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Article

Dennis Raverty

(b Charlotte, NC, Sept 2, 1911 or 1912; d New York City, Mar 12, 1988).

African American painter, collagist, and author. Bearden is best known for his collages, which often addressed urban themes (e.g. The Dove). He was a founding member of Spiral, a group of African American artists who started meeting at his downtown New York studio in 1963. He also published essays and cartoons, designed book jackets, magazine and album covers, and is widely regarded as the first African American artist to successfully enter the mainstream of the contemporary art world. The posthumously published book he co-authored with Harry Henderson, A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the Present (1993), in a very short time became an almost canonical text in the field.

Bearden’s family moved permanently to Harlem, a predominately black neighborhood of New York City, in 1920. His mother, Bessye Bearden, was the New York correspondent for the Chicago Defender, an African American newspaper, and through her Bearden was introduced to many of the artists, writers, and intellectuals associated with the ...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Active since 1961 active in France.

Born 26 April 1922, in Haine-St-Pierre; died 27 September 2005, in Paris.

Sculptor, collage artist, photomontage artist, monotype artist, illustrator. Designs for jewellery, monuments.

Kinetic Art.

Groups: Hainaut Surrealist group, Haute Nuit, Madí, CoBrA.

Pol Bury first stayed in France between 1929 and 1932. In 1938 he attended the academy of fine arts in Mons. In 1940 he made his debut in Surrealism with a journal entitled ...

Article

German, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active since 1973 active in France.

Born 1954, in Biberach.

Painter (mixed media). Stage costumes.

Conceptual Art.

From 1968, Domenika corresponded at length with the German sculptor Josef Beuys. In 1975 she met Rüdiger. She has exhibited in 1974, in Milan; ...

Article

Native American (Kiowa), 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1970, on Wind River Reservation (Wyoming).

Beadwork, installation.

Teri Greeves applies beadwork to contemporary objects such as shoes, stilettos and trainers. Her art expresses the contemporaneity of the indigenous experience. Greeves’ reservation upbringing exposed her to bead workers from various tribal backgrounds. She formally trained at University of California–Santa Cruz (BA American Studies, ...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA since 1975.

Born 9 July 1937, in Bradford (West Yorkshire).

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, collage artist, draughtsman, engraver (etching/aquatint), lithographer, illustrator, draughtsman, photographer. Portraits, scenes with figures, interiors with figures, landscapes, still-lifes. Stage sets, stage costumes, painted ceramics...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 19 August 1949, in Pasadena.

Painter (including gouache), collage artist, draughtsman, performance artist, lithographer. Stage sets, stage costumes.

Robert Kushner studied at the University of California, San Diego, where he received a BA. In 1971 he travelled in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Europe and India with Amy Goldin. He lives and works in New York. His early work in the 1970s was performance art in which his costumes (or lack of them) were as important as the performance. He was a founder of the Pattern and Decorative movement of the 1970s, and his numerous decorative works are inspired by Matisse. He views his work as a continuation and update of a vast conservative tradition, and believes in the importance of beauty in everyday life....

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1909, in Brussels; died 1986, in Brussels.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, draughtsman (including wash), mixed media. Figures, scenes with figures, interiors, landscapes, urban landscapes, animals. Murals, stage sets, stage costumes.

Groups: La Route Libre, Apport, Jeune Peinture Belge.

Louis van Lint studied at the academy in St Joost-ten-Node under Henri Ottevaere and Jacques Maes from 1924 to 1938. Between 1936 and 1939 he was one of the founder-members of the group ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 3 August 1955, in Bayonne; died 15 March 1994, in Paris.

Sculptor, painter (including mixed media), draughtsman, watercolourist. Wall decorations, jewels.

Philippe Marfaing attended Peninghen Art School in Paris before attending the École des Beaux-Arts. Marfaing used sculptures, watercolours, drawings, paintings and collages to address the tensions between shape and matter and later, the possibilities any image presents. He also designs jewellery. He has worked mostly in Paris and St-Jean-de-Luz. Around ...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 13 January 1904, in London; died 13 July 1978, in St James, Barbados.

Painter (mixed media), stage set designer, costume designer, interior designer, architect.

Oliver Messel's grandfather was leading Punch cartoonist, Linley Sambourne. He studied under Henry Tonks at the Slade School of Art in London ...

Article

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 ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 8 October 1930, in New York.

Painter, engraver, sculptor, mosaicist, performance artist, mixed media. Figure compositions, scenes with figures. Murals, costumes.

Faith Ringgold trained at City University, New York. While still in New York, in 1971 she co-founded, with Kay Brown, ...

Article

Canadian, 20th century, male.

Born 1889; died 1984.

Painter (mixed media/gouache), designer, jeweller. Stage sets.

Rolph Scarlett was drawn to abstract painting at the beginning of his career. His association with Salomon R. Guggenheim and Hilla Rebay in the 1930s and 1940s was the decisive factor in determining the direction that his career was to take. They were very taken with his work and promoted it at the museum of non-objective painting, eventually called the Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum. He was a speaker there, his job being to publicise the works of Kandinsky and Rudolph Bauer and raise awareness of them in the USA. He became the most fervent defender of Modernist theories in the US....

Article

Jordana Moore Saggese

(b Baltimore, MD, Nov 15, 1948).

African American sculptor, jeweller, printmaker, installation artist, performance artist, and poet . Daughter of the renowned quiltmaker Elizabeth Talford Scott (b 1914), she received a BFA in art education from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, in 1970 and her MFA from Institute Allende in Mexico in 1971. She also studied at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, ME. As a visual and performance artist, Scott is most noted for works that engage with both politics and popular culture. The signature of Scott’s visual work is the application of beads, which she frequently used in her sculptures, installations, and jewellery. Her predilection for a material typically associated with craft, rather than fine arts, was inspired in part by the handicraft traditions of African and African American cultures. Such traditions were very familiar to Scott as her maternal grandfather was a basket-maker and a blacksmith and her paternal grandfather was a woodworker; her mother and grandmother both made quilts as well. The use of beads also connects Scott to a broader history of art. For example, one can see the influence of Yoruba beadwork in her creation of objects that are both beautiful and functional. The work also extends beyond Africa to include many other cultures and communities—Native American, Czech, Mexican, and Russian—which all have beading traditions. Scott’s manipulation of so-called women’s arts (i.e. quilting, sewing, and beadwork) connects her to a longer tradition of black feminist artists including Betye Saar and Howardena Pindell. Even with these connections to personal, cultural, and artistic histories, however, Scott’s materials are unique in that the sparkling and seductive surfaces they create are integral to the artist’s desire to shock and to surprise her viewers....

Article

Kevin Mulhearn

(b Cape Town, 1964).

South African installation and multimedia artist. Searle received her MA from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town, in 1995. Her work has regularly addressed the complex politics of identity in South Africa and the deep and contested historical roots that inflect its contemporary manifestations. She has often used her own body in her work and dealt with themes connected in some way to her own complicated heritage, but she has typically produced work that also speaks to broader issues of both local and global import.

Much of Searle’s art has grappled with the history of South Africa’s ‘coloured’ people, a multiracial population that was the outcome of centuries of cohabitation between indigenes, Europeans, and imported slave labour. In her photographic series Colour Me (1998–2000), Searle covered her skin with such spices as clove and turmeric, allowing her to acknowledge the trade in these commodities, which prompted European settlement on the southern tip of Africa in the 17th century and brought slaves to the region from present-day Malaysia and Indonesia. The dual video projection ...

Article

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....

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Jerusalem, May 18, 1945).

Israeli conceptual artist. He emerged as an artist, in the 1970s, without having had any formal education, addressing disparate concerns germane to conceptual art. The series Five Finger Excercise, begun in 1973, looked at the idea of sameness and uniqueness in art by covering canvases with the artist’s fingerprints. Towards the end of the decade he began to settle on a core of related themes and concerns that continued to preoccupy him. Fascinated by Modernist art’s pursuit of formalism, Toren sought metaphors for the way in which art cannibalizes itself; in so doing he has addressed issues relating to representation in art. In the series Neither a Painting nor a Chair (1979–80; see exh. cat. 1990–91, p. 15) Toren used shavings of wood from a demolished chair as pigment for a series of ten paintings reconstituting the chair as an image. A similar series begun in 1983, Of The Times...