Sanja Iveković was born in 1949, in Zagreb, where she currently lives and works. She studied at the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts from 1968 to 1971 and her early practice was associated with ‘Nova Umjetnicˇka Praksa’ (New Art Practice) in the 1970s, a generation of artists in Yugoslavia who questioned the role of art in society and strove to democratise artistic space by abandoning galleries and taking to the streets through performances and the use of cheap, accessible materials. Living and working in a turbulent political context for many years brought forth questions regarding social structures, gender politics and identity.
Iveković’s point of departure has been her own life and social positioning as a woman, the influence of mass media as well as the politics of power in the contexts of socialist and post-socialist society.
Selected solo exhibitions include: Unknown Heroine, South London Gallery, 2013;Visages du Langage, Musée d'Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne, France, 2012; Waiting for the Revolution, Mudam Luxembourg, 2012; Sweet Violence, MoMA, New York, 2011; Urgent Matters, BAK Utrecht and the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2009; General Alert, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, 2007. Selected group exhibitions include: A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance, Tate Modern, 2012; Promises of the Past, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2012; Gender Check: Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, 2010; After the Wall: Art in Post-Communist Europe, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, 2000; and several shows at the Generali Foundation in Vienna from 2000–2005.
Iveković has participated in the Gwangju Biennale in 2010, in dOCUMENTA (13), (12), (11) and (8), in 2012, 2007, 2002 and 1987, and the Istanbul Biennial, 2009 and 2007. Her works have repeatedly won prizes at film and video festivals, including Locarno and Montreal. She is the facilitator and founder of a large number of political initiatives including Electra – The Women’s Art Centre and the Centre for Women’s Studies in Zagreb.