Marina Abramović

Celebrity-status performance artist

It would be hard to overestimate Abramović’s superstar status, or her role in pushing performance art to its current position of prominence in contemporary art, and yet there is a sense in which the genre is moving on. Nevertheless, a retrospective of Abramović’s work travelled from Moderna Museet, Stockholm, to Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humblebæk, this year, and its title, The Cleaner, communicates the performance artist’s ongoing interest in gender, pain and labour. In October she spoke at the Serpentine Gallery, having been the honoree at the Royal Academy’s America gala a week earlier, while in the same month she announced the cancellation of plans for a $31m Marina Abramović Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art in upstate New York, due to fundraising difficulties. Yet, in a typically odd turn of events, she also collaborated with confectioners Kreëmart to create a Prussian-blue gold-leafed macaron inspired by her work. Its taste? ‘Smoky, lingering, sensual.’