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Robert J. Belton

(b Jassy [now Iaşi], Romania, Aug 29, 1933).

Canadian sculptor, film maker, costume designer, playwright and poet of Romanian birth. His formal art training began in 1945 but in 1950 he emigrated to Israel. From 1953 he studied at the Institute of Painting and Sculpture in Tel Aviv. Etrog’s first one-man exhibition took place in 1958 and consisted of Painted Constructions, wood and canvas objects blurring the distinctions between painting and low relief (see Heinrich). In these works he tried to embody uncertainties that stemmed from his experience of Nazi aggression as a boy. The results were loosely expressionistic versions of geometric abstraction, derived in part from the work of Paul Klee.

Assisted by the painter Marcel Janco, Etrog went on a scholarship to New York, where he was inspired by Oceanic and African artefacts he saw in the collections there. This led to a preoccupation with organic abstractions, flowing totemic forms, and metaphors of growth and movement, seen in ...


Michelle Tolini Finamore and Ann Poulson

The emergence of the motion picture film as a popular form of entertainment, together with the distribution networks established by the film industry and the proliferation of purpose-built cinemas in the first few decades of the 20th century, meant that films became an important method of disseminating fashionable trends as well as an important historical source of information about contemporary fashion. As American filmmaking benefitted from the disruption caused to the European film industry by two World Wars, it rose to prominence and, through the corporate consolidation of the industry in Hollywood and the concomitant rise of the ‘studio system’, which resulted in a polished and distinctive film product, it further came to dominate the global market for cinema, making it a primary source for the study of fashion.

Michelle Tolini Finamore

In the incipient years of the film industry, there was no standard source for actors’ clothing. In any given film, clothing was derived from the actor’s own wardrobe, luxury couture salons or the studio wardrobe collections, which were increasingly overseen by professional designers. The silent era saw the film industry evolve from a small-scale form of entertainment for the working class to a more refined product aimed at middle-class audiences. This change marked the beginning of what is now known as Hollywood’s ‘golden age’. This period witnessed profound changes in audience, corporate organization and design philosophy, all of which influenced how fashion was communicated to the public....


American, 21st century, female.

Born 27 October 1977, in Fort Worth (Texas), United States.

Video artist, fashion stylist, photographer.

K8 Hardy is a New York–based artist whose practise is informed by the fashion and advertising industry. Through her work, she investigates assumptions about race, class, economics, and gender. She is also the founder of the queer feminist art collective LTTR and is a member of W.A.G.E.

After graduating from Bard College in 2001, Hardy worked as a fashion stylist in New York and first emerged in the art scene through her cult zine FashionFashion, which led to her solo exhibition in 2009 at Reena Spaulings Fine Art. FashionFashion was a feminist critique of gender, media, and fashion, frequently showing the artist or her sister in poses seen in fashion magazines, wearing outfits made by the artist from second-hand clothing.

In 2012, as part of her participation in the Whitney Biennial, the artist staged a fashion show. She showcased her 30-piece fashion collection, made of found and recycled items, with the help of professional models and make-up artists. Hardy’s goal was to push viewers to question how their own clothes were made and how and why they dressed themselves, subverting common conceptions of fashion and consumerism. The performance was accompanied by a gallery installation of photographs taken by the artist that, through layering of different images and filters, aimed to confuse and undermine gender and racial stereotypes. The artist’s photos often superimpose multiple images or include photograms, added during the developing process....


Christine Robinson

[Ingrid Mwangi Robert Hutter]

(b Nairobi, 1975).

Kenyan and German performance artist, installation artist, photographer, and video artist. Mwangi’s work addresses notions of cultural difference, social conventions, racial categories, and national identity, primarily through an autobiographical lens. She has often utilized her body as a subject and engaged with questions related to her own African-European heritage. In 2005 Mwangi shifted from a mostly solo practice to a collaborative partnership with her husband, German artist Robert Hutter (b 1964). From that time, the pair has worked and exhibited exclusively under the name IngridMwangiRobertHutter. Together they have explored larger human experiences and universal issues of stereotypes, fear and negotiations between different cultures, genders, nationalities, and religions through multimedia works that have produced cross-cultural dialogues.

Mwangi was raised in Nairobi by a German mother and a Kenyan father. In 1990, as a teenager, she moved with her family to Germany and studied at the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar in Saarbrücken from ...


French, 20th century, male.

Born 1930, in Strasbourg; died 1961 or 1965.

Painter, lithographer, illustrator. Stage sets, stage costumes.

Jacques Pajak attended at the École d'Architecture in Strasbourg in 1948 and studied cinematography in 1951. From 1960 he spent much of his time working on graphic works and industrial aesthetics. In ...


Andrew Cross

revised by Mary Chou

(b London Aug 9, 1962).

British sculptor, painter and installation artist. Born to Nigerian parents, he grew up in Nigeria before returning to England to study Fine Art in London at Byam Shaw School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College where he completed his MFA. Shonibare’s West African heritage has been at the heart of his work since he started exhibiting in 1988, when he began using ‘Dutch-wax’ dyed fabrics, commonly found in Western Africa, both for wall-mounted works (as pseudo paintings) and for sculpted figures. Generally perceived as ‘authentic’African cloth, the tradition of Batik originated in Indonesia, and was appropriated by the Dutch who colonized the country. Manufactured in Holland and Britain, the cloth was then shipped to West Africa where it became the dress of the working class in nations such as Nigeria. Shonibare used the material as a way of deconstructing the more complex histories that determine these and other images of ethnicity. As such, he has been described as a ‘post-cultural hybrid’ or the ‘quintessential postcolonial artist’ by critics as well as the artist himself....


John-Paul Stonard

(b Chigwell, Essex, May 25, 1959).

English painter, sculptor and video artist. He studied in London at the Chelsea School of Art (1978–81) and Goldsmiths’ College (1983–5). From the mid-1980s his work has addressed the traditions and values of British society, its class system and organized religion. The range of approaches he has adopted reflects his wish to have a broad appeal and highlights his roots in a tradition of British left-wing thought. In the early 1990s he began using a personal enthusiasm for horse racing as a theme through which to explore issues of ownership and pedigree. Race Class Sex (oil on canvas, four parts, each 2.3×3 m, London, Saatchi Gal.), consists of four highly finished renderings of thoroughbred race-horses. As well as evoking the equestrian portraiture of George Stubbs, these works also direct attention toward issues of identity and the inheritance of social structures. This thematic culminated in A Real Work of Art...


Mia Liu

(b Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, 1946; d 2005).

Chinese painter, filmmaker, and fashion and style entrepreneur. Chen was born in Ningbo and moved to Shanghai with his family, graduating from the Shanghai College of Art in 1965, one year before the Cultural Revolution officially started. The training he received in Russian Socialist Realism helped prepare him for the state-run Shanghai Institute of Painting, where he met success with his portraits of Mao Zedong and other propaganda works depicting stories of revolution and lauding the heroism of Communist leaders and soldiers. Paintings such as The Occupation of the Nationalist President’s Palace (1976–1977) were iconic masterpieces of the time.

After the Cultural Revolution, China began opening up and Chen was among the first artists allowed to study in the United States. He arrived in New York in 1980 and pursued a master’s degree in painting at Hunter College, New York, simultaneously securing a contract with the Hammer Galleries, where his oil paintings of Chinese women in traditional dress and landscapes of canal towns in the Shanghai area found great commercial success. The owner, Armand Hammer, even gifted one of Chen’s paintings, ...