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Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 13 November 1930, in Plainview (Georgia); died 10 November 2006, in New York (New York).

Painter, collage artist, installation artist, sculptor, photographer, illustrator, draughtsman, watercolourist, print artist. Figures, portraits, interiors with figures, landscapes, animals.

Black Emergency Cultural Coalition, Rhino Horn Group

African-American artist Benny Andrews was the second of ten children born to George and Viola Andrews in the small rural farming town of Plainview, Georgia. He served in the US Air Force during the Korean War. Upon his honorable discharge, Andrews moved to Chicago and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating with a BFA in 1958. He then moved to New York, where, in 1969, with Cliff Joseph and Valerie Maynard, he founded the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition (BECC), the aim of which was to force the major museums to include work by African-American artists in their shows. Andrews helped organize protests of several major museum shows including the Whitney Museum of American Art’s ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 2 September 1911, in Charlotte (North Carolina); died 12 March 1988, in New York.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, lithographer, screen printer, engraver, collage artist, newspaper cartoonist, illustrator, art theorist. Religious subjects, figure compositions, local figures. Humorous cartoons, frontispieces, stage sets...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active also active in France.

Born 1957, in Concord (New Hampshire), United States.

Painter, sculptor, collage artist, pastellist, draughtsman, engraver, screen printer, illustrator. Stage sets.

Neo-Expressionism, Citationism.

George Condo is an American artist who lived in Paris before moving to New York in the early 1980s. There, he met Andy Warhol, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring, and he worked with Beat Generation authors William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. In 1999 he received an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Condo remains traditional in his choice of mediums, using only oil, charcoal, pastel, and collage, although his manner is extremely spirited. His art is a type of condensation of much contemporary pictorial art and may just as easily be inspired by Japanese landscapes from the late 19th century as by works by Matta or Masson, Velazquez’s Las Meninas – already revisited by Picasso – or the motifs of Matisse. There are also homages to forgotten painters like Basquiat and even comic book heroes and advertisements. The great diversity of his subjects and styles does not detract from the quality of his paintings, which are intended to be as anonymous as the products in a supermarket....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Active in Belgium.

Born 1940, in New Jersey.

Sculptor, draughtsman, installation artist, collage artist, photographer, screen printer, video artist. Artists’ books.

Peter Downsbrough lives and works between New York and Brussels. His works, founded on concepts of spatiality and temporality, are intended for the urban environment in the form of installations, sculptures, books, collages, photographs, screen prints, postcards and films. Since the 1960s he has been producing three-dimensional works, exploring various materials in a serial process. In the 1970s he enlarged these two concepts to include notions of movement and space, notably in the series ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1958, in Chicago.

Illustrator, collage artist, printmaker.

Tony Fitzpatrick is also a poet, newspaper columnist, radio talk show host, occasional movie actor, founder of the World Tattoo Gallery in Chicago (1990) and owner of a tattoo parlour. His works are frequently accompanied by his own poetry....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1931, in New York.

Painter (mixed media), watercolourist, draughtsman, print artist, sculptor, illustrator. Figure compositions, figures, nudes, landscapes. Murals.

Spiral Group.

Alvin Hollingsworth was born into a family of West Indian origin. He studied at the Art Students League and New York City College, graduating in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 7 August 1939, in Sharon (Pennsylvania); died 8 December 1996, in Richmond (Virginia).

Printmaker, painter, installation artist. Artists’ books.

Conceptual Art. Fluxus.

Davi Det Hompson was primarily known for making artists’ books, at a time in the 1970s when they had become a significant medium for artists in the Conceptualist tradition. Hompson studied at Anderson College in Indiana, and received an MFA in graphic design from Indiana University-Bloomington 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 24 July 1927, in New York.

Painter, collage artist, engraver. Portraits, still-lifes, landscapes. Stage sets, artists’ books.

Alex Katz studied at Cooper Union from 1946 to 1949, then at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, where he obtained two studentships. He taught at the Cooper Union. In 1994, Cooper Union Art School created the Alex Katz Visiting Chair in Painting with the endowment, provided by the sale of ten paintings donated by the artist.

In the 1960s, he produced small collages of home landscapes–rows of trees and beaches from his native Maine–and still-lifes. He showed a short-lived interest in the techniques involved in working from photographs. Since the mid 1950s, he has worked from life, concentrating on portraits and the representation of flowers, sometimes presented in Cutouts, painted on both sides and set on a pedestal.

Indifferent to the still powerful hold of Abstract Expressionism and alien to Pop Art, he benefited from the renewed interest in Realism at the end of the 1960s, without succumbing to Hyperrealism and the need for rivalry with the camera. His painting remained figurative, taken from life, his subjects restricted to a close circle: his wife Ada, their son Vincent, his friends Rauschenberg and Ginsberg, artists, poets, and dancers. He captures private moments in the diversely secret smiles, the figures he picks out from the crowd; the soft hues, though contrasted with the deep colours of the backgrounds, confirm the feeling of intimacy. However, the big screen close-up frames contradict it, as do the elliptic simplification of the drawing, its economical outline, broad flat tints and, from ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1950, in Prague.

Active in Rosendale (New York).

Printmaker, photographer, draughtsman, paper maker. Installation art, artists’ books.

Women’s Studio Workshop.

Tatana Kellner was born in Prague and grew up in communist Czechoslovakia as the daughter of Holocaust survivors. After the Soviet invasion in ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1955, in Germany.

Active in England and Brittany, France.

Installation artist, photographer, printmaker, writer, editor, educator. Artists’ books, artists’ multiples.

Sharon Kivland studied at Liverpool School of Art and at the London College of Printing. Later she took a masters degree at Goldsmith’s College, London (...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Active in Italy.

Born 9 September 1928, in Hartford (Connecticut); died 8 April 2007, in New York.

Painter (gouache), installation artist, sculptor, engraver, draughtsman, illustrator. Artists’ books.

Conceptual Art, Minimal Art.

From 1945 to 1949 Sol LeWitt was a student at the University of Syracuse, New York. In 1951–1952 he did military service in Japan and Korea. By 1953 he was studying in New York at Cartoons Illustrators, which later became the School of Visual Arts. He worked for the magazine ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 24 January 1915, in Aberdeen (Washington), United States, to a mother of Irish origin and to a father of Scottish origin; died 16 July 1991, in Provincetown (Massachusetts), United States.

Painter, collage artist, engraver, draughtsman, illustrator.

New York School.

The family of Robert Burns Motherwell moved to California when he was three years old. He won a scholarship to study at the Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, from 1926 to 1927; he later studied philosophy at Stanford University, graduating in 1936. At the same time he was preparing a thesis on Delacroix’s Journal. Between 1937 and 1938 he studied philosophy at Harvard, and he continued these studies at Grenoble, France, during a stay from 1938 to 1939 – when he translated Paul Signac’s From Eugène Delacroix to Neo-Impressionism ( D’Eugène Delacroix au néo-impressionisme) – and during World War II, in the Archaeology and Fine Arts Department of Columbia University, New York. In New York he was able to meet the Surrealists and the European artists who had sought refuge there. He wrote for ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 1958, in Springfield (Massachusetts).

Installation artist, lithographer. Artists' books.

Sarah Seager studied at the University of California in Berkley and Los Angeles. In Excuse my Dust (1992-1993), she arranged letters left by the former owner of her house as a work of art, accompanied by requests that she made to the Archives of American Art for this correspondence to be recognised....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1935, in Elizabeth (New Jersey).

Painter (mixed media), watercolourist, illustrator, lithographer.

Pattern and Decoration.

Robert Zakanitch first painted monochrome works. In the 1970s, he made his name in New York as one of the founders of the Pattern & Decoration movement. This was characterised by celebratory and garish paintings of lush flowers, recalling traditional wallpaper patterns and comparable in scope and ambition to Matisse's large collage studies. In the 1990s, his work took on a more austere tone, shifting from embellishments of the home to ornaments of the body, exemplified by close-up views of single pieces of jewellery as in his series ...