Andrea Fraser was born in Billings, Montana, in 1965, and grew up in Berkeley (California). She studied at the School of Visual Arts and the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum, in New York, where she currently lives and works. Her performances, videos and installations are a critique of the mechanisms supporting the art world. Influenced by gender studies and the theory of social fields of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, in her performances, texts, videos and installations Fraser analyses with great irony the different agents that make up the art world (curators, museums, collectors, artists and public).
She teaches in the Art Department of the University of California, Los Angeles, and has contributed essays and theoretical texts on performance to magazines such as Art in America, October and Artforum. She was a founding member of feminist performance groups such as The V-Girls (1986–96) and other collective initiatives such as Parasite (1997–8), Services (1994–2001) and Orchard (2005–8).
Her work has been exhibited in major international museums and galleries, such as Kunstverein, Munich (1993–4), Venice Biennale (1993), Whitechapel Gallery, London (2003), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2005), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2009) and MACBA, Barcelona (2016). In 2013, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne organised a retrospective. Her work is included in numerous collections such as Fundació Antoni Tàpies; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Generali Foundation, Vienna; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and MACBA, Barcelona.