Marina Abramović’s recipe for diet soup

where we interpret recipes in homage to our favourite contemporary art

Marina Abramović's diet soup for Wallpaper* artist's palate, evoking her seminal piece, 'The Artist is Present'
Marina Abramović’s diet soup recipe. ‘Offset’ dining table, £3,670; stool, £358, both by Philippe Malouin, for Resident. ‘Strøm’ bowl, €83, by Nicholai Wiig Hansen, for Raawii. ‘Moon’ tablespoon, £10, by Cutipol; ‘Terrier’ tumbler, £90 for set of two, by Waterford, both from Amara. Interiors: Olly Mason; Entertaining Director: Melina Keays
(Image credit: Neil Godwin)

Marina Abramović is an artist who knows the power of a simple idea. Her seminal works are easy to summarise – walking the entire length of the Great Wall of China, living on three open platforms at a gallery for 12 days, locking eyes with 1,000 strangers from across a wooden table – while striking an emotional chord with audiences far beyond the art world and leaving a searing impression on our lives.

The Serbian conceptual and performance artist is widely admired for an enormous and unwavering self-discipline, and a willingness to push the boundaries of the human body and mind. These convictions are evident in the dish she has chosen for her Wallpaper* artist's palate recipe, which originates from a cookbook by Austrian doctor Nonna Brenner. The artist explains that the barely seasoned ‘diet soup’ of flax seeds, oats and oat bran is meant to be consumed on the first day of fasting: ‘Monastic, simple and pure, it is deeply satisfying and keeps your mind peaceful and clear.’ 

In September, the artist will have a notable presence in London. Her ‘Seven Deaths’, a new show of work inspired by the tragic life of operatic legend Maria Callas, runs from 14 September – 30 October at Lisson Gallery on Cork Street and Lisson Street; she will stage an ‘multimedia sensory experience’ with WePresent at the Old Truman Brewery, and will take part in a three-artist group show at Colnaghi which will also see works by Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich, and Nico Vascellari in dialogue with a range of historical masterworks. 

Find peace of mind with performance art pioneer Marina Abramović's soul-cleansing soup, as featured in our monthly Artist’s Palate series


Flax seeds
Oat bran
Pinch of herb salt
Zest from a frozen lemon


Add 1.5 litres of water to a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add all the ingredients and cook for 5 minutes, adding salt to taste. Add the lemon zest and serve. 

A version of this article originally appeared in the September 2021 Style issue of Wallpaper* (W*269). On newsstands now, and available for free download


TF Chan is a former editor of Wallpaper* (2020-23), where he was responsible for the monthly print magazine, planning, commissioning, editing and writing long-lead content across all pillars. He also played a leading role in multi-channel editorial franchises, such as Wallpaper’s annual Design Awards, Guest Editor takeovers and Next Generation series. He aims to create world-class, visually-driven content while championing diversity, international representation and social impact. TF joined Wallpaper* as an intern in January 2013, and served as its commissioning editor from 2017-20, winning a 30 under 30 New Talent Award from the Professional Publishers’ Association. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he holds an undergraduate degree in history from Princeton University.

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