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Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 19 February 1946, in Washington DC.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, engraver, photographer, video artist, glassmaker, decorative designer. Theatre design.

AfriCobra Group.

Akili Ron Anderson attended the Corcoran School of Art and Howard University in Washington DC where he lives and works. He is a member of AfriCobra (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) founded in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 18 November 1933, in McPherson (Kansas).

Painter, draughtsman, printmaker, collage artist, assemblage artist, sculptor, film maker.

Pop Art, Funk Art.

Bruce Conner studied at Wichita University; at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln where he received a BFA in 1956; at Brooklyn Art School (...

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

Reena Jana

(b Cologne, Germany, 1969).

American mixed-media artist of German birth and Asian descent. Ezawa studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1990–94) before moving to San Francisco in 1994. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (1995) and an MFA from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (2003). Ezawa is not a photographer, but his work centers around photography; he has used a variety of media, from digital animations to paper collages and aquatint prints, to revisit some of the world’s most familiar, infamous and historically significant news photographs, television broadcasts and motion-picture stills (see The Simpson Verdict). All of Ezawa’s work utilizes the artist’s signature style of flat, simple renderings that are cartoonlike and also suggest the streamlined and colorful style of Pop artist Katz, Alex.

Ezawa’s project, The History of Photography Remix (2004–6), exemplifies his approach to exploring the power of photographs as a mirror of reality and yet also a force that can manipulate memories of events and people. The project consists of images appropriated from art history textbooks, such as American photographer Cindy Sherman’s ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant and Margaret Rose Vendryes

(b Cleveland, OH, 1959).

American printmaker, film maker, installation and conceptual artist and writer.

Green, of African descent, has worked primarily with film-based media, and has published criticism and designed installations that reveal her commitment to ongoing feminist and black empowerment movements. She earned her BA from Wesleyan University in 1981 and also spent some time at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1980, returning in the late 1980s to study in the Whitney Independent Study Program, graduating in 1990. At the age of 24 she began exhibiting her comparative compositions containing found objects, images, and texts that question recorded history.

Green’s work deals with issues of anthropology and travel. By undertaking projects via the methodology of the 19th-century explorer, she exposed the arbitrary and prejudiced nature of classification, as in Bequest (1991; see 1993 exh. cat.), an installation she made at the invitation of the Worcester Museum of Art to commemorate their 50th anniversary. Using the museum as a ready-made stage set, she installed works of art alongside 19th-century texts explaining stereotypes of whiteness and blackness. Green characteristically intervened in the history of her chosen site to produce a fiction that included her own responses as an African American woman to her findings. In ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 17 October 1955, in Birmingham (Alabama).

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor, engraver, collage artist, installation artist, photographer, video artist. Figures, portraits.

Kerry James Marshall grew up in South Central Los Angeles and studied at the Otis Art Institute, receiving a PhD in 1999. He lives in Chicago and teaches at the University of Illinois.

Marshall’s work centres on popular African-American culture. The skin tone of his figures is unapologetically black as a statement against the negative perceptions which are still attached to this colour and to denote the 1960s popular and activist black aesthetics, which embraced all expressions of African-American culture. Marshall’s politically charged work aims to give substance to a social vision. In Memento #5 (2003), he aims to preserve the memory of Civil Rights movement heroes like Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Malcolm X. His intensely black-skinned figures contrast and enrich the colourful backgrounds that Marshall adapts from such modern masters as Matisse. His compelling and complex images reference black folk art and aim to counter the stereotypical representations of black people in Western painting....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 2 November 1939, in San Francisco (California), United States.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, engraver, installation artist, performance artist, video artist.

Process Art, Minimal Art.

Richard Serra first studied literature at the University of California in Berkeley and Santa Barbara, working at a steel mill to support himself. He then gained a degree in fine arts and painting at Yale University, where he collaborated on Joseph Albers’ work, ...

Article

Native American (Muscogee Creek/Seminole and Diné/Navajo), 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1954, in Phoenix.

Photographer, filmmaker. Video, collage.

Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie is a member of the Bear and Raccoon Clans of the Seminole and Muscogee Nations, as passed down from her mother. Her Diné/Navajo father, Andrew Van Tsinajinnie (b. ...

Article

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 2 December 1942, in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman (ink), lithographer, photographer, mixed media, video artist. Figures, portraits, landscapes.

Bad Painting, Conceptual Art.

William Wegman graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, and went on to study printmaking at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His early work consisted of Minimalist paintings and sculptures, but he later began making conceptual works, which he documented with photographs. He made his name in the 1970s with photographs and videos of his Weimaraner dog Man Ray, who also features in his paintings and drawings. He adds captions to his paintings and drawings, some copying text from 1950s children’s encyclopaedias. In the 1980s Wegman continued making photographs of his dogs, generating public attention from children and adults. These deadpan, quirky portraits give them a near-human quality, especially when Wegman began posing them in period costumes, roller skates, and in tableau-vivant settings of everyday life. His series of fairy-tale portraits of the dogs have been described as transfigurations. He returned to painting in the mid-1980s and in 1998, after a 20-year hiatus, Wegman began making video works, usually depicting himself performing monologues. The light-hearted and ironic tone of his videos explores what has been described as ‘the aesthetic of boredom’. In 2003, he showed works in which he had painted around postcards glued to wood panels. He experiments with varied styles, from conceptual art to Hyperrealism, from Orientalism to Luminism. He is based in New York....