Marina Abramović

Born 1946 in Belgrade, Serbia. Lives and works in New York City, USA



Born 1946 in Belgrade, Serbia

Lives and works in New York City, USA

Marina Abramović is a pioneer of performance as a visual art form. Since the 1970s, she has used her body as a subject and as a medium in her grueling long-term performances to exhaust her physical, mental and emotional boundaries – often even risking her life in search of enhanced awareness, transcendence and self-transformation. For the Serbian artist, the concept of time is an important aspect in her work, as well as the inclusion of the public. The significance of this dimension of her work could be seen in her performances Thomas Lips (1975) at the Galerie Krinzinger and in her performances Seven Easy Pieces (2005) at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Artist is Present (2010) as part of her eponymous retrospective at MoMA, New York or 512 Hours (2014) at the London Serpentine Gallery. Since the beginning of her career in Belgrade during the early 1970s, Marina Abramović has pioneered performance as a visual art form, creating some of the most important early works. The body has always been both her subject and medium. Exploring her physical and mental limits in works that ritualize the simple actions of everyday life, she has withstood pain, exhaustion and danger in her quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. From 1975 until 1988, Abramović and the German artist Ulay performed together, dealing with rations of duality. Abramović returned to solo performances in 1989.

Marina Abramović’s works – performances, sounds, photographs, videos, sculptures, and transitory objects for human and non-human use – have been featured in numerous solo exhibitions in the USA and Europe, and in many large international group exhibitions, as, for instance, at the Biennale di Venezia (1976 and 1997) and at the documenta VI, VII and XI in Kassel. Marina Abramović was awarded the Golden Lion as Best Artist for her extraordinary video installation / performance Balkan Baroque, her reaction to the Yugoslav War in 1997. In 2003, she received the Bessie Award for her 12-day performance The House with the Ocean View at Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. In 2005, the premiere of the performance series Seven Easy Pieces took place in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. In 2008, she was awarded by the now former President of Austria, Heinz Fischer, the Austrian Decoration of Honour for Science and Art. In 2011, she was appointed Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Arts (Hon. RA), London. With her performance and retrospective, The Artist is Present at the MoMA, New York which also played a major role in the eponymous film co-produced by the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. She was awarded the Panorama Audience Award in the documentary film category in 2012 following the first European showing at the 62nd International Film Festival in Berlin. In the same year, Abramović’s opera performance The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, directed by Robert Wilson, premiered at the Teatro Real in Madrid and the participatory project The Abramović Method took place for the first time at the PAC in Milan. In 2016, she released her gripping autobiography Walk Through Walls. In 2018, the retrospective The Cleaner was on display at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn (was previously shown at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, and the Henie Onstad Art Center, Høvikodden). In September 2019, the retrospective traveled to the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. Simultaneously with her solo exhibition Two Hearts at the Galerie Krinzinger, the GLOBART think tank marked Marina Abramović as the most important performance artist of the present with the GLOBART AWARD 2018. 

Ursula Krinzinger and Marina Abramović look back on decades of friendship and cooperation. As early as 1975, selected works by Marina Abramović and her performance Thomas Lips were to be seen under the title Photo Documentation of Performances Rhythms 10, 2, 5, 4, 0 at Galerie Krinzinger in Innsbruck. In October 1976, Marina Abramovic was a participant at a performance festival in a former school in Brdo, Slovenia, organized by Ursula Krinzinger and Peter Weiermeir. Nine years later, the artist convinced with the work Photographic Documentation of Performance in the group exhibition Symbol Tier (1985) also in the Innsbruck gallery. In 1992, Marina Abramović surprised the Viennese audience with her solo exhibition Transitory Objects. (There is also a publication on the occasion of this exhibition.) In 2012, Marina Abramović showed With Eyes Closed I See Happiness self-portraits and objects. In 2017, the series Holding Emptiness (2012) was exhibited in the group show ICON