November 30 1946 - present
Photograph of Marina Abramović, by Alex Majoli, courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, NY, USA
Place of Birth:
Drawings and prints, Multimedia (electronic, digital, video, film), Painting, Performance Art
, Photography, Sculpture
Body Artist, Draftsperson, Installation Artist, Multimedia Artist, Painter, Performance Artist, Photographer, Sculptor, Video Artist
Conceptual Art, Feminist Art
For the conceptual performance artist Marina Abramovic, creative fulfillment is achieved through the process of making art, rather than in the resulting artistic product. From a young age, Abramovic recognized the ephemeral nature of art, an interest which led her to appreciate the impermanence of performance and its emphasis on the process of artistic creation.
Born in former Yugoslavia in 1946, Abramovic experienced the daily struggles of a country recovering from the devastation of World War II. She studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts, Belgrade, from 1965-1970, and completed post-graduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb between 1970 and 1972. While her initial works were paintings and drawings, Abramovic began exploring sound installation and performance in the 1970s which led her to the influential work of body artists Vito Acconci, Chris Burden, and Bruce Nauman.
In her early work in Belgrade, Abramovic infused her performances with an almost fatalistic intensity. Motivated by her fascination with the concept of space and the body’s relationship to space, Abramovic' s own body lay at the core of these often harmful performances. In 1975 she met the German performance artist Ulay with whom she would share a thirteen year personal and professional relationship. The couple collaborated on numerous physically and emotionally intense performances exploring the physical limitations of the body, while also challenging mental and emotional endurance. Although Abramovic and Ulay ended their collaboration in 1988, she has continued to push the limits of the body and to test the possibilities of the mind. In the late 1980s Abramovic turned towards sculpture, creating objects out of metals and crystals which she hoped would engage viewers and encourage them to experience performances for themselves. Throughout her career Abramovic has explored the relationship between performer and audience, an experience she regards as vital to the artistic process.
Abramovic’s body of work has continued to expand in the past two decades as she has experimented with various media as compliments to her performances. In 1997 she was awarded the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennial for her video performance Balkan Baroque. The School of The Art Institute of Chicago presented Abramovic with an Honorary Doctorate in 2004, and she has been instructing performance students at art schools in France, Germany, and the United States. Abramovic currently lives in New York where she continues to create provocative and influential performances.
Place(s) of Residence:
Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb, Yugoslavia (1970-1972)
Academy of Fine Arts, Belgrade, Yugoslavia (1965-1970)
Related Visual Artists:
lover of and collaborated with Ulay
friend of and influenced by VALIE EXPORT
friend of and influenced by Dennis Oppenheim
influenced by Vito Acconci
influenced by Gina Pane
influenced by Bruce Nauman
influenced by Chris Burden
influenced by Joseph Beuys
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Honorary Doctorate, School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA (2004)
Golden Lion Award, Forty-Seventh Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy (1997)
Rhythm 10, Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (1973)
WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution
Modern Love: Gifts to the Collection from Heather and Tony Podesta
Marina Abramovic - The Star, Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto, Kumamoto City, Japan (2003-2004)
(Upcoming retrospective), Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany (2008)
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