°1943, Solingen (DE) – 2020, Ljubljana (SL)

Predominantly known for his twelve-year relationship and performative collaboration with Marina Abramović, Ulay (pseudonym of Frank Uwe Laysiepen) was formally trained as a photographer. In the early period of his artistic activity, he was mainly interested in the identity and the body on personal and communal levels through his series of Polaroid photographs and intimate performances. Later on, his approach resulted in a kind of performative photography. His numerous collaborations with Abramovic focused on questioning perceived masculine and feminine traits and pushing the physical limits of the body. After his break with Abramovic, Ulay remained connected to the question of the performative, although he was working primarily in photography.

Ulay has had numerous solo exhibitions, including shows at C-Space, Beijing; National Center of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Museum Het Domein, Sittard; and De Appel, Amsterdam. His work has been shown in several group exhibitions at venues such as MoMA PS1, New York; Tate Liverpool; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; K21, Dusseldorf; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Ulay’s work, as well as his collaborative work with Marina Abramović, is featured in many collections of major art institutions around the world such as Stedejlik Museum, Amsterdam; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and MoMA, New York.

You can find more works by Ulay on his own website.

Ulay (courtesy of ICA)

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