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American, 20th century, male.

Born 7 March 1926, in Halfway (Oregon); died 5 December 2008, in Cologne.

Painter, sculptor. Multimedia.

Neo-Dadaism, Fluxus.

From 1946 to 1950, George Brecht studied physical sciences at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Science, and from 1950 to 1955, he trained as a chemist. He met John Cage in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1912, in Los Angeles; died 1992.

Painter, printmaker.

Neo-Dadaism, Fluxus.

John Cage is best known as an avant-garde composer and musician. As a member of the Fluxus group he took part in many of their happenings and was therefore at the heart of various artistic activities that extended into the visual arts. His introduction of the notion of chance into music coincided with the same approach in painting. He also used painting and print making as a means of expression and in Milan in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 24 January 1919, in New York; died 8 May 1996, in Miami (Florida).

Painter. Figures, scenes with figures.

Dadaism, Bad Painting.

William Nelson Copley studied at the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1946 and then at the University of Yale. He took part in the Italy campaign as a soldier in the American army. At the same time as becoming a painter, between 1947 and 1948 he created the Copley Galleries in Beverly Hills where he exhibited the work of Man Ray, Max Ernst, Magritte, André Masson, Tanguy, Picabia and Duchamp, and held memorable parties spending the family inheritance and building up an impressive Surrealist collection. Between 1951 and 1964 he made frequent, long trips to Paris. He painted there and took part in several group exhibitions. After 1964 he lived and worked in New York and in Roxbury in Connecticut. He signed his work ...

Article

Dada  

Dawn Ades and Matthew Gale

Artistic and literary movement launched in Zurich in 1916 but shared by independent groups in New York, Berlin, Paris, and elsewhere. The Dadaists channelled their revulsion at World War I into an indictment of the nationalist and materialist values that had brought it about. They were united not by a common style but by a rejection of conventions in art and thought, seeking through their unorthodox techniques, performances, and provocations to shock society into self-awareness. The name Dada itself was typical of the movement’s anti-rationalism. Various members of the Zurich group are credited with the invention of the name; according to one account it was selected by the insertion of a knife into a dictionary and was retained for its multilingual, childish, and nonsensical connotations. The Zurich group was formed around the poets ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1935, in Cincinnati.

Painter (gouache), watercolourist, assemblage artist, happenings artist, draughtsman, lithographer, photographer.

Neo-Dadaism, Pop Art.

Jim Dine spent his childhood in his father’s painting and plumbing tool shop. He studied at the University of Cincinnati and then at Ohio University, leaving with a Bachelor of Arts in 1957. He also followed courses at Boston Museum School. In 1958 he settled in New York, participating in the birth of Pop Art and, more especially, Happening Art, participating in avant-garde group exhibitions. However, this allegiance to Pop Art has to be moderated to some extent; even though historically he lived this experience, he always added a somewhat poetic, sentimental nuance and retained an attachment to pictorial problems, something that brought him closer to another artist who found himself isolated during this period: Cy Twombly....

Article

Malcolm Gee

German painter, printmaker, and sculptor, naturalized American in 1948 and French in 1958. He was a major contributor to the theory and practice of Surrealism (see Two Children Are Threatened by a Nightingale, 1924). His work challenged and disrupted what he considered to be repressive aspects of European culture, in particular Christian doctrine, conventional morality, and the aesthetic codes of Western academic art. Until the mid-1920s he was little known outside a small circle of artists and writers in Cologne and Paris, but he became increasingly successful from ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1 June 1937, in Nashville (Tennessee).

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, performance artist, environmental artist, installation artist, film maker.

Neo-Dadaism, Pop Art.

Born Charles Rogers Grooms, the red-headed Red Grooms studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1955...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1927; died 21 June 1995, in Cologne.

Performance artist.

Neo-Dadaism, Fluxus.

Al Hansen was born in Queens, New York. He joined the US Air Force and served his country during World War II. While in Frankfurt with the Army of Occupation, he pushed a piano off the top of a five-storey building, an act he was to repeat many times elsewhere. He took part in the first demonstration of the Fluxus group in Wiesbaden in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 15 May 1930, in Allendale (South Carolina) or Augusta (Georgia).

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, printmaker, mixed media, costume and set designer, illustrator. Encaustic.

Neo-Dadaism, Pop Art.

Jasper Johns grew up in South Carolina. He attended courses in art and painting at the University of South Carolina and, in 1948, enrolled in a commercial art school for two semesters in New York City. He served in the US Army for two years during the Korean War but was able to resume his studies at City College in New York in 1953, thanks to the GI Bill. It was at this time that he met his lifelong friend Robert Rauschenberg, the composer John Cage, and the dancer Merce Cunningham. He acted as artistic adviser for Cage and Cunningham’s dance company until 1972, collaborating with painters such as Robert Morris, Frank Stella, Bruce Nauman, and Andy Warhol. He lives and works in New York State and St Martin in the French West Indies. He has been a member of the New York Academy of Arts and Letters since 1988....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1927, in Atlantic City (New Jersey); died 5 April 2006, in Encinitas near San Diego (California).

Happenings artist, environmental artist. Multimedia.

Neo-Dadaism.

Allan Kaprow studied under Hans Hofmann in 1947–1948. He wrote his doctoral thesis on Mondrian, under the supervision de Meyer Schapiro. In 1956–1958, he attended John Cage’s course at the New College for Social Research in New York. That period was witnessing a resurgence of interest in Dada and the advent of a belated, and quite unexpected wave of successors to Marcel Duchamp. Dada’s subversive response to art, its readiness to turn things on their head released Kaprow’s energies. He had a chair in art history, was involved in the creation of two galleries in New York, and pursued the activities which befitted a conceptual artist. He taught Visual Arts at the University of San Diego (California)....