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John Hovell

Maori painter, carver, weaver, costume and stage designer. His involvement with art began at Te Aute Maori Boys’ College (1954–7), Hawke’s Bay, Waipawa County, and continued with formal art training at Ardmore Teachers’ College (1958–9) and at Dunedin Teachers’ College (...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

Australian fashion designer and performance artist. He arrived in Britain from Australia in 1980 and set up as a fashion designer in London’s Kensington Market, selling clothes he had made with his partner. His regular and increasingly outlandish appearances on the club circuit led to his opening the club Taboo in Leicester Square in ...

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Rory Spence

Australian architect and stage designer. He graduated from the University of Melbourne (1966) and then studied at Yale University, New Haven, CT (1966–9), and worked briefly for several notable architectural firms in the USA, including those of Paul Rudolph and Philip Johnson. He was impressed by Robert Venturi’s attempt to use popular culture to forge a new regional idiom (...

Article

Paul Foss

Australian painter and performance artist of Chilean birth. He studied law and fine arts at the University of Chile. Following the coup of 1973, he arrived in Melbourne as a tourist after meeting an Australian in Buenos Aires, and later took up residence. He exhibited widely in Australia, Europe and South America, returning frequently to Chile, which, thematically and politically, remained a focus for his art. He worked primarily with the quotation of cultural ephemera (e.g. newspaper photographs, advertisements, etc). Originally noted for his adaptations of Pop art in an effort to rewrite the international history of painting from a provincial or Third World perspective, he increasingly developed a hybrid pictorial language that refused the strict confines of Modernism or Post-modernism, seen, for example, in ...

Article

C. Barton

New Zealand sculptor and performance artist. He studied at the University of Waterloo, Ontario (1974–6), and at the University of Edinburgh (1975). Between 1976 and 1981 he worked primarily as a performance artist. Using gallery spaces and other locations outside the institutional framework, he undertook a variety of ritual activities involving a carefully selected range of materials—bones, skin, willow, copper and wax—which he used to explore the connections between human and animal, natural and cultural, in an attempt to restore a psychic and physical balance between the two. ...

Article

Australian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1947.

Painter, performance artist. Figures.

Ivan Durrant produces provocative photo-realist paintings and sculptures of animals that force viewers to acknowledge the butchery involved in the production of meat. In his seminal 1975 work, he left the bloody carcass of a cow outside the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne....

Article

Nancy Underhill

Australian artists’ co-operative gallery that existed in Sydney between 1970–72. It was the first co-operative gallery in Australia run by artists and it championed conceptual and performance art. The core organizers were mike Parr, Peter Kennedy and Tim Johnson, but anyone who contributed to the rent could be a member and exhibit. While it had no manifesto, nor formal pattern to its exhibitions, Inhibodress challenged dominant aesthetic practices and social structures, including American cultural and military imperialism. The burning aesthetic issue was, what constituted art? For the avant-garde, co-modification of the precious object was unacceptable, so alternatives to commercial galleries, museums, the singular art-maker, or even oil painting were sought....

Article

John R. Neeson

Installation art is a hybrid of visual art practices including photography, film, video, digital imagery, sound, light, performance, happenings, sculpture, architecture, and painted and drawn surfaces. An installation is essentially site specific, three-dimensional, and completed by the interaction of the observer/participant in real time and space. The point of contention with any definition concerns the site specificity, ephemerality, and consequently ‘collectability’ of the work itself. One view has it that the category installation is presupposed on the transitory and impermanent, the second that an installation can be collected and re-exhibited as a conventional work of art....

Article

Blair French

Australian group of performance, video and installation artists. The four members of The Kingpins, Angelica Mesiti (b 1976), Técha Noble (b 1977), Emma Price (b 1975) and Katie Price (b 1978), met as students at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in Sydney in the 1990s. Their first public performance as The Kingpins took place in early ...

Article

Jane Clark

Australian painter, draughtsman, printmaker and stage designer. Australia’s most honoured and internationally acclaimed modern painter, and one of the most travelled artists of his generation, he worked prolifically in a variety of media on themes that often related closely to the story of his own life. He remained a controversial figure, considered by Kenneth Clark to be one of the major artists of the 20th century, but often criticized for trying to do too much. Alternating bright moods with blackest drama, he tended to work in series, reviving formal elements and iconography from previous works and maintaining a spontaneous style by devising new painting techniques in the process of execution....

Article

Australian, 20th century, male.

Born 1945, in Sydney.

Painter, pastellist, draughtsman, engraver, performance artist, installation artist.

In 1971, together with other artists, Mike Parr created the Inhobidress Gallery, a place in which to show their work and present performances. He has produced numerous performance pieces and for several years also worked with photography, film and other means of expression, abandoning this in ...

Article

Bernice Murphy

Australian conceptual and performance artist, film maker and writer. He began writing poetry as a student at Queensland University (1965–6). Although he attended the National Art School at Darlinghurst, Sydney (1968), he was largely self-taught as an artist. He first became known for his conceptual works, filmed actions and performances and typescript pieces in ...

Article

Australian, 20th century, male.

Active in the Netherlands.

Born 1944.

Performance artist. Multimedia.

Computer Art (Virtual Art).

Jeffrey Shaw's work often has a playful element, for example bringing traffic to a halt using an air cushion. He has taken part in group exhibitions, including at the following; the Festival des Arts Electroniques in Rennes (...

Article

Stelarc  

Juliana Engberg

Australian performance artist of Cypriot birth. Stelarc is his legal name. Stelarc immigrated to Australia in 1950 and after gaining a teacher training certificate in Art and Craft went on to study Art and Technology at Caulfield Technical College and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), both in Melbourne. After moving to Japan in ...

Article

Chinese-Australian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1956, in Hong Kong.

Painter, performance artist, writer. Multimedia.

John Zerunge Young emigrated from Hong Kong for Australia in 1967 during Hong Kong’s period of unrest and riots. He spent his formal school years in Sydney and went on to study philosophy at the city’s university. His interest in painting, however, remained a constant part of his early childhood, and he furthered his studies in painting and sculpture at the Sydney College of the Arts. It was there that he came into contact with a number of leading visual artists of the time, including the conceptual artist Imants Tillers. Young’s investigation into Western late modernism prompted a period in which his works dealt with themes of his dual nationality and the diasporic Chinese communities in Australia. Young has participated in many regional group travelling exhibitions. In ...