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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.

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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.