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Article

Francis Summers

revised by Atteqa Ali

(b Karachi, 1935).

Pakistani conceptual artist, sculptor, painter, activist, writer, and curator, active in England. Originally trained as a civil engineer, Araeen began painting in the 1950s while living in Karachi, Pakistan, where he and a few artists created art in a modern style that was not fully accepted in the cultural milieu of the time. Lack of positive reception in Pakistan prompted his move to London in 1964, where he found more like-minded artists and gained further exposure to contemporary art. This helped him to develop his practice, which gradually shifted from painting to sculpture. Araeen was especially influenced by the works of Anthony Caro and Sol LeWitt, and started producing objects in a highly reduced abstract vocabulary, becoming a pioneer of British Minimalism. He drew on his experience as a civil engineer when constructing grid-like forms using lattice patterns similar to window structures. His sculpture Second Structure (1966–1967) employed crossing elements imbued with political content and articulated his solidarity with the oppressed around the world. Moving to London did not result in reception so different from Karachi—museums and galleries in England overlooked his work and did not provide support for him as an artist. These acts of institutional marginalization appalled Araeen and fueled the politicization of his art and life. He began to make art addressing identity politics and racism and became active in groups such as the Black Panthers. In ...

Article

Romanian, 20th century, male.

Born 14 September 1938, in Bucharest; died 4 December 2000, in Paris.

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor. Church interiors, landscapes, architectural views, still-lifes.

Conceptual Art.

Horia Bernea studied mathematics and physics at the University of Bucharest from 1955 to 1958, then followed courses at the city's school of architecture ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Pittsburgh, PA, Aug 23, 1940).

American conceptual artist, draughtsman, painter, and writer. He studied painting at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh (BFA, 1962). In 1964 Bochner moved to New York. His first exhibition (1966), described by Benjamin Buchloch as the first conceptual art exhibition, was held at the Visual Arts Gallery, School of Visual Arts, New York, and titled Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to be Viewed as Art. In his work he investigated the relation between thinking and seeing. In his first mature works (1966), which are both conceptual and perceptual in basis and philosophical in content, he was interested to eliminate the ‘object’ in art and to communicate his own feelings and personal experience, and he did not wish to accept established art-historical conventions. He also experimented with word-drawings (see fig.) and number systems. For his Measurement series (late 1960s) he used black tape and Letraset to create line drawings accompanied by measurements directly on to walls, effectively making large-scale diagrams of the rooms in which they were installed. Bochner continued to make series of installational line drawings into the 1970s and 1980s, but from ...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 1941, in Sheffield.

Sculptor, assemblage artist. Multimedia, artists’ books.

Conceptual Art.

Victor Burgin attended the Royal Academy of Art in London from 1962 to 1965 and Yale School of Art and Architecture from 1965 to 1967. He taught for a number of years at the Film and Photography School of Central London Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster). After spending 13 years in the USA, he returned to London and taught at Goldsmiths College. In addition to his work as an artist, he has also published several books on the theory of art. He is acknowledged as one of the driving forces behind the British photography school founded on semiology and psychoanalysis (rather than on sociology or the history of ideas)....

Article

Filipino, 20th century, male.

Born 1937, in Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines; died 13 April 2013.

Painter, conceptual artist.

Roberto Chabet studied architecture at the University of Santo Tomas and graduated in 1961, the year he held his first solo exhibition, at the Luz Gallery. He achieved early critical success when he won first prize for his painting ...

Article

Mary M. Tinti

Architecture, design and conceptual art partnership. Diller Scofidio + Renfro [Diller + Scofidio] was formed in 1979 by Elizabeth Diller (b Lodz, Poland, 1954) and Ricardo Scofidio (b New York, NY, 1935) as an interdisciplinary design practice based in New York.

Diller studied at the Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York (BArch, 1979) and then worked as an Assistant Professor of Architecture (1981–90) at the Cooper Union School of Architecture, becoming Associate Professor of Architecture at Princeton University in 1990. Scofidio, who also attended Cooper Union (1952–5), obtained his BArch from Columbia University (1960) and became Professor of Architecture at Cooper Union in 1965. In 1997 Charles Renfro joined the firm and was made partner in 2004, at which point the partnership changed its name to Diller Scofidio + Renfro. While the couple (who are married) initially eschewed traditional architectural projects in favor of installations, set design and landscape design, by the 21st century their firm had received commissions for both new buildings and renovations of existing architecture. Diller and Scofidio were the first architects to receive a MacArthur Foundation fellowship (...

Article

Annamaria Szőke

(b Budapest, July 4, 1928; d Budapest, May 22, 1986).

Hungarian architect, sculptor, conceptual and performance artist, teacher, theorist and film maker. He came from a Jewish–Christian family, many of whom were killed during World War II. In 1947 he began training as a sculptor at the College of Fine Arts in Budapest, but he left and continued his studies in the studio of Dezső Birman Bokros (1889–1965), before training as an architect from 1947 to 1951 at the Technical University in Budapest. During the 1950s and early 1960s he worked as an architect and began experimenting with painting and graphic art, as well as writing poems and short stories. During this period he became acquainted with such artists as Dezső Korniss, László Latner and, most importantly, Béla Kondor and Sándor Altorjai (1933–79), with whom he began a lifelong friendship. In 1959 and 1963 he also enrolled at the Budapest College of Theatre and Film Arts but was advised to leave both times....

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Born 15 January 1955, in Leipzig, Germany.

Photographer. Landscapes, architecture, genre scenes.

Conceptual Art.

Düsseldorf School of Photography.

The son of a commercial photographer, Andreas Gursky attended the Folkwangschule, Essen, from 1978 to 1981 and studied under Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf (1981–1987). His work has both a taxonomic and conceptual thrust. His large-scale photographs of crowds, stock exchanges, and nighttime high-rise buildings of late capitalism have formal similarities to Abstract Expressionist ‘all-over’ paintings. Likewise, his photographs of the Rhine at Düsseldorf, composed of horizontal bands and devoid of figures or structures, can be read as abstract paintings. From the 1990s Gursky began to digitally manipulate his photographs. Gursky lives and works in Düsseldorf.

1986, 7 Fotografien, Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich

1989, In Between and Beyond, Powerplant, Toronto

1989, 1995, International Foto Triennale, Esslingen

1990, 2004, Venice Biennale

1992, Doubletake, Hayward Gallery, London...

Article

Walter Smith

(b New York, July 19, 1929; d New York, July 3, 2000).

American architect, conceptual artist, teacher and writer. He studied at the Cooper Union, New York (1947–50), University of Cincinnati, OH (1950–52), Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (1952–3), and the University of Rome (Fulbright scholar, 1954). Hejduk began teaching architecture in 1954, and in 1964 he joined Cooper Union, becoming Dean of the School of Architecture there in 1975. He also worked in various architectural offices in New York, including that of I. M. Pei (1956–8), and in 1965 he established his own office in New York. From 1954 to 1963 he worked in a purposefully dry, reductive style strongly influenced by Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and De Stijl. This is illustrated in the Nine Square Problem (c. 1954), a linear grid concerned with such concepts as frame, post, centre, periphery, extension and compression, which was developed as a pedagogical tool for first-year students. It became the basis for his Texas Houses project (...

Article

German, 20th century, female.

Born 4 February 1944, in Eberswalde, Germany.

Photographer. Architectural photography. Photobooks.

Düsseldorf School of Photography.

Conceptual Art.

From 1968 Candida Höfer worked as a portrait photographer for newspapers. She studied photography under Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf (...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1933, in Achel.

Painter, potter.

Neo-Constructivism, Conceptual Art.

Research Group.

Jos Jans was educated at the provincial institute of architecture and the applied arts in Hasselt. He was a founder member of the Research Group . Jans was awarded the Limbourg fine arts prize in ...

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Born 1922.

Painter.

Conceptual Art.

Matsuzawa Yutaka graduated in architecture from Waseda University, Tokyo, in 1946. In 1955 he went to the USA, where he spent two years studying the philosophy of religion at Columbia University and gave up architecture. In ...

Article

Matthew Gale

(b Bari, June 14, 1938).

Italian sculptor, performance designer and conceptual artist. He abandoned architectural studies in Naples in the late 1950s to immerse himself in Rosicrucianism. In Rome, Pisani undertook conceptual analyses of the work of Robert Motherwell (1960–65) and of Marcel Duchamp (1965–70). The results were first seen in 1970 in the show Maschile, femminile e androgino: Incesto e cannibalismo in Marcel Duchamp (Rome, Gal. Salita), in which he presented such psychoanalytically informed objects as Chocolate Cast of Suzanne Duchamp (1965; see 1970 exh. cat., p. 19). Pisani won the Premio Pino Pascali (1970) and began to participate in Arte Povera and to collaborate with Michelangelo Pistoletto. He drew parallels between artistic and alchemical activity, placing himself alongside Duchamp, Yves Klein and Joseph Beuys; the latter was the subject of the repetitive performance piece The Rabbit Does Not Like Joseph Beuys (1975; Rome, Gal. Sperone). The symbolic cruciform structure of the performance ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 29 July 1943, in Huddersfield; died 23 January 2004, in London.

Sculptor, installation artist.

Conceptual Art.

Carl Plackman worked as an architect's apprentice (1959-1960), studied history and mathematics in Bath (1960-1962), then studied art at West of England College of Art in Bristol (...

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Bogotá, Aug 12, 1941).

Colombian sculptor, collagist, and conceptual artist. He studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá from 1959 to 1965 and began at this time to make collages influenced by Pop art. In 1966 he made the first of his Boxes, painted in strong flat colors, often red or yellow, to which he affixed industrial elements such as telephone handsets. Soon afterwards he began to make only white boxes, using the color to complement the mystery of the objects they contained, such as the heads, arms, and legs of dolls, machine parts, wooden eggs, and domestic objects; the penetrating humor and arbitrariness with which he juxtaposed such things recalled the spirit of Dada.

In the 1970s Salcedo became involved for a time with conceptual art in mordantly critical and irreverent works, such as The National Coat of Arms (1973; Bogotá, Mus. A. Mod.). He subsequently returned, however, to sculptural objects, bringing together two or more previously unconnected elements into an unsuspected poetic unity when assembled. These in turn gave way to works concerned with the representation of water, for example a group of saw-blades aligned in wavelike patterns or rectangles of glass arranged to resemble rain. Some of these included human figures, bringing to bear a sense of solitude and anxiety that added to their poetry and suggestiveness....

Article

Salvo  

Italian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1947, in Leonforte (Sicily).

Painter, collage artist. Figures, portraits, architectural views, still-lifes.

Conceptual Art, Body Art.

Salvator Mangione, known as Salvo, settled in Turin. In 1969 in his 12 Self-portraits he added pieces cut from photographs to his own painted portrait so that he appeared as an American soldier in Vietnam, a German SS officer or a Cuban guerrilla. During this period, working in a conceptual mode, he engraved his name or statements about his name on precious metals. After ...

Article

Midori Yoshimoto

(b Shizuoka, March 3, 1965).

Japanese conceptual artist, sculptor and installation artist . Sone earned an MA in architecture at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (1992), but decided to experiment with a wider range of media in order to explore the concepts of futility and the unattainable. His first work, Her 19th Foot (1993), shown at the Art Tower, in Mito, and later in the Rooseum, in Malmö, consisted of 19 unicycles welded together for 19 cyclists to ride. As several attempts by different participants failed, the work implied the ‘impossibility of communal illusions’ (see Inoue). His next work, Artificial Lawn Performance (1994), consisted of four photographs that seemed to prove the fiction that Sone had laid Astroturf on the surface of the moon as part of NASA’s art programme. The nonsense of the grandiose act is heightened by the artificial quality evident in Sone’s pseudo-documentary photographs. For the opening of the Expo ...

Article

Terry Smith

(b Sydney, July 30, 1950).

Australian conceptual artist and painter. An architecture student at Sydney University (1969–72), he closely followed the profound questioning of artistic practices concentrated there, including the radical rethinking of Australian and modern art history occurring in the courses and research of the Power Institute of Fine Arts. He was also alert to the particular nexus between minimalist aesthetics and conceptual experimentality being forged by artists in Sydney as elsewhere. A son of Latvian immigrants, he saw these developments from an already displaced perspective. They gave him the grounding for his artistic language, and for his recurrent subject: the imagery of identity, of the personal within the social. It was approached obliquely, usually by inference, often unstable and elusive to the point of disappearance.

The vital paradox of Tillers’s art is the projection of such significant content through the appropriation and quotation of imagery from a number of sources, including reproductions of other artists’ works. His large paintings are assemblies of small canvas-boards, scored by oilstick and arrangeable in various combinations; he even exhibited them in stacks. ...

Article

Tunga  

Adrian Locke

revised by Iliana Cepero

[De Barros Carvalho e Mello Mourão, Antonio José]

(b Palmares, Pernambuco, Feb 8, 1952; d Rio de Janeiro, Jun 6, 2016).

Brazilian conceptual, installation, video, and performance artist. He earned a degree in architecture from the Universidade Santa Ursula, Rio de Janeiro in 1974. In 1976 he co-founded and edited the alternative art journal Malasartes, along with fellow artists Cildo Meireles, José Resende (b 1945), and Waltercio Caldas (b 1946); Meireles and Tunga founded another art journal together, A parte do fogo, in 1980. Tunga produced installation work involving objects, film, and video, as in the 1980 Dois irmões (“Two Brothers”) project and in his collaboration with Arthur Omar, O nervo de prata (“The Silver Needle”). Tunga’s multidisciplinary work encompassed various fields of knowledge, from paleontology and zoology to psychology and physics. Inspired by the Constructivist and Surrealist traditions, and by the ideas laid out in Oswald de Andrade’s Anthropofagite manifesto, Tunga parodied the scientific methods of these disciplines to subvert Cartesian logic and notions of reason. His highly symbolic pieces used a repertoire of motifs (bones, molars, hair, hammocks, skulls, nets, tubes, lamps) and materials (such as iron, wire, and glass) that he recycled throughout his career. For example, huge plates of steel and magnets merged with what appear to be long, thick plaits of hair. This hair, often real, was attached to the heads of living people or, as in the ...

Article

Ewa Mikina

(b Volhynia, Oct 10, 1938).

Polish performance artist and conceptual artist. He studied at the Faculty of Architecture at Kraków Technical University from 1956 to 1962 and at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kraków (1964–5). After 1969 he produced at intervals powerful linear semi-abstract paintings resembling three-dimensional projections on to a plane. His first performance, Poetic Quarter Hour with Piano and Record Player (1967; Kraków), based on an improvised poetic recitation, was transformed into verbal-jazz improvisations featuring Tomasz Stańko (1967–8). In the early 1970s Warpechowski produced a number of conceptual works bordering on performance art (e.g. a clock encased in a block of plaster of Paris, a blank tape-measure, a bookbinding press with an empty plate, darkness enclosed in the palms of hands). The performances of the 1970s, such as Liberation of Pure Usefulness (1974), were inspired by Daoist philosophy and dealt with ideas, reality and nothingness, whereas his understanding of the creative process stemmed from the European Romantic tradition. After ...