Contemporary Conversations: Marina Abramović

20 MAY 2021 • 6:30 PM BST • LONDON
Join artist Marina Abramović in a special conversation celebrating her life and works, as part of Sotheby's spotlight on (Women) Artists. Moderated by soon-to-be Director of Arts and Learning at the Barbican Will Gompertz, with Sotheby's Contemporary Art Head of Day Sale Marina Ruiz Colomer.

Meet the Panel

Marina Abramović, Artist

Since the beginning of her career in Belgrade during the early 1970s, Marina Abramović has pioneered performance art, creating some of the form's most important early works. Exploring her physical and mental limits, she has withstood pain, exhaustion, and danger in her quest for emotional and spiritual transformation.

Abramović was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale. In 2010, Abramović had her first major U.S. retrospective and simultaneously performed for over 700 hours in “The Artist is Present” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Abramović founded Marina Abramović Institute (MAI), a platform for immaterial and long durational work to create new possibilities for collaboration among thinkers of all fields.

Her most recent publication is Walk Through Walls: A Memoir, published by Crown Archetype on October 25, 2016. Her retrospective The Cleaner opened at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, in February 2017 and has toured to seven additional European venues, ending at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, Serbia in 2019. In September 2020 the Bayerische Staats Oper presented the world premiere of 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, which will continue to tour to other venues. In 2023 she will present the solo exhibition After Life at the Royal Academy, and become the first female artist in the institution’s 250 year history to occupy the entire gallery space with her work.

Will Gompertz BBC Arts Editor and soon-to-be Director of Arts and Learning at the Barbican

Arts Editor of the BBC since 2009 and formerly a director of the Tate Galleries, Will takes up a new role as Artistic Director at the Barbican Centre in London in June 2021. He is a world expert on modern art and has written about the arts for The Times and the Guardian for over 20 years. In 2009, he wrote and performed a sell-out one-man comedy show about modern art at the Edinburgh Festival. He was voted one of the world’s top 50 creative thinkers by New York’s Creativity Magazine. He is the author of What Are You Looking At? 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye and Think Like An Artist…And Lead a More Creative, Productive Life.


Marina Ruiz Colomer, Director, Specialist, Head of Day Sale, London

Marina Ruiz Colomer joined Sotheby’s in 2012 and has since worked on both the Evening and Day auctions, as well as at the S2 Gallery in London.

Marina now heads the Contemporary Art Day Sale, which recently achieved the highest total in over a decade for a Day auction of Contemporary Art in London. In her current position, Marina works closely with Sotheby’s Spanish and Latin American offices, and speaks Spanish, Catalan, English and German.

Originally from Barcelona, where she studied Economics and Business Administration at Unversitat Pompeu Fabra, Marina began her career in legal advisory at KPMG in Barcelona, working closely with American clients. Deciding to change her focus to art in 2011, Marina moved to London to earn her Master’s degree in Contemporary Art, joining Sotheby’s shortly thereafter.

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