"The Grandmother Of Performance Art" Celebrates Retrospective At The MoMA

by Cary Randolph Fuller · March 10, 2010

[All photos by Will Ragozzino for Patrick McMullan.] Marina Abramović is capping her forty-year career as a darling in the art world with a retrospective at the MoMA, and judging by last night's opening celebration, it will be just another great success for the Serbian artist.

The exhibit featured Abramović performing at a table in the center of the room, as well as nude artists in very still poses, photos, and projected images. Guests could not only observe the art but engage with it, getting as close as possible to the subjects and interacting with performers.

David Blaine and Chuck Close

Present at the party were some of New York's most celebrated artists and art patrons, including living legend Chuck Close, not-just-a-magician David Blaine, Uwe Laysiepen (known as Ulay), Bjork, Jerry Salz, Rick Saloman, David Rockefeller Jr., Damaris Drummond, Stacy Engman, and PMc photographer Jackie Snow.

A little art history lesson for your Wednesday! Abramović grew up in Yugoslavia, the daughter of decorated war veterans who implemented a ten o'clock curfew until she was 29. After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, Croatia, she moved to Amsterdam, where she met collaborator and partner Ulay. They were so close that they spoke of themselves as parts of a "two-headed body", dressing alike and acting as twins. They ended their relationship after walking together (but separately) across the Great Wall of China.

Five years ago she staged a presentation of seven works at the Guggenheim, purchased a theater, established a non-profit organization, and appeared in Chiara Clemente's documentary "In Our Dreams". This retrospective at the MoMA is based on a documentary of her life and career titled "MARINA."

In other words, she is someone whom everyone, not just art buffs, ought to know!

Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present opens to the public on Sunday, March 14, and will be at the MoMA until March 31. For more information, go HERE.

Brad Waywell, Sasha Kalter-Wasserman, April Hunt, Shawna McGee

Damaris Drummond, Steven Learner, Christina Cruz

Claire Darrow, Lucy McIntyre, Rose-Marie Swift, Marina Yakolina

Laird Thompson, Rachel Chandler, Clarissa Dalrymple, Dara Friedman

Jackie Snow, Luke Miller, Stacy Engman