Wolf Prize Laureate in Arts 2017
“for the radicalism and avant-garde at the core of their work, and for inspiring generations to come”.
Laurie Anderson (born in 1947, Illinois) is an independent cutting-edge, multi-media artist, active and influential worldwide. Her oeuvres carry strong and clear humanist and feminist messages. These messages are conveyed to the audience mostly through storytelling, moving and still images and live performances.
When she graduated from fine art studies, she began to do performances and gradually music. In the early 1970s, Anderson worked as an art instructor and as an art critic for magazines such as Artforum and illustrated children’s books. In 1974, Anderson conducted a world tour with Duets on Ice – an art performance in which she played music (violin and recorded sound) while wearing ice skates with the blades frozen into a block of ice; the performance endured as long as the ice was not melted. In 1981, Her single O Superman was released and reached the top of pop-music charts in the UK. This single was part of a larger stage work titled United States and was included on her album Big Science.
She has collaborated with leading artists, e.g., her late husband Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, and others. With her multi-dimensional way of thinking and art practice, she has become a role model of free and independent art making. Her original voice and spirit have inspired many artists and art-consumers to date. In 2003, Anderson was NASA’s first artist-in-residence.
Laurie Anderson is awarded the Wolf Prize for her art, being a significant example of the essence of multi-disciplinary art that has developed since the 1970’s. Anderson’s work is manifested in music, performance, films, poetry, and visual art, while breaking the boundaries between media and expanding the range of creativity. She paved the path to a new kind of artwork, discovering new territories for art while combining different media, esthetics, and technologies. She can be characterized as a symbol of our time – always trying new options and challenging norms. Anderson has influenced generations of artists who view her as a source of inspiration of multi-disciplinary, innovative, and groundbreaking creativity.