Andrea Fraser

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Born April 3, 1965(1965-04-03)
Billings, Montana, United States
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Andrea Fraser (1965, Billings, Montana) is an artist and Professor in the Department of Art at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her work has been identified with performance, video, project-based art, context art, and institutional critique.

She studied at the School of Visual Arts, New York (1982–84), Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, New York (1984–85), and New York University, New York (1985–86).

Fraser was a founding member of the feminist performance group, The V-Girls (1986–96); the project-based artist initiative Parasite (1997–98); and the cooperative art gallery Orchard (2005–present).

Surveys of her work have been presented by the Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia; the Kunstverein Hamburg; the Kemper Art Museum, Washington University; the Franz Hals Museum in Haarlem; and the Carpenter Center, Harvard University. Major retrospectives of her work have been organized by the Museum Ludwig Cologne (2013); the Museum der Moderne Kunst Salzburg (2015); the Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona and the MUAC UNAM Mexico City (both 2016).

She lives in Los Angeles.

Films, videos

  • Kunst muss hängen (Art Must Hang) (Galerie Christian Nagel / Cologne), 2001. Featured in Make Your Own Life: Artists In & Out of Cologne. Fraser reenacted an impromptu 1995 speech by a drunk Martin Kippenberger, word-by-word, gesture-for-gesture.
  • Little Frank and His Carp, 2001. Videotape performance. Fraser targets architectural dominance of modern gallery spaces. Using the original soundtrack of an acoustic guide at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, she "... writhes with pleasure as the recorded voice draws attention to the undulating curves and textured surfaces of the surrounding space" which she takes literally in an "erotic encounter".
  • Official Welcome (Hamburger Kunstverein), 2003. Commissioned by the MICA Foundation for a private reception. Fraser mimicks "the banal comments and effusive words of praise uttered by presenters and recipients during art-awards ceremonies. Midstream, assuming the persona of a troubled, postfeminist art star, Fraser strips down, [...] to a Gucci thong, bra and high-heel shoes, and says, I'm not a person today. I'm an object in an art work."
  • Untitled, 2003. Videotape performance. Fraser recorded a hotel-room sexual encounter with a private collector, who had paid close to $20,000 to participate, "not for sex, according to the artist, but to make an artwork." According to Fraser, the amount that the collector had paid her has not been disclosed, and the "$20,000" figure is way off the mark. Only 5 copies of the 60-minute DVD were produced, 3 of which are in private collections, 1 being that of the collector with whom she had had the sexual encounter; he had pre-purchased the performance piece in which he was a vital participant.

Writings, Catalogues

Catalogues, monographs

  • Andrea Fraser: Works 1984-2003, Dumont, 2003.
  • Texts, Scripts, Transcripts, Museum Ludwig, 2013.
  • Andrea Fraser. L’1%, c’est moi, ed. Ekaterina Álvarez Romero, Ciudad de México: Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), and Barcelona: Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), 2016, 119 pp, ARG. (Spanish)/(English)


  • "Speaking of the Social World...", Texte zur Kunst 81, Berlin, Mar 2011, pp 153-158.
  • "‘I am going to tell you what I am not; pay attention, this is exactly what I am,’", in Museum 21: Institution, Idea, Practice, ed. Sophie Byrne, Dublin: Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2011, pp 82-103.