Marina Abramovic

28.09.2006 |

Marina Abramovic, born in 1946 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, is without question one of the seminal artists of our time. Since the beginning of her career in Yugoslavia during the early 1970s where she attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Abramovic has pioneered the use of performance as a visual art form. The body has always 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. Abramovic’s concern with creating works that ritualize the simple actions of everyday life like lying, sitting, dreaming, and thinking; in effect the manifestation of a unique mental state. As a vital member of the generation of pioneering performance artists that includes Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci, and Chris Burden, Abramovic created some of the most historic early performance pieces and is the only one still making important durational works.

From 1975 until 1988, Abramovic and the German artist Ulay performed together, dealing with relations of duality. After separating in 1988, Abramovic returned to solo performances in 1989. Abramovic has presented her work with performances, sound, photography, video, sculpture, and “Transitory Objects for Human and Non Human Us” in solo exhibitions at major institutions in the U.S. and Europe, including the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (1985), Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre George Pompidou, Paris (1990), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (1993), and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1995). Her work has also been included in many large-scale international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (1976 and 1997) and Documenta 6, 7 & 9 (Kassel, Germany, 1977, 1982 and 1992). In 1995, she exhibited her touring exhibition Objects Performance Video Sound‚ at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Dublin and the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh. In 1998, the Artist Body – Public Body‚ toured extensively including the Kunstmuseum and Grosse Halle in Bern, La Gallera in Valencia. In 2000 a large solo show was held at the Kunstverein in Hannover., She participated in the Berlin-Moscow exhibition which toured from the Martin Gropius-Bau in Berlin in 2002 to the State Historical Museum, Moscow in 2004.

In 2004, Abramovic has also exhibited at the Whitney Biennale in New York as well as a significant touring solo show called The Star in the Maruame Museum of Contemporary Art and the Komamoto Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan.

Marina Abramovic has taught and lectured extenstively over Europe and America including the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg and Beaux Arts in Paris. In 1994 she became Professor for Performance Art at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig where she taught for seven years. In 2004, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The Art Institute of Chicago. In November 2004, Abramovic will give lectures and talks at Columbia College in Chicago, the University of Minnesota and at New York University.

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 a Bessie for The House With the Ocean View‚ a twelve day performance at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York .

In 2005, Abramovic made a new Performance / Installation called Seven Easy Pieces‚ for the Guggenheim Museum in New York as well as a new solo show Balkan Erotic Epic at the Sean Kelly Gallery.

Her work is included in many major public collections worldwide.

Selected Bibliography
2004 Abramovic, Marina. The Biography of Biographies, Charta, Milan.

2003 Abramovic, Marina. The House With the Ocean View, Charta, Milan.
Abramovic, Marina. Student Body, Charta, Milan.
Abramovic Marina. The Star, Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto.

2001 Marina Abramovic: Cleaning the Mirror: Art in Context, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway.
Marina Abramovic: Artist Body, Public Body, Charta, Milan.

2000 “Cleaning the House: Travelling Cabinet,” Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki.
“2000 Biennial,” Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Hiller, Susan. “Dream Machines,” a National Touring Exhibition organized by the Hayward Gallery, for the Arts Council of England, London, England.
“Lie of the Land earth body material,” John Hansard Gallery, University of Southhampton, UK.

1999 “Fresh Air,” Salon-Verl, Cologne, Germany.
“Ulay/Abramovic: Performances 1976-1988,” Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, Fance.
“Unfinished Business,” Salon-Verl, Cologne, Germany.

1998 “Inbetween: Marina Abramovic,” CCA Center for Contemporary Art, Kitakyushu, Japan.
“Performing Body: Marina Abramovic,” Roma, Studio Miscetti and Zerynthia, ed. Charta, Milan, Italy.
“Artist Body: Marina Abramovic,” Kunstmuseum Bern; Valencia, La Gallera; Alicante, Lonja del Pescado; Ljubljana, Moderna Galerija and Cankarev Dom (German ed. and English ed.), ed. Charta, Milan, Italy.
“Marina Abramovic, The Bridge/El Puente,” Generalitat Valencia/ed. Charta, Milan. Italy.

1997 “Ulay/Abramovic: Performances 1976–1988,” Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.
“Spirit House, Marina Abramovic,” 7a Bienal Internacional de Escultura e Desenho das Caldas da Rainha.

1996 “Double Edge, Marina Abramovic,” Kunstmuseum des Kantons Thurgau, Karthaus Ittingen, Warth.
“Marina Abramovic: objects performance video sound,” Museum Villa Stuck, Munchen (German edition of the catalogue published by the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1995).

1995 “Marina Abramovic: objects performance video sound,” ed. by Chrissie Iles, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford.

“Marina Abramovic, Cleaning House,” Academy Editions, London, England.

1994 “Marina Abramovic (in collaboration with Charles Atlas),” Edition Cantz, Stuttgart, Germany.

1993 “Abramovic,” Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, Edition Cantz, Stuttgart, Germany.

1992 “Transitory Objects, Marina Abramovic,” Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Italy.
“Marina Abramovic,” text by Doris von Draathen, Artistes de l'Ecole nationale superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris, France.

1991 “Marina Abramovic: Departure, Brazil project 1990–91,” Galerie Enrico Navarra, Paris, France.

1990 “Sur La Voie,” Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.

1989 “The Lovers,” The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

1985 “Modus Vivendi, Ulay & Marina Abramovic: Works 1980–1985,” The Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.

1980 “Relation work and Detour,” Marina Abramovic/Ulay – Ulay/Marina Abramovic, Idea Books, Amsterdam.

1979 “30 November/30 November,” Marina Abramovic/Ulay: Harlekin Art, Wiesbaden.
“Two Performances and Detour, Marina Abramovic/Ulay,” The Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide.

1978 “Three Performances, Marina Abramovic/Ulay – Ulay/Marina Abramovic: Relation /Works,” exhibition catalogue, Galerie Krinzinger, Innsbruck; GalerieH-Humanic, Graz.

1974 “Marina Abramovic,” Gallery of Contemporary Art, Zagreb. Group Exhibition Catalogues.