Andrea Fraser

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Biography

Since the mid-1980s, Fraser's pioneering work in the field of institutional critique has investigated the social, financial, and affective economies of cultural organizations, fields, and groups.

Andrea Fraser was born in Billings, Montana (1965) and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She is a Professor in the Department of Art at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of the Arts and Architecture. Fraser is widely regarded as one of the most influential and provocative artists of her generation. Since the mid-1980s, her groundbreaking work in the field of institutional critique has investigated the social, financial, and affective economies of cultural organizations, fields, and groups. She has used performance, video, text, and a range of other forms to explore the motivations of artists, collectors, gallerists, patrons, and art audiences, from financial investment to the pursuit of prestige to sexual fantasy to self-fulfillment. Combining the site-specific and research-based approaches of conceptualism with feminist investigations of subjectivity and desire, Fraser's work is infused with incisive analysis, humor, and pathos. The result was described by Pierre Bourdieu as "a sort of machine infernale whose operation causes the hidden truth of social reality to reveal itself."

Fraser's work has been exhibited in solo shows at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2022); the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art, PA; Kunstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany (both 2021); the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (both 2016); Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria (2012); and at Harvard University, MA (2010), amongst many others. Retrospectives of her work have been presented at the the Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona, Spain and MUAC UNAM Mexico City (both 2016), the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria (2015), Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (2013), and at the Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany (2003).

In 1993 she represented Austria in the 45th Venice Biennale alongside Christian Philipp Müller and Gerwald Rockenschaub. She participated in the 1993 and 2012 Whitney Biennial exhibitions, the 1998 and 2021 editions of the Bienal de São Paulo, Prospect 3 New Orleans in 2014, and the 12th Shanghai Biennale in 2018. Her project 2016 in Museums, Money, and Politics (2018) was named the best art book of the decade by ARTnews.   

Fraser has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Fellowship (2017); the Oscar Kokoschka Prize, Austria (2015); the Wolfgang Hahn Prize, Cologne, Germany (2013); the Anonymous was a Woman Fellowship (2012); the Art Matters Inc. Fellowship (1996-1997, 1990-1991 and 1987-1988); National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship (1991-1992); and Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art Award (1990-1991).

Since the mid-1980s, Fraser's pioneering work in the field of institutional critique has investigated the social, financial, and affective economies of cultural organizations, fields, and groups.

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