Marina Abramović

b. 1946


Marina Abramović Image

Marina Abramović was born in 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Since the beginning of her career in the early 1970s when she attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Abramović has pioneered the use of performance as a visual art form. The body has been both her subject and medium. Exploring the physical and mental limits of her being, she has withstood pain, exhaustion and danger in the quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. As a vital member of the generation of pioneering performance artists that includes Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci and Chris Burden, Abramović created some of the most historic early performance pieces and continues to make important durational works.

Abramović has presented her work with performances, sound, photography, video and sculpture in solo exhibitions at major institutions in the U.S. and Europe. Her work has also been included in many large-scale international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (1976 and 1997) and Documenta VI, VII and IX, Kassel, Germany (1977, 1982 and 1992). In 1998, the exhibition Artist Body - Public Body toured extensively, including stops at Kunstmuseum and Grosse Halle, Bern, Switzerland and La Gallera, Valencia, Spain. In 2004, Abramović also exhibited at the Whitney Biennial in New York and had a significant solo show, The Star, at the Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan and the Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Japan.

Abramović has taught and lectured extensively in Europe and America. In 1994, she became Professor for Performance Art at the Hochschule für Bildende Künst in Braunschweig, where she taught for seven years. In 2004, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Art Institute in Chicago, The University of Plymouth and Willams College.

She was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale for her extraordinary video installation/performance piece Balkan Baroque and, in 2003, received the New Media Bessie award for The House with the Ocean View‚ a 12-day performance at Sean Kelly Gallery.

In 2005, Abramović presented Balkan Erotic Epic at the Pirelli Foundation in Milan, Italy and at Sean Kelly in New York. That same year, she held a series of performances entitled Seven Easy Pieces at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. She was honored for Seven Easy Pieces by the Guggenheim at their International Gala in 2006 and by the AICA-USA, which awarded her the Best Exhibition of Time Based Art designation in 2007. She was the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Artist is Present, in 2010; the following year, the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow, Russia also presented a major retrospective of Abramović's oeuvre. Abramović's work is included in numerous major public and private collections worldwide.

In 2011, Abramović participated in visionary director Robert Wilson's, The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, the critically acclaimed re-imagination of Abramović's biography, which continues to tour internationally. The feature length documentary, Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present, premiered in January 2012 at the Sundance Film Festival and has since received widespread critical acclaim.

Abramović is currently developing the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI) in Hudson, New York, an interdisciplinary performance and education center dedicated to the presentation and preservation of long durational work and the fostering of collaborations between art, science, technology and spirituality. For more information about MAI, please visit the MAI website.

Marina Abramović lives and works in New York.


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