by MTI/ 2021. máj 14.

Princess of Asturias Award for the queen of performance

Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic is the winner of the art category for the Princess of Asturias, the “Spanish Nobel Prize”, this year, the decision was announced on Wednesday in Oviedo.

In his reasoning, the jury praised the artist as one of the most exciting artists of our time, whose career – in which she explored many new paths – of more than fifty years, was recognized with the award. – writes MTI. 

Known as the Queen of Performance, Marina Abramovic has won the accolade out of fifty-nine candidates from twenty-four nations. Last year the award was shared by two world-famous composers, Ennio Morricone and John Williams. Previous winners include Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen, and Bob Dylan.

Born in Belgrade, the seventy-four-year-old artist – “who pushes the boundaries of body and mind in her performances” – studied painting at the Belgrade Academy of Arts, then left Yugoslavia and moved to Amsterdam because she believed one had no future in the communist country. She also met her later important co-creator, Uwe Laysiepen, Ulay, in the Dutch capital.

She began her artistic career in the 1970s, her work is featuring a constant search for individual freedom through risky and complex performances.

Her name has been a concept in artistic circles for decades, her most widely known work being the 2010 performance The Artist is Present at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. For two and a half months, Abramovic sat in a red, closed long dress with an unshaken face at a table during the museum's opening hours, and visitors could sit across from her. Her famous works also include the series “Rhythms”, “Thomas’ Lips ”and“ Balkan Baroque ”.

In 2010, an exhibition was held looking back at her career at MoMa in New York, which – among other things – featured videos, photographs, and documents from the 1970s, as well as a chronological installation in which actors recreated the artist’s previous performances.

In 2013, a documentary about the performance “The Artist is Present” was directed by Matthew Akers, which was nominated for Best Documentary at the Independent Spirit Awards 2013 and received an Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2012 Berlin Film Festival.

The Princess of Asturias Award is presented each year in eight categories, this year the first announced winner is Marina Abramovic. The recognition is traditionally presented in a ceremonial setting in October in the presence of the Spanish royal family.

The winners will receive a statue by the world-famous Joan Miró and a cash prize of 50,000 euros (17.8 million forints) in addition to the recognition.

Abramovic also won the Commander’s Cross of Austria award and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Plymouth (2009), as well as the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the Venice Biennale (1997), the Niedersächsischer Kunstpreis (2003), the Dance and Performance Award of New York (2003) and the American Federation of Arts Cultural Leadership Award (2011).

One of Marina Abramovic’s current collaborations is with WeTransfer, this is our article on the collaboration.

Cover Photo: Marina Abramović (source:


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