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Robert Saltonstall Mattison

American sculptor and installation artist of Greek birth. Known for his neon environments, he has used light over five decades to explore spatial and temporal relationships. Settling with his family in New York in 1930, he graduated from Brooklyn Community College in 1947. Through the 1950s, he experimented with assemblage and was interested in Abstract Expressionism as well as Arte Povera. In ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1947, in New York.

Painter, sculptor.

James Biederman was a sculptor at Yale University in the 1970s. He produced Minimalist paintings in the 1980s and then turned to a form of gritty, smudged abstraction that might be considered Abstract Landscapism. He has said that to reach the essence of sculpture, his body must always be moving and readjusting. Sculpture has its own world (simultaneously hiding and revealing fictitious space) and excludes him from that world. He feels both drawn into its kingdom and repulsed by his protuberances and tentacles....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1943, in Long Beach (California).

Painter, sculptor.

Minimalism.

John Laddie Dill was the brother of the sculptor Guy Dill. He studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles from 1964 to 1968. On graduating, he started a framing business with his former classmate Chuck Arnoldi before joining Gemini G.E.I. as an apprentice printer. Here he met Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and Jasper Johns who were to influence his subsequent work. In ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

American painter. He completed a BA at Trinity College, Hartford, CT, in 1971 and later settled in New York. Initially influenced by Post-minimalism, process art and conceptual art, he was soon attracted to the tactility and allusions to the body in the work of Brice Marden, Robert Mangold and Robert Ryman. Spurred on by the revival of interest in Surrealism in the 1970s, Dunham began to make abstract, biomorphic paintings reminiscent of the work of Arshile Gorky and André Masson, executed with a comic twist enhanced by lurid colours and the suggestion of contemporary psychedelia. In the 1980s he began to paint on wood veneer and rose to prominence in the context of a broader return to painting in the period. ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1944, in New York.

Sculptor, draughtsman, photographer, painter, installation.

Land Art, Environmental Art.

Richard Fleischner graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in 1966 and an MFA in 1968, both degrees focusing on sculpture. During the 1970s and 1980s, Fleischner became a leading figure in environmental art....

Article

Revised and updated by Margaret Barlow

American performance artist, video artist, and writer. Graham founded the Daniels Gallery in New York and was its director from 1964 to 1965; there he came into contact with Minimalist artists such as Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, and Donald Judd. This led him to question the gallery structure and the art displayed and to experiment with conceptual art. From ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1947.

Sculptor, lithographer, installation artist.

Minimal Art.

Maren Hassinger is an adjunct professor at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. She works with wire which she treats as she would textile. Her pieces, which she has described as 'kinetic', seem subjected to the elements and to behave in the way of plants, even set inside a gallery. This is her way of referring to an era when nature was not threatened by human activity and to the rural past of African Americans. She is the author of numerous open-air installations such as ...

Article

Canadian First Nations (Blood/Kainai), 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1953, in Kainai Reserve (Alberta).

Sculptor, installation artist, photographer.

Blackfoot artist Faye HeavyShield received her training at the Alberta College of Art and the University of Calgary (BFA 1986). Her eloquently, sparse aesthetics fall within the tropes of Minimalism, but she favours natural and handmade materials over mass-produced ones. These materials imbue her work with a narrative specificity not usually associated with Minimalism. Drawing on her memories of a traditional upbringing on the Kainai reserve and her education at St Mary’s Catholic School, HeavyShield brings together small repeated, often abstracted, forms to create large sculptures and installations that metaphorically reference the body and landscape. The results are enigmatic works that explore issues of memory, identity and the politics of place. The repetitive dynamic of her work gives it a meditative quality and reminds the viewer that strength is found in ritual and community....

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

American sculptor, painter, and printmaker. Heizer’s earthworks erected in the vast desert expanses of the American Midwest marked the beginning of the land art movement of the 1960s and liberated art from the confines of the art gallery. Heizer’s early experience and exposure to desert landscapes and Native American culture was influenced by his father Robert Heizer, an important American archaeologist, and his maternal grandfather Olaf P. Jenkins, who was an important early American geologist. He attended the San Francisco Art Institute (...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 5 April 1938, in Worcester, Massachusetts; died 8 February 2014, in New York.

Sculptor, installation artist, filmmaker, photographer. Land Art, Environmental Art, Public Art, Post-Minimalism.

Nancy Holt received a BA in Biology from Tufts University in 1960 and then briefly travelled through Europe, before moving to New York City. There, she met influential Minimalist and Post-Minimalist artists, many of whom would become collaborators, including: Carl Andre, Dan Graham, Eva Hesse, Joan Jonas, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, and Richard Serra. Holt’s early artistic output was primarily photography, video, and Concrete poetry, mediums in which she continued to work throughout her career....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1960.

Painter, printmaker.

Minimal Art.

Jacqueline Humphries studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York in 1985, and with the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 1986. She lives in New York City, where she creates paintings and prints influenced by American abstract approaches of the 1960s, and by the work of David Salle. Techniques she has used include colour-field, dripping, over-painting, the 'non-relational' and the 'all-over', as when she covers the canvas with different colours which run when the canvas is held vertically. She often works in series, such as her pattern paintings of the early 1990s, which are formed of paint spots and short brushstrokes which spread pattern-like across the painting. In the mid-1990s she engaged in her red 'poured' paintings, and later she created her horizon pictures, which were brilliantly coloured and horizontally oriented. She has since made a series of black paintings, and says that she wants her paintings to be a kind of dramatic physical event in the moment of viewing....

Article

Klaus Ottmann

American painter. He studied at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston from 1964 to 1966 before settling in New York. From 1967 to 1969 Jenney made Minimalist sculptural work using a variety of materials including electric light fixtures, corrugated tin sheeting, and aluminium. In the late 1960s, during a time when most young artists were abandoning painting for sculpture, performance, or conceptual art, Jenney began producing paintings enclosed by aggressively three-dimensional frames that continued to reveal his early training as a sculptor; in many cases the title of the work was displayed in bold letters on the frame itself. In the first such pictures he created blunt representation through wilfully artless brushwork, which he referred to as ‘bad paintings’. In ...

Article

Native American (Inupiaq/Athabascan), 21st century, female.

Born 1969, in Bethal (Alaska).

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, installation artist.

Inupiaq/Athabascan artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs holds a BFA from the University of Alaska–Fairbanks (1998) and an MFA from Arizona State University (1992). In 2007 she was awarded an Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art. Her work is included in the collections of the Anchorage Museum, Alaska State Museum, University of Alaska Museum of the North and Eiteljorg Museum....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 6 January 1948, in Philadelphia.

Painter. Figures, flowers, animals.

Lois Lane lives and works in New York. His paintings are influenced by Minimalism, but are distinguished by their complex, highly evolved imagery, in which diverse figurative elements are mixed in a manner reminiscent of collage. His work has featured in a number of group exhibitions: ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

American sculptor. Lee came to prominence as a Minimalist in the 1970s. An interest in modernism and the monochrome, as well as a hostility to narrative, made the grid her starting point; following which she began to paint predominantly in black. In the mid-1980s she began to divide up her surfaces with dynamic diagonals and introduced more colour. ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1946, in Oklahoma City.

Painter (mixed media).

Pattern and Decoration.

MacConnel was a student at the University of San Diego. He made his debut with Minimalist works. He belongs to the Pattern Painting movement, which seeks to rehabilitate the decorative element in contemporary art, taking its inspiration from traditional Indian and non-Western motifs. His highly coloured works are made up of the most diverse quotations, which are freely juxtaposed. He uses furniture as supports....

Article

Denise Carvalho

Brazilian interventionist, multimedia, installation and conceptual artist, considered the most influential contemporary artist of his country. While international critics have compared his work with North American Minimalism and Conceptual art, Meireles insisted that art should be seductive. He studied at the National School of Fine Arts and at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. Coming of age at a time of the military dictatorship in Brazil (...

Article

Eric M. Wolf

American art collection that opened in 1987. In 2015 the collection contained approximately 17,000 objects, specializing in modern and contemporary art (with particular strength in Surrealism, School of Paris, Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, and Minimalism), antiquities, Byzantine art, and the art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. While the vast majority of works in the museum come from the collection of its late founders, John and Dominique ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 27 May 1944, in New York City.

Installation artist, sculptor, designer. Land Art, environmental art, site-specific art.

Mary Miss studied at the University of California at Santa Barbara, graduating with a BA in 1966. She received her MFA from the Rhinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Art Institute in ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1959, in Mount Kisco (New York).

Installation artist.

Laurie Parsons is perhaps best known for her Minimalist installation work of the 1980s and early 1990s. Her solo debut was at the Lorence-Monk Gallery in New York in 1988, where she showed a collection of ready-made domestic ephemera and natural objects such as battered suitcases, a pile of charcoal and an uprooted log. She then exhibited at the Rolf Ricke Gallery in Cologne in ...