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Article

Canadian First Nations (We Wai Kai/Cape Mudge Band), 21st century, male.

Born 1975, in Richmond (British Columbia).

Painter, sculptor, printmaker, photographer.

The aesthetic of Sonny Assu (Liǥwilda’x̱w/Laich-kwil-tach) is a confluence of Northwest Coast formline motifs and popular Western culture. He is well versed in the traditional Kwakwaka’wakw arts of drum, blanket and basket making and uses these as the starting place of many of his artworks. Drawing on a pop sensibility, mass-media culture is used as a conduit to explore and expose these Kwakwaka’wakw traditions as well as the artist’s own mixed heritage. By bringing these seemingly desperate elements together, Assu’s works challenge popular notions of authenticity regarding Indigenous people and their art. Moreover, while the works may appear whimsical at first glance, they offer a sharp critique of Western society’s culture of consumption as it relates to colonisation, both historical and ongoing, in North America....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1959, in Barbados.

Sculptor, installation artist.

Neo-Conceptual Art (Neo-Geo), Appropriation Art, Neo-Pop Art.

Ashley Bickerton lives and works in Los Angeles. He arrived on the American art scene in the mid-1980s. With Peter Halley, Jeff Koons and Meyer Vaisman, Bickerton, he belongs to the group of artists known as the ...

Article

Margo Machida

Asian American mixed-media and installation artist and cultural activist. Ken Chu came to the United States from Hong Kong in 1971, settling in California where he received a BFA in film studies from San Francisco Art Institute (1986). Relocating to New York City after graduation, his encounters with local Asian American artists, activists and cultural organizations supported his artistic efforts, in which he often drew upon subjects that emerged organically from personal experience in the US as a gay Asian man. Adopting popular cultural idioms from film and comics, while also drawing upon symbols and motifs from Chinese and other Asian cultures, his imagery from this pivotal period featured Asian men cast as prototypically American masculine figures, such as California surfers and cowboys, who populate colorful, imaginary scenarios of cross-cultural contact, mixing and desire. In Western societies, where the dominant norms are non-Asian and few viable role models for Asian men exist, Chu’s art strongly asserted their collective presence and place. His socially inspired work has since also engaged matters of anti-Asian violence, internalized racism, stereotyping, homophobia and the impact of AIDS on Asian diasporic communities....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1949, in New Haven (Connecticut).

Painter (mixed media), draughtswoman, watercolourist, engraver, lithographer.

Neo-Pop Art.

Carroll Dunham almost always paints on panels, integrating the natural unevenness of the wood into the structure of the work. Influenced by Pop Art, she creates biomorphic abstractions and tragi-comic figures combining grotesqueness and power. These creatures, which come from comic book culture and what is known as 'low art', are nevertheless painted with a skill that places them in the pictorial tradition of 'high art'. Peter Schjeldahl has compared her work to a confrontation between and a graffitist in a public toilet and Helen Frankenthaler. The interior violence of the paintings became more accentuated in the 1990s, expressing the multiple contradictions of contemporary American society....

Article

Reena Jana

American mixed-media artist of German birth and Asian descent. Ezawa studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1990–94) before moving to San Francisco in 1994. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (1995) and an MFA from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (...

Article

Native American (Choctaw, Cherokee), 20th-21st century, male.

Born 31 March 1972, in Colorado.

Painter, sculptor, mixed-media artist.

Jeffrey Gibson received a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago (1995) and an MFA from the Royal College of Art (1998), which was funded by his tribal group, the Mississippi Band of the Choctaw Nation. Since ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1946, in Biloxi (Mississippi).

Painter.

Pop Art, Conceptual Art.

Scott Grieger studied at California State University in Northridge and Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. He is active on the American west coast. His first paintings were influenced by Pop Art, while later works reflect the growing influence of Conceptual Art. Using symbols borrowed from advertising, packaging, computers, clothing, toys and so on, Grieger subverts corporate and political slogans in order to assert his own counter messages of shared responsibility and ethical living....

Article

Julia Robinson

American performance artist and sculptor. Hay started out in the performance scene at Judson Memorial Church in downtown New York City in the early 1960s. He arrived in New York from Florida in 1959, after studying at the Florida State University (1953–8). His wife, the dancer Deborah Hay, was a key figure in the Judson Dance Theater, launched in the summer of ...

Article

Joseph R. Givens

American dealer, curator, and museum director. Hopps pioneered international awareness of Pop art and helped to establish Los Angeles as an internationally recognized art centre. He opened museum doors to contemporary art and paved the way for the explosion of the contemporary art market in the 1980s....

Article

Melissa Marra

American fashion designer. Known for her exuberant, colourful designs, in the 1960s Johnson emerged as the most prominent designer in New York City’s pop scene—her use of unorthodox material was kindred to the Pop art mentality. Her designs project a sense of unabashed levity and humour that has endured....