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Margo Machida

(b New York, Aug 16, 1949).

American printmaker and installation artist. Born and raised in New York City, Arai, a third-generation Japanese American printmaker, mixed-media artist, public artist and cultural activist, studied art at the Philadelphia College of Art and The Printmaking Workshop in New York. Since the 1970s, her diverse projects have ranged from individual works to large-scale public commissions (see Public art in the 21st century). She has designed permanent public works, including an interior mural commemorating the African burial ground in lower Manhattan and an outdoor mural for Philadelphia’s Chinatown. Other works include Wall of Respect for Women (1974), a mural on New York’s Lower East Side, which was a collaboration between Arai and women from the local community. Her art has been exhibited in such venues as the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, International Center for Photography, P.S.1 Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, all New York and the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Joan Mitchell Foundation....

Article

Anne K. Swartz

(Francisca )

(b East Los Angeles, CA, Sept 20, 1946).

American muralist, activist and teacher. Born to Mexican–American parents, Baca is recognized as one of the leading muralists in the USA. She was involved from a young age in activism, including the Chicano Movement, the antiwar protest and Women’s Liberation. She studied art at California State University, Northridge, where she received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Baca started teaching art in 1970 in East Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and became interested in the ways murals could involve youth, allowing them to express their experiences. She founded the City of Los Angeles Mural Program in 1974, which evolved into the Social and Public Resource Center, a community arts organization, where she served as artistic director. She held five summer mural workshops from 1976 through 1983 for teenagers and community artists to help her paint a huge mural on the ethnic history of Los Angeles, called the ...

Article

Margo Machida

(b Guangzhou, China, Sept 15, 1948).

Chinese multimedia artist. Raised in Hong Kong and Macau, Lee immigrated to the United States in 1973 to attend the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio (BFA 1977), followed by graduate studies at Syracuse University (1977–9). Moving to New York City in 1979, he became actively involved with the burgeoning downtown Manhattan arts community, where he created Graffiti and poster art, as well as outdoor slide theater works. Beginning in the 1980s, Lee co-founded three New York-based arts collectives: Epoxy Art Group (1981–7), Godzilla: Asian American Art Network (1990–2001) and Tomato Grey (2009). The first, Epoxy Art Group, involved project-oriented collaborations with artists from mainland China, Canada and Hong Kong that reflected their intersecting standpoints as Chinese living in the West. Godzilla: Asian American Art Network was a pan-Asian, intergenerational art group. Most recently, with Tomato Grey, Lee became involved with a new cohort of contemporary immigrant artists who endeavor to foster cultural exchange between arts practitioners in Hong Kong and New York City. Lee was a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts in New York (...

Article

Michelle Yun

(b Wichita, KS, 1952).

American sculptor. Otterness moved to New York in 1970 to study at the Art Students League. He participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program in 1973 and in 1977 he joined the New York based Collaborative Projects (Colab) as a founding member. Otterness is best known for his playful, figurative cast bronze sculptures and his belief that art gains value through public engagement. Between 1978–82 he created a series of cast Hydrocal (fiberglass and concrete) figures inspired by the statuettes found in Latin American botánicas (stores selling folk medicine, perfumes and religious statuettes, rosaries and candles). These diminutive spoofs on historic monuments were set on marble bases and inexpensively sold as “hand-produced collector’s items.” Continuing on this populist track, in 1982 he built a modular plaster frieze in the form of cornice molding that was sold by the foot. These early works serve as important precursors for the artist’s longstanding commitment to public art. In ...

Article

Deborah F. Pokinski

(Lewis)

(b Stockbridge, MA, July 29, 1862; d Clifton Springs, NY, Dec 2, 1929).

American painter and muralist. Reid attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1880–84), then moved to New York, studying briefly at the Art Students League. In 1885 he went to Paris, studying at the Académie Julian where he received training as a muralist under Gustave(-Clarence-Rodolphe) Boulanger and Jules(-Joseph) Lefebvre. In 1889 he returned to New York and began painting portraits and teaching at the Art Students League (1893–6).

Decorative murals—typically idealized, allegorical figure compositions—were in great demand during the era of Beaux-Arts architectural design. Reid created a number of them, including at the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 and in the Library of Congress, as well as for hotels, churches and even an ocean liner.

By the early 1890s Reid began adopting Impressionist qualities to define his signature theme—attractive young women in light, gauzy dresses, out of doors, surrounded by flowers. Images of upper-class women, usually isolated and pensive, were among the most popular subjects of turn-of-the-century American painters, although Reid rejected the more conventional interior settings of his peers for light filled exteriors and generally even-toned, pastel colours. His ribbon-like strokes of paint both suggested dappled sunlight and flattened his forms. As a result, in works such as ...

Article

Ronald J. Onorato

(b Quebec, May 11, 1944).

American sculptor of Canadian birth. Educated in Montreal and in New York City, where he attended the Brooklyn Museum Art School, Hunter College, and received a BS from New York University in 1969. Trakas created site-specific landscape installations in America and Europe from the 1970s. He has received numerous awards including NEA and Guggenheim fellowships and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Merit Award for Sculpture and has taught at Cooper Union and Yale University. Trakas moved to the USA in 1963 and since his earliest completed outdoor works, like Rock River Union (1976), he has been a leading proponent of hand-constructed environments. His work shared aspects of scale, audience participation and architectural form with such artists as Alice Aycock, Mary Miss, Richard Fleischner and Siah Armajani. They all extended the tradition of earlier, less accessible earthworks into the realm of more approachable, often urban, spaces that a viewer can engage spatially as well as understand for their symbolic and narrative content. Trakas’s own projects were primarily constructed of welded steel with wood and stone elements, sometimes recycled from the sites themselves....