Artist Marina Abramovic and theater director Diane Paulus are among Time magazine’s 100 most influential people for 2014. The annual list, which covers fields as diverse as arts, politics, science and sports, was released on Thursday and also included artist-filmmaker Steve McQueen and songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
Abramovic, the Serbian-born performance artist, has been presenting her often-bizarre live installations since the early ‘70s. She has become a fixture of the New York arts scene and had a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 2010.
Kindred spirit James Franco penned Time’s appreciation of her in this year’s list. “I trust Marina to carve the artist out of her celebrity and use her celebrity to bring what she stands for into the here and now,” the actor wrote.
Paulus, a Tony Award winner who directed the recent revivals of “Pippin” and “Hair,” heads the American Repertory Theater in Massachusetts. Her production of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” recently began performances at the Ahmanson Theatre in L.A. as part of a national tour.
Actress Audra McDonald wrote for Time that Paulus will “take a good idea from anyone, and she’s willing to try anything. It can be as wild and imaginative as possible — as long as it’s authentic.”
McQueen, the director of “12 Years a Slave,” was a video artist before he turned to filmmaking and continues to exhibit his art in galleries and museum around the world. Lopez has written songs for Broadway productions that include “The Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q.” With his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, he won an Oscar this year for penning the song “Let It Go” for the Disney animated movie “Frozen.”