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Article

Sofia Hernández Chong Cuy

American installation artists, active also in Puerto Rico. Jennifer Allora (b Philadelphia, Mar 20, 1974) graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Richmond, Virginia (1996), and Guillermo Calzadilla (b Havana, Cuba, Jan 10, 1971) graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Escuela de Artes Plastica in San Juan, Puerto Rico (1996). Allora and Calzadilla met in Italy in 1995 during a study abroad program in Florence. They then lived together in San Juan for a year before moving to New York City where they started working collaboratively while each participated in different residency and study programs. In 1998–1999, Allora participated in the year-long Whitney Independent Study Program, while Calzadilla participated in the P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center National Studio Program.

Allora & Calzadilla’s first important international exhibition was the XXIV Bienal de São Paulo in 1998 curated by Paulo Herkenhoff, which investigated the idea of cultural cannibalism known in Brazilian literature as ...

Article

Daniel Montero

(b Mexico City, 1970).

Mexican installation artist, video artist, and performance artist. Amorales studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, after attending Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (1996–1997), both in Amsterdam. He worked with images and signs of different types that when modified, combined, and recoded produce new images and meanings in turn. Based on pre-existing information and images he found on the Internet, Amorales created a particular way of working, more closely resembling that of a design studio than a traditional artist’s atelier. In his workspace and with a team of assistants, he proposed different ways of understanding the forms in which signs circulate and are appropriated, inquiring into notions of authorship, communication, and artistic media. From 1998 Amorales collected images from the Internet and converterted them into black, white, and red vectors. This collection is now known as the Liquid Archive. With these images, he produced several artworks in which multiplicity, repetition, and juxtaposition are constant. For example, in the video ...

Article

Susanna Temkin

(b Barquisimeto, 1969).

Venezuelan photographer, filmmaker, and installation artist. He studied photography with Ricardo Armas (b 1952) from 1987 to 1988, and art history at the Universidad Central de Venezuela Caracas from 1987 to 1990. His art reveals the contradictions and fallacies of modernism, often explored through themes related to architecture and urban planning, as well as gender and identity. Much of Apostól’s work focused on his native Venezuela, and more particularly, on the city of Caracas and its citizens. However, the artist also produced works related to the cities of Bogotá, Los Angeles, and Madrid, where he was long based. Significantly, although his art conveys local particularities, it also bears wider implications about the legacy of modernism across the globe.

Much of Apóstol’s photographic practice involved the use of digital technology. By erasing, altering, or enhancing a photograph, he exposed the failures of modernism as embedded within Venezuelan architecture. Turning to the vernacular buildings of Caracas, his series ...

Article

Blanca Serrano Ortiz de Solórzano

(b Roman, Moldavia, 1908; d Havana, 1991).

Cuban painter, sculptor, filmmaker, set designer, and ceramicist of Romanian birth. A pioneering figure in the development of concrete abstraction in Cuba, he was a member of the Havana-based artist group Diez Pintores Concretos, and he collaborated with the Argentine art movement Arte Madí.

In 1926 Darié moved to Paris where he studied Law, worked as a cartoonist for French and Romanian print media, and befriended avant-garde artists. In 1941 he fled Vichy France for Cuba, obtaining citizenship four years later. After a period of lyrical abstraction inspired by the local landscape, Darié turned to non-objective art. His first solo exhibition, Composiciones, was held at the Lyceum in Havana in 1949, and later traveled to the Carlebach Gallery in New York where the Museum of Modern Art acquired Composición en Rojo (Composition in Red, 1946).

In New York, Darié met the painter Jean Xceron (1890–1967), who introduced him to the sculptor Gyula Kosice, who was one of the founders of ...

Article

Daniel R. Quiles

(b Buenos Aires, Sept 29, 1936; d New York, Aug 27, 2016).

Argentine painter, installation artist, conceptual artist, and video artist, active also in the USA. He is best known as experimental producer of early public-access cable programming. In 1946, at the age of 14, he began an apprenticeship with the artist Simón Feldman, an exponent of the teachings of André Lhote, an original member of the Section d’Or group in Paris who saw Cubism’s precepts as repeatable and teachable. Davidovich’s earliest exhibited paintings, c. 1950, demonstrate Lhotean figuration, but after seeing Mark Rothko and other abstract expressionists at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio in 1956, he quickly transitioned to gestural abstraction, the first in a career-long series of shifts in search of the most avant-garde styles or media. In 1960 Davidovich was recruited by the Arturo Frondizi government in Argentina to teach advanced art in Bahía Blanca, although he continued to exhibit regularly in Buenos Aires with the Arte Nuevo avant-gardes. In this period, he studied painting at the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires in ...

Article

Milan Ivelić

(b Santiago, 1943).

Chilean painter, printmaker, draftsman, and video artist. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes of the Universidad de Chile in Santiago (1961–1965), at the Escuela de Fotomecánica in Madrid (1966), the Hochschule für Bildende Kunst in West Berlin (1967–1969), and at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Dittborn, together with other theorists and artists working in Chile in the 1970s, based his work on critical examination of the marginal position of Chilean art in relation to international developments, adopting to this end practices at odds with Chilean traditions. Rejecting conventional forms of painting as well as the usual methods of producing and presenting prints, he instead favored photography as a source both of imagery and technique by means of screenprinting. He found his imagery ready-made in the portraits featured in old Chilean criminology magazines; he combined mechanical techniques such as offset lithography and screenprinting with traditional handcrafting methods of embroidery and drawn-threadwork; and in the mid-1980s he even went so far as to produce works on brown wrapping paper, which he folded and then distributed through the ordinary post, calling them his own variant of correspondence art. Dittborn used such contrasts within his work to reflect disparate realities, mirroring the social interaction of different levels in society and underlining the racially mixed origins of Latin American practices by exaggerating the clash between domestic crafts and advanced modern technology....

Article

Milan Ivelić

revised by Gwen Unger

(b Santiago, May 11, 1940; d Jun 9, 1993).

Chilean painter, printmaker, and video artist. He earned a BA in architecture at the Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago in 1961. He also studied printmaking at Taller 99, a workshop in Santiago run by Nemesio Antúnez, where he explored new technical methods for representing machine imagery and energy. In 1961 he traveled to Spain, then to Paris, where he studied at S. W. Hayter’s Atelier 17 until 1965. In Paris Downey became friends with other Latin American artists and writers living in the city at the time such as Julio Le Parc, Roberto Matta, and Pablo Neruda (1904–1973).

In the mid-1960s Downey settled in Washington, DC, where he became interested in and made contact with the pioneers of video art, which became his primary medium. Proposing to work directly with energy rather than simply representing it, he presented his first audio-visual installation in 1966, conveying light, sound, and energy by means of closed-circuit television. Downey was a pioneer in ...

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Cartagena, Dec 18, 1920; d Bogotá, Apr 1, 2004).

Colombian painter, sculptor, printmaker, filmmaker, and stage designer. He studied at the Art Students League in New York from 1941 to 1943 and subsequently visited Italy, where he studied fresco and etching techniques before settling again in Colombia. Consistently devoted to the human form, he initially depicted figures with angular heads and striped tunics in a strong light, with symbolic objects such as eggs, masks, or cages.

In such later paintings as Boy with Umbrella (1964; Washington, DC, A. Mus. Americas) Grau’s figures were transformed into plump, fleshy, and voluptuous beings, richly arrayed with lace, feathers, hats, and fans, like characters taken from the theater or from popular turn-of-the-century postcards. His scenes were gradually filled with anecdotal details and numerous objects, including cupboards, easels, boxes, masks, and flowers, through which he suggested emotionally charged atmospheres. Grau also produced murals, prints, stage sets, films, and especially sculptures. The first of these were assemblages of antique and industrial objects, but he subsequently made cast-bronze sculptures that convey a sensuousness, mystery, and nostalgia similar to that evoked by his paintings....

Article

Victor Manuel Muñoz Vega

(b Mexico City, Jul 25, 1940).

Mexican photographer, video artist, and filmmaker. She belongs to the first generation of visual artists that used multimedia. Grobet studied Art at the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, at the Cardiff College of Art and the Derby College for Higher Education in the UK, and also at the Multimedia Center of the Centro Nacional de las Artes in Mexico City. She studied under distinguished artists such as Mathias Goeritz, Gilberto Aceves Navarro, Kati Horna, and wrestler El Santo, el enmascarado de plata (The Silver-masked One).

Grobet used photography as an instrument for her artistic practice. She stated that kinetic art led her to photography, which she believed was best suited for the communicative needs of her time. Subsequently, Grobet developed experimental projects integrated with sensitive documentary record and community intervention strategies. She worked with artistic organizations for the production and dissemination of contemporary art such as Grupo Proceso Pentágono (1978–1990...

Article

Gillian Sneed

(b Mexico City, 1959).

Mexican film, video, and performance artist. She grew up in a Mexican family of Jewish Polish Holocaust survivors. She moved to Jerusalem to attend the Bezalel Academy of Fine Art and Design between 1978 and 1982, where her undergraduate thesis examined the relationship between Zen Buddhism and artists Isamu Noguchi and Robert Smithson. In 1984 she moved to Boston, MA, where she received her Master of Fine Arts Degree in sculpture from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1986. She also attended classes in the film department there under the direction of experimental filmmaker Saul Levine (b 1943). She had her first solo exhibition, Conversaciones con un loto azul (Conversations with a blue lotus), at Thompson Gallery in Boston in 1986. That same year she made her first film, a Super 8 titled Arena (Sand, 1986; see Rangel and Cuevas 2016, 92–93), documenting a performance in which she covered her nude body in mud and repeatedly climbed up and fell off a tall dune in Cape Cod, a Sisyphean effort that she claimed was related to the theme of personal change. Following this, she continued making short, Super 8 films and performances....

Article

Lelia Delgado

revised by Alana Hernandez

(b El Tocuyo, Oct 27, 1927).

Venezuelan painter and filmmaker. He studied at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas in Caracas (1944–1948). In 1949 he received the award for students of fine arts in the tenth Salón Oficial. Hurtado then went to Paris, where he studied art history and film at the Sorbonne (1954–1959). In 1959 he traveled to Washington, DC, where he exhibited in the Pan-American Union and then returned to Caracas, where he taught film journalism at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas. In 1964 he returned to Paris where he lived and worked for six years in both television and painting. In 1970 he moved to Washington, DC, to become head of the film section at the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Organization for American States, making documentaries on various artists.

Hurtado’s early paintings are characterized by the dynamic interplay of dark bands that resemble a nocturnal atmosphere. His series ...

Article

Sarah Urist Green

revised by Julia Detchon

(b Santiago, Chile, Feb 5, 1956).

Chilean architect, public interventionist, installation artist, photographer, and filmmaker, active in the USA. He first studied architecture at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, then filmmaking at the Instituto Chileno-Norteamericano de Cultura, Santiago, concluding in 1981. Throughout his career, Jaar’s works have taken many forms in order to address global themes of injustice and illuminate structures of power. In over fifty projects he termed “public interventions,” Jaar conducted extensive research around the world to create site-specific works that reflect political and social realities near and far from his sites of exhibition. He created works—in gallery spaces and in public, often engaging spectator involvement—that present images critically and confront the social and political interests they serve.

Jaar’s first public intervention was Studies on Happiness (1979–1981), a three-year series of performances and exhibitions in which he asked the question, “Are you happy?” of people in the streets of Santiago. Inspired by ...

Article

Sonia de Laforcade

(b Scalea, Cosenza, May 20, 1942).

Brazilian printmaker, draughtsman, installation artist, film maker, and sculptor of Italian birth. Maiolino moved to Brazil in April of 1960, after having spent six years in Caracas, Venezuela, where her family had emigrated from Italy. In 1961 she took a woodcut course with the prominent artist and teacher Ivan Serpa at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro, before enrolling the next year at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, an important centre of woodcut art overseen by the printmaker Oswaldo Goeldi. There, Maiolino studied alongside Rubens Gerchman (1942–2008) and Antônio Dias, and together with these artists she was a key participant in the Brazilian New Figuration movement. Influenced by popular woodcuts from the north-east of Brazil, Maiolino’s woodcuts produced during the 1960s explored quotidian themes, often focusing on mass culture and the domestic sphere, as in Glu... Glu... Glu... (1967). In 1965 she began a parallel exploration of these themes in works made with found objects and upholstery. She contributed to two key exhibitions for Brazilian art in the 1960s, ...

Article

Susan Snodgrass

(b Madrid, 1961).

Chicago-based American sculptor, photographer, video artist, installation artist of Spanish birth. He received a BA in art and art history and a BA in Latin American and Spanish literature from Williams College in 1983. In 1989 he earned a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Manglano-Ovalle’s hybrid practice emerged with Tele-vecindario: A Street-Level Video Block Party, a public art project created for Culture in Action, a community-based art program in Chicago in 1992–1993. Working with Latino youth in Chicago’s West Town community, an area often challenged by substandard housing, drugs, and gang violence, the artist facilitated a multimedia portrait of their lives in which these youth constructed their own images and concept of self. Issues of identity, community, and migration, as they relate to both cultural and geographic borders, have been explored throughout his career that includes collaborative modes of working, as well as individual works sited within the museum or gallery. For Manglano-Ovalle, culture encompassed a broad network of systems—artistic, political, environmental, scientific—in constant dialogue, negotiated by both artist and viewer....

Article

Susan S. Weininger

(b Havana, Nov 18, 1948; d New York, Sep 8, 1985).

American sculptor, performance artist, video artist, and painter of Cuban birth. From the age of 12, when she was sent to the USA from Cuba by her parents, she lived in orphanages and foster homes in Iowa. Her sense of exile and the separation from her family proved strong motivating forces on her later work. After completing an MA in painting at the University of Iowa in 1972, she entered the university’s new Multimedia and Video Art program, in which she was free to experiment and develop a unique formal language, gaining an MFA in 1977.

In the 1970s Mendieta began to create “earth-body sculptures” outdoors in Iowa, using the primal materials of blood, earth, fire, and water, having first executed performances that she documented in photographs or black-and-white films. In the Silueta series she traced or sculpted the image of her body on the ground, using ignited gunpowder, leaves, grass, mud, stones, other natural elements, or cloth (e.g. ...

Article

Denise Carvalho

revised by Omar Olivares

(b Belo Horizonte, Nov 12, 1967).

Brazilian multimedia artist. Neuenschwander uses a variety of media, from intervention, installation, to conceptual and video art. Most of her work is interactive and focuses on communication, objects, and nature, letting the work of art develop with an amount of uncertainty. She studied at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and at the Royal College of Art in London. Some of her artistic endeavors have been compared to the work of Lygia Clark, as well as that of the Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica.

In I Wish Your Wish (2003; exhibited at the Carnegie International in 2008), hundreds of participants were asked about their wishes, which were then silkscreened on colorful ribbons and exhibited in the gallery. Visitors then tied ribbons on their wrists, leaving a wish behind; the wish would come true only when the worn ribbon fell off, an idea based on a popular tradition of votive exchange. In ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

revised by Iván Ruiz

(b Jalapa, Veracruz, Apr 27, 1962).

Mexican sculptor, photographer, draftsman, and installation artist. He Orozco was educated in the tradition of public art (his father was the Mexican painter and muralist Mario Orozco Rivera (1930–1998)); his work concentrates a game between economic and minimum gestures, and monumental/unmonumental poetics. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City (1981–1984) and at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid (1986–1987). From 1987 to 1992 he led the Taller de los Viernes (Friday workshop) at his home in Tlalpan, meetings in which young artists presented their work, listened to music, and talked about other artists that interested them, such as Joseph Beuys or Marcel Duchamp. Through his Taller de los Viernes, where Abraham Cruzvillegas, Damián Ortega, Dr. Lakra, and Gabriel Kuri participated, Orozco was known for his remarkable influence on the irruption of philosophy into artist practice. In ...

Article

Sérgio B. Martins

(b Paranavaí, Oct 9, 1967).

Brazilian video and installation artist. He received his MFA at Konstfack, University College of Art, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, Sweden. Redondo’s work employs different media in order to address the naturalization and reproduction of cultural memory in architecture, art, and vernacular practices. Video and film are constant techniques utilized in his practice. The latter has expanded from initial explorations of the construction of memory within family and friendship circles to the deconstruction of cultural myths that inform the reception of Brazilian Modernist architecture and culture. Redondo’s installations often involve silkscreened wooden panels and structures jointly conceived with his longstanding partner and collaborator, the Swedish designer Birger Lipinski.

In the video installation Kidnapping Images (2001; Stockholm, Konstfack), Redondo opposed a fragment of found footage of his deceased sister dancing with their father to a video of his family watching the whole film. With this juxtaposition he prompted the spectator to reflect on the conventions that rule image-making and social rituals of recollection. This tension between representation and loss is further probed in ...

Article

Amy Rosenblum Martín

(b Rio Grande do Sul, Mar 5, 1968).

Brazilian conceptual artist, filmmaker, and writer, active in the USA. Schneider’s art practice revealed, questioned, and often restructured the social aspects of art. She studied at the Universidade Federal of Rio Grande do Sul, where she earned a BFA; New York University, where she graduated with an MFA; and the European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, which she left before completing her doctorate in philosophy. In 1997 in New York she co-founded Union Gaucha Productions, an artist-run experimental film company that collaborated with people across disciplines. Later, in New York’s Lower East Side, Schneider co-founded Orchard gallery (2005–2008), a cooperatively organized exhibition and event space, then CAGE (2010–2014), a space for social and political gathering that created and expanded opportunities for art to exist beyond physical objects.

Art and theory were inseparable for Schneider, who considered her artwork a thinking process. Although her practice sometimes involved exhibiting real or virtual art objects or installations, she focused on art as social experience. She believed that a work’s meaning emerged from the dialogues that occurred between artist, viewer, and history—personal, political, and cultural. Her projects included leading collaborations, political movements, and radio stations, as well as designing a playground and creating other venues for gathering....

Article

Miguel Rojas Sotelo

(b Valencia, Carabobo, Feb 22, 1969).

Venezuelan film maker, active also in the USA. Téllez used allegory, mental health, perversion, confinement, voyeurism, film history, and the ethics of representation as components for his work. By combining documentary footage with fictionalized narratives, Téllez questioned definitions of normality and pathology. The son of a psychologist, many of his works are created in collaboration with patients of mental illness. Téllez studied at Arturo Michelena School of Arts (1984–6), the Film and TV School at University of Caracas (1987), P.S.1 International Studio Program, New York (1993), Gasworks Studio Program, London (1999), and the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York (1997). In 1999 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Téllez’s works draw attention to stigmas around the mentally ill in Mexico and questions societal definitions of insanity and disability. In Bedlam (2000), visitors sat inside a large wooden bird house to watch a film showing restraint techniques used at the Bethlem Royal Hospital in London. ...