Laurie Anderson • 2007 Recipient of the Dorothy & Lillian Gish Prize
A seminal voice in the art world, Laurie Anderson is one of today’s premier multimedia performance artists, known for her groundbreaking use of technology. Over the years she has captivated audiences with her innovative creations, serving various roles as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics aficionado, vocalist, and instrumentalist. Her work can be found on record, radio, and film soundtracks; accompanying dance and theater productions; and in books, museums, and on stage around the world. Her eclectic career includes an appointment in 2002 as the first artist-in-residence of NASA, out of which she developed her solo performance, The End of the Moon, and work on the opening ceremony for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Anderson first rose to fame with O Superman, a mesmerizing, minimalist song with half-spoken and half-sung lyrics offered in an electronically modified voice. The work topped the British pop charts at number two in 1980 and subsequently appeared on her 1982 album, Big Science, which was re-released this year. Anderson has made over ten albums including the box set United States Live (1984) and the soundtrack to her feature film Home of the Brave (1986). An anthology, Talk Normal, was released in 2000.
Over the years Anderson has toured internationally with shows ranging from simple spoken word performances to elaborate multi-media events. Major works include United States I-V (1983), Empty Places (1990), The Nerve Bible (1995), Songs and Stories for Moby Dick (1999), a multimedia stage performance based on the Herman Melville novel, and Homeland (2010) which went on to tour the US and Europe.
As a composer, Anderson has contributed music to films by Wim Wenders and Jonathan Demme; scores to dance pieces by Bill T. Jones, Trisha Brown, Molissa Fenley; and a score for Robert LePage’s theater production, Far Side of the Moon. Her orchestra work, Songs for A.E., premiered at Carnegie Hall in February 2000.
Anderson’s visual work has been presented in major museums in the United States and Europe. In 2003, The Musée d’ Art Contemporain of Lyon in France produced a touring retrospective of her work, The Record of the Time: Sound in the Work of Laurie Anderson, which included installation, audio, instruments, video, and art objects spanning Anderson’s career from the 1970’s to her most current works. The retrospective toured internationally from 2003 to 2005.
Among Anderson’s awards are the 2001 Tenco Prize for Songwriting in San Remo, Italy, and the 2001 Deutsche Schallplatten prize for her album Life on a String (2001), as well as grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Adele Chatfield-Taylor – Adele Chatfield-Taylor is the President Emerita of the American Academy in Rome, where she further established the Academy as one of the world’s foremost cultural institutions. It is a much sought-after place for artists of all types to research, reflect and develop new work. Its prestigious Rome Prize Fellowships are awarded in a wide range of artistic disciplines.