Laurie Anderson (American, b.1947) is a performance artist, experimental musician, filmmaker, and sculptor. Born in Chicago, IL, Anderson began performing at a young age, and played the violin as a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony during her childhood. In 1969, she graduated from Barnard College, where she studied art history. Anderson went on to earn an MFA in sculpture from Columbia University in 1972. Inspired by the burgeoning downtown art scene of the 1970s, Anderson began her career in performance art by presenting her work on New York City streets and in makeshift art spaces. One of her early notable performances, Duets on Ice, involved Anderson playing her violin from atop a block of ice, where she stood wearing ice skates with the blades frozen into the cube. The performance was considered complete only when the ice had melted. Anderson gained a much larger audience outside of the immediate art world when she released the album Big Science in 1981. Big Science included the single O Superman, which rose to number two on the national pop charts in Great Britain.

Throughout her career as a performer, composer, and musician, Anderson has collaborated with William S. Burroughs, John Cage, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, and Lou Reed, among others. In 2002, Anderson became the first artist-in-residence at NASA, which inspired her solo performance The End of the Moon (2004–2006), and shortly thereafter served as a member of the team responsible for creating the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Anderson’s recent projects and pieces illustrate her interest in dream imagery, as well as her fascination with technology and its effects on communication, relationships, and the arts.

Her films and visual art have been displayed in venues around the world, including at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France. Anderson currently lives and works in New York, and was married to fellow musician and songwriter Lou Reed, until his death in 2013.

Timeline

1947
Born in Chicago, IL
Lives and works in New York, NY

Exhibitions

2005
Long Playing, Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MA
2005
Space Is the Place, ICI traveling exhibition
2005
Laurie Anderson, The Record of the Time, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (solo)
2005
ICC, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
2004
Perspectives at 25: A Quarter-Century of New Art in Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Houston, TX
2004
Public/Private, Auckland Triennial, Auckland, New Zealand
2004
I need you, CentrePasquArt, Biel Bienne, Switzerland
2004
New Music, New York +25, Gala Concert for The Kitchen, New York, NY
2004
Arte del Video, The Fondazione Centor Studi Sull’Arte Licia E Carlo Exhibit and Silent Auction, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY
2004
Ludovico Ragghianti, Lucca, Italy
2003–2004
Laurie Anderson, The Record of the Time, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf, Germany-Traveled to Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy (solo)
2003
Public/Private/Tumatanui/Tumataiti, The Second Auckland Triennial, Auckland, New Zealand
2003
The Invisible Thread: Buddhist Spirit in Contemporary Art, The Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor, Staten Island, NY
2002
Laurie Anderson, The Record of Time, Musée d’art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France (traveling exhibition) (solo)
2000
Laurie Anderson's Anthology, Kulturboro Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, Denmark (solo)
1998
Life - Dal Vivo, Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France (solo)
1998
Handphone Table exhibited at the Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon, France (solo)
1997
Dancing in The Moonlight With Her Wigwan Hair, Southbank Centre, London, England (solo)
1997
History of Art and Science directed by Naoto Tanak, TV Man Union, Japan (solo)
1996
Hugo Boss Prize exhibition, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY (solo)

Literature

2005
Castle, Terry. “Desperately Seeking Susan,” London Review of Books, March 17, 2005
2005
Davis, Peter G. “Weird Science,” New York, March 14-21, 2005, p. 150
2005
Higgins, Steven. Still Moving. Museum of Modern Art: New York
2005
“Laurie Anderson on The End of the Moon,” BAMbill, February 2005, pp. 12-13
2005
Midgette, Anne. “Candles and Computers Glow As Technology Becomes Art,”The New York Times, February 23rd, 2005, B2
2005
Solomon, Deborah. “Post-Lunarism,” The New York Times Magazine, January 30, 2005, p. 21
2005
2004 Gross, Michael Joseph. “Inviting the Cosmos Onto the Stage,” The New York Times. Online at: http://www.nytimes.com, November 11, 2004
2004
Gross, Michael Joseph. “Inviting the Cosmos Onto the Stage,” The New York Times: The Arts, Thursday, November 11, 2004, E1 and E9
2004
Hull, Anne. “Moon and Stars Align for Performing Artist: Laurie Anderson Accepts Art Commission From NASA,” Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com), Wednesday, June 30, 2004, p. A19
2003
“Buddhism in Contemporary Art,” Art in America Guide, 2003-2004