Yvonne Rainer Hand Movie 1966

  • Not on view

Rainer, known primarily as a dancer and choreographer, made this film in a hospital bed while recovering from surgery. A cofounder of Judson Dance Theater, a collective of artists who distanced themselves from conventional dance of their time, Rainer expanded her repertoire into film with this work. Hand Movie would become part of the series Five Easy Pieces, which affirms the tenets of her 1965 No Manifesto: “No to spectacle. No to virtuosity.” At the time, Rainer saw her films as experiments rather than completed artworks. Here, the hand movements become increasingly complex until they relax again into a flat position. Shown from all sides, the hand is treated with a sculptural approach.

Gallery label from "Collection: 1940s—1970s", 2019
8mm film transferred to video (black and white, silent)
8 min.
William Davis
Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds
Object number
© 2024 Yvonne Rainer. Courtesy Video Data Bank, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Media and Performance

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].