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Article

Absalon  

Israeli, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1964, in Tel-Aviv; died 10 October 1993, in Paris.

Installation artist, environmental artist, video artist.

Absalon lived and worked in Paris, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under Christian Boltanski.

Absalon produced maquettes for ‘Utopian’ furniture upholstered entirely and uniformly in aseptic white plastic. Totally impractical, his furniture simply represents a desire to mark a departure from everyday convention. There is a strong element of play in some of his work, as in ...

Article

Michael Jay McClure

(b Istanbul, 1961).

Turkish video and installation artist, active also in England and Pakistan. He was educated at Mimar Sinan University, the Sorbonne, Paris, Los Angeles Santa Monica College, and the University of California, Los Angeles (MFA, 1988). Ataman holds a prominent place among artists exploring identity, sexuality, documentation, and the cultural politics of the Middle East and its diasporas; his work echoes that of Shirin Neshat, Omer Fast, Mona Hatoum, and the more commercial filmmaker Fatih Akin, among others.

Producing multi-channel ‘video sculptures’, Ataman explores states of psychological, cultural, and social displacement, often employing massive amounts of footage in a quasi-documentary style. An early piece, Women Who Wear Wigs (1999; see images tab for additional illustration), is a representative example. On a four-channel display, four Turkish women reveal their reasons for donning wigs: a reporter who recently lost her hair due to chemotherapy, a transsexual prostitute forced to shave her head by the police, a targeted terrorist who disguises herself, and a student banned from wearing a traditional headscarf in school. The wig, which conceals and connects these women, parallels how Ataman uses video: as a medium that both reveals and obfuscates its subjects. A spectator must negotiate not only the truth of the stories but also their syncopated broadcasts distributed over the space of the exhibition. Indeed, Ataman often uses the situation of the screens to disorienting sculptural effect. In ...

Article

Lebanese, 20th century, male.

Born 12 July 1942, in Beirut.

Painter, sculptor, photographer, video artist.

Kinetic Art.

Roland Baladi permutated various techniques, notably drawings and photographs, to produce the Photograms he exhibited in Beirut in 1962. In 1971, Roland Baladi exhibited a piece entitled Cinetone...

Article

Israeli, 20th century, male.

Active since 1972 active in England.

Born 1940, in Jerusalem.

Painter, video artist.

Conceptual Art.

He studied in Tel Aviv and exhibited in Israel from 1968. He has lived in London since 1972.

He has taken part in a number of group exhibitions including the Autumn Salon in Tel Aviv, in ...

Article

Susan T. Goodman

(b Beirut, 1936).

Israeli painter, sculptor, printmaker and film maker of Lebanese birth. He studied from 1959 to 1961 under Yehezkel Streichman at the Avni Art Institute in Tel Aviv. From 1966 to 1976 he lived in London, where he studied at St Martin’s School of Art and created sculptures concerned with movement, time and energy, for example Corners (1967; Jerusalem, Israel Mus.). He became involved with conceptual art after settling in New York in 1976, producing drawings, prints and photographs that explore energy, space and process of duration, and expanding on problems of perception in sculptural installations. In works such as August from Undercover Blues Series (1980; New York, Jew. Mus.) he used light to define the relationships between an object and its shadows, while in conceptual films such as Putney Bridge (1976) he used the environment to analyse the relationship between reality and illusion. On returning to Europe in ...

Article

Robert J. Belton

(b Jassy [now Iaşi], Romania, Aug 29, 1933).

Canadian sculptor, film maker, costume designer, playwright and poet of Romanian birth. His formal art training began in 1945 but in 1950 he emigrated to Israel. From 1953 he studied at the Institute of Painting and Sculpture in Tel Aviv. Etrog’s first one-man exhibition took place in 1958 and consisted of Painted Constructions, wood and canvas objects blurring the distinctions between painting and low relief (see Heinrich). In these works he tried to embody uncertainties that stemmed from his experience of Nazi aggression as a boy. The results were loosely expressionistic versions of geometric abstraction, derived in part from the work of Paul Klee.

Assisted by the painter Marcel Janco, Etrog went on a scholarship to New York, where he was inspired by Oceanic and African artefacts he saw in the collections there. This led to a preoccupation with organic abstractions, flowing totemic forms, and metaphors of growth and movement, seen in ...

Article

Israeli, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in the United Kingdom.

Born 1967, in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Photographer, video artist. Sound, multimedia.

Ori Gersht studied photography at the University of Westminster, London, and graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in 1992. He then went on to study for an M.A. in the same subject at the Royal College of Art, London. A year after graduating, he took up the post of senior lecturer at Kent Institute of Art and Design, where he taught for seven years before becoming a reader at the same institute until ...

Article

Mary Chou

(b Bethlehem, 1970).

Palestinian conceptual artist. Jacir’s works use a variety of media including film, photography, installation, performance, video, sound, sculpture and painting. Jacir was raised in Saudi Arabia and attended high school in Rome, Italy. She received her BA from the University of Dallas, Irving, TX in 1992, her MFA from the Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN in 1994, and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program from 1998 to 1999. She became a professor at the International Academy of Art, Palestine in Ramallah in 2007. Jacir’s conceptual works explore the physical and psychological effects of social and political displacement and exile, primarily how they affect the Palestinian community. Her work investigated the impact of Israeli action on the Palestinian people and countered representations of Palestinians in the press as primarily militant. Jacir often collaborated with members of the Palestinian community, both local and international, in the creation of her works....

Article

Israeli, 20th century, female.

Born 1900, in Lódz; died 1975.

Painter. Scenes with figures.

Zahavit Jacoby emigrated to Palestine in 1914. She studied applied art and watercolours in the Reimann school, Berlin (1927). In 1954 she left for Montevideo, staying until 1957, when she went to study in Paris (...

Article

M. N. Sokolov

(Nestorovich)

(b Kukhi, nr Kutaisi, Aug 20, 1889; d Tbilisi, May 10, 1952).

Georgian painter, collagist, stage designer and film maker. He was born into a peasant family and studied from 1909 to 1916 in the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics at the University of St Petersburg. From 1910 to 1915 he also studied painting and drawing in the studio of L. Ye. Dmitriyev-Kavakazsky (1849–1916). With Pavel Filonov he became a member of the St Petersburg artistic group Intimnaya Masterskaya (The Intimate Studio). The group’s manifesto (1914) proclaimed the beginning of a new era in art, awarded a central importance to Filonov’s principle of sdelannost’ (‘madeness’) and drew attention to the fundamental structural principles of artistic language. The manifesto was one of the most original developments of the pre-revolutionary avant-garde in Russia.

Kakabadze was an outstanding representative of the artistic avant-garde in Georgia. In his work innovation was always combined with a deep interest in Georgian national traditions, on which he was an expert. He studied medieval Georgian ornament while still a student, and in ...

Article

Jean Robertson

(b Jerusalem, 1969).

Israeli sculptor and video, performance and installation artist. She studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, where she was awarded a BFA in 1994 and continued post-graduate studies in 1995. She spent a semester at the Cooper Union School of Art and Design, New York, as an exchange student in 1993. She moved to Tel Aviv in 1996. Landau represented Israel in 1997 at the Venice Biennale and participated in Documenta X that same summer. Since then she became internationally known for complex, ambitious installations that have included video projections, decaying materials such as rotting fruit and cotton candy, and sometimes life-size Ecorché (flayed) figures fashioned by the artist of Papier mâché with surfaces that look like bloody sinew. From 2005, Landau submerged various objects in the Dead Sea then dried them in the desert sun, the salt coating forming a crystallized surface; some are found objects, others are sculptural forms made of barbed wire. The salt-encrusted objects—including lampshade-like forms—became components of installations. She also made individual sculptures of bronze and other materials....

Article

Israeli, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France from 1975.

Born 1946, in Rehovat.

Sculptor, painter, lithographer, draughtsman, video artist, installation artist.

During the 1970s Micha Laury lived in a kibbutz in Israel and began to work as a self-taught artist. He moved to Tel Aviv in ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Shiraz, 1963).

Iranian artist. Moshiri graduated from the California Institute of Arts in 1984 and experimented with installations, video art and painting before returning to Tehran in 1991. He became known for a series of large oil paintings on canvas showing monumental jars and bowls with richly textured surfaces and flowing calligraphy that he began in 2001. The form and cracked and weathered surface of the jars reflects his fascination with archaeology, and the texts on them contain poems in nasta‛līq script. In some cases, his paintings contain only letters or numbers. Inspired by calligraphic practice sheets, known as siyāh-mashq, and by the alphanumeric system (abjad), he plays with the shape rather than the meaning of words. His more conceptual pieces include a vitrine of gilded objects (2003), Rogue gun installation (2004), and Ultimate Toy–Legold (2004). He has held a number of solo exhibitions, including one at Leighton House, London (...

Article

Iranian, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in the USA.

Born 26 March 1957, in Qazvin, Iran.

Painter, video artist, installation artist, photographer. Multimedia.

Shirin Neshat was born in Iran but left to study art at the University of California, Berkeley, at the age of 17. She lives and works in New York. She won a Lion d’Or at the Venice Biennale in ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Qazvin, Iran, March 26, 1957).

American photographer and video artist of Iranian birth. She studied at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was awarded a BFA in 1979 and an MFA in 1982. She became involved in the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York when she was unable to return to Iran for political reasons. Years later, having settled in New York, she began making art in response to the situation she found after a visit to the post-Shah religious state. Using the Islamic veil, or chador, she made photographs that examined stereotypes of Muslim women as oppressed by the veil but also empowered by their refusal of the Western colonial gaze, as in Women of Allah (1993–7) and Rebellious Silence (1994; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 61). In these works Neshat is often posed with a gun, her image overlaid in Islamic script, as a way of confronting the Western view of Islam as both incomprehensible and dangerous. In ...

Article

Israeli, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1953, in Tel Aviv.

Installation artist, video artist.

Moshe Ninio creates videos working from photographs and technical instruments such as surveillance cameras. His work is highly original and full of poetry.

1999, Tales of the Sands, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh...

Article

Armenian, 20th century, male.

Born 1924; died 1990, in Yerevan.

Collage artist.

Sergei Paradzhanov was an avant-garde film maker; he made four full length films including: Fire Horses (1964) and Sayat Nova (1968). The anti-establishment nature of his work led to his being sent by the regime on several occasions to prison or labour camp. Paradzhanov also produced many collages Neo-Dadaist in inspiration....

Article

Israeli, 20th century, male.

Active in Uruguay since 1930.

Born 1918.

Painter, collage artist.

Plavotzky started to exhibit in 1955, first in group shows in Montevideo, then at the 1958 São Paulo Biennale. He also exhibited in 1970 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Caracas; in ...

Article

Mitra Monir Abbaspour

(b Chbanieh, June 15, 1967).

Lebanese conceptual artist, photographer, video and performance artist active also in America. Raad received his BFA in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1989, and completed his MA and PhD in Cultural and Visual Studies at the University of Rochester in 1993 and 1996, respectively, and in 2002 became an associate professor at the Cooper Union School in New York. History and its representation, narration, and memory are the central themes of Raad’s work. His experience of the Lebanese wars between 1975 and 1991 and their ongoing effects inform his inquiries into the methods of historical documents.

Raad began contending with narratives of the Lebanese wars in a series of short video documentaries that included Up to the South (1993)–a collaboration with Lebanese artist Jayce Salloum (b 1958)—and Missing Lebanese Wars (1996). Characteristic of his later practice, these videos critically employ a genre (documentary film) associated with factual reportage, foregrounding the relationship between subject and method of the work....

Article

Susan T. Goodman

(b Jerusalem, 1932; d Tel Aviv, Sept 1, 2009).

Israeli sculptor and video artist. He studied from 1956 to 1958 at the Avni Art Institute in Tel Aviv, worked with sculptor Itzhak Danziger in 1958, and from 1959 to 1962 studied at St Martin’s School of Art in London. After his return to Israel in 1963 he created severely geometrical painted steel sculptures such as Red Sculpture (h. 2 m, 1968; Tel Aviv Mus. A.) and site-specific sculptural installations such as White from 0 Degrees to 180 Degrees (1969; Jerusalem, Israel Mus.) and gates (1969) at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

In 1971 Schwartz moved to New York, where he produced installations in gallery spaces; some of these challenged the viewer’s visual expectations by means of an unorthodox use of mirror images, as in Changing Square (1976; Jerusalem, Israel Mus.), or through photographs and architectonic line drawings. In 1971 he began also to work with video installations in which live images were relayed from various points of view, using closed circuit video systems and monitors, to explore the relationship between real and represented space, as in ...