneering work she brought to experimental art of the 1960s and ‘70s. A new exhibition looks at the bold life and legacy of this musician, performer and muse.

Charlotte Moorman performs Jim McWilliams’s Ice Music for Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1976. Photographer unknown. (Courtesy of Kaldor Public Art Projects)

A show dedicated to the life of the barrier-breaking performance artist opens Saturday at Northwestern’s Block Museum.