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Bio Art  

Suzanne Anker

From Anatomical studies to landscape painting to the Biomorphism of Surrealism, the biological realm historically provided a significant resource for numerous artists. More recently, Bio Art became a term referring to intersecting domains that comprise advances in the biological sciences and their incorporation into the plastic arts. Of particular importance in works of Bio Art is to summon awareness of the ways in which the accelerating biomedical sciences alter social, ethical and cultural values in society.

Coming to the fore in the early 1990s Bio Art is neither media specific nor locally bounded. It is an international movement with practitioners in such regions as Europe, the US, Russia, Australia and the Americas. Several subgenres of Bio Art exist within this overarching term:

(i) Artists who employ the iconography of the 20th and 21st century sciences, including molecular and cellular genetics, transgenically altered living matter and reproductive technologies as well as the diverse fields of neuroscience. All traditional media such as painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and drawing are employed to convey novel ways of representing life forms. Images of chromosomes, the double helix, magnetic resonance imaging body scans and neuroanatomy comprise this iconography. The molecular underpinnings of the living world have also become visible through high technological instrumentation when artists incorporate such pictorialisations as part of their practice. Representations span both genotypic variations and phenotypic ones. Artists include Suzanne Anker (...


Julie Friedeberger

(b Berlin, Aug 23, 1922).

British painter of German birth. He left Germany in 1938, reaching England in 1939 and Australia in 1940. His first works were in a Surrealist manner, for example Shopping Centre (1942; Canberra, N.G.). From 1944 Friedeberger exhibited with the Contemporary Art Society in Australia. He then studied painting at East Sydney Technical College (1947–50). After returning to England (1950) he produced a series of brilliantly coloured paintings, mainly of children at play, characterized by a formalized expressionist intensity. For some years he combined painting with work as a graphic designer and a part-time teacher (Central School of Arts and Crafts, London College of Printing). In 1963 his first one-man show was held (London, Hamilton Gals). In the late 1960s Friedeberger’s work changed; figurative representation and the use of colour were eventually abandoned altogether. His new monochrome paintings (exh. 1986, London, Warwick A. Trust) are quite heavily impastoed and exploit the manifold possibilities of black/grey/white. They present an expressive, convincing reality of their own, independent of allusions to anything not inherent in the process and the painting itself. Tonality provides illusionistic scope to create forms and space. A large retrospective (...