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Bill Viola
video artist

Bill Viola is a contemporary American video artist. With a career spanning 35 years his significant contribution to the genre of video art is today widely acknowledged on the international stage. He has been instrumental in the establishment of video as a vital form of contemporary art, and in so doing has helped to greatly expand its scope in terms of technology, content, and historical reach.

He attended Syracuse University, where he studied in the Experimental Studios of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts. Viola then worked as technical director at a pioneering video studio in Italy where he encountered video artists Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, and Vito Acconci. Since then his career has been international and in 1997 he was given a major retrospective by the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Viola is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1989. He holds honorary doctorates from Syracuse University (1995), The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1997), California Institute of the Arts (2000), and Royal College of Art, London (2004) among others, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000. In 2006 he was awarded Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government. Viola captures the essence of emotion through records of its extreme display. He lives in California with Kira Perov, his wife and collaborator.


Bill Viola



© 2008 Klaus Lucka