(Serbian, b.1946) is celebrated as a pioneering practitioner of performance art, best known for her works that explore the physical limitations of the body, as well as the body’s potential as a vehicle to spiritual metamorphosis. Born in Belgrade, Abramovic studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade and in Zagreb, Croatia. She was among the first generation of performance artists of the 1970s, a group that often resorted to using their own bodies as an artistic medium. Her works often explore extremes of sensation, and frequently the audience is invited to participate in the intense, and often exhausting, painful performances. She later regularly collaborated with German artist Ulay
(b. 1943) on other performative works
, exploring the capacities of the body
, as well as constructions of gender and social systems in their pieces.
She also began traveling around the world to perform, exploring the body
as a means to achieving spiritual transformation, in locations ranging from the Gobi desert to Tibetan mountains, and the Great Wall of China. Abramovic''''s presentations of her work include sound, video
, language, and sculpture
in addition to her body as the central mediums of her work. She has exhibited her work at the Venice Biennale, where she won a Golden Lion award in 1997, and at Documenta in Kassel, the Whitney Biennial and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Art Basel in Switzerland, and the Kumamoto Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan, among many other venues. She currently lives and works in Amsterdam and New York.