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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

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 15 November 1948, in Des Moines (Iowa).

Environmental artist, video artist, installation artist.

Dennis Adams lives and works in New York and Berlin. Adams' work focuses on the relationship between architecture and images taken from political literature. He creates architectural environments that act as frameworks for text, photographs and other images. These environments, which are either temporary or permanent, are public places. The series of ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 21 July 1948, in Toulon.

Sculptor, environmental artist, assemblage artist.

Jean Allemand is one of the co-founders of the Space group. He has lived and worked in Paris since 1967. He creates environments by assembling geometric structures.

Allemand has participated in collective exhibitions in Paris: since ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 7 May 1943, in Wichita (Kansas).

Sculptor, environmental artist, performance artist, video artist.

Terry Allen studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, receiving a BFA in 1966. His work is inspired by his travels in Mexico, Thailand, China and Colorado. He has taught at California State University Fresno (...

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

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

revised by Margaret Barlow

(b Harrisburg, PA, Nov 20, 1946).

American sculptor, draughtswoman, and installation and environmental artist. She studied liberal arts at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (1964–8), and obtained an MA in studio art at Hunter College, City University of New York (1968–71), where she worked under Robert Morris and became familiar with systems theory. From the 1960s Aycock developed phenomenologically site-orientated works to include metaphor and simile, referring to machinery and construction sites, archaeological sites, models, children’s play areas and funfairs, and other public or social settings. For example in A Simple Network of Underground Wells and Tunnels (1975) six concrete wells (1.62 sq. m) with connecting tunnels were sunk into an area of ground c. 6.1×12.2 m at Merriewold West, Far Hills, NJ (destr.). The curious sense of authority within her sophisticated, well-made structures is simultaneously articulated and undermined by a nonsensical, non-functional, and fantastical element. Her works are often a synthesis of diverse elements. The imagery of the ...

Article

Banksy  

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Graffiti art, street art, political art.

Banksy is an anonymous English street artist who emerged in the art world in the early 1990s. Originally a freehand graffiti artist, he transitioned to using stencils by the early 2000s. Satirical and political in nature, his works typically depict rats, children, celebrity figures, policemen, and apes to who address issues of capitalism, urban decay, war, consumer culture, greed, and corruption. He usually works illegally, painting directly onto the facades of buildings and other structures....

Article

Banksy  

Elizabeth K. Mix

(b Bristol, ?1974).

English graffiti and interventionist artist. Banksy is best known for stencilled graffiti that sometimes mimics government posts. His graffiti, both freehand and stencil, started appearing on trains and walls around Bristol in 1992–4. He apparently left Bristol for London late in 1999. The name ‘Banksy’ became formally associated with his work with the publication of his first book, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall (2001).

Banksy’s text-based graffiti has included the phrase, ‘caution, concealed trap doors in operation’, on London’s Millennium Bridge; ‘designated riot area’ in Trafalgar Square, and ‘this is not a not a photo opportunity’ at various tourist sites including Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and the Sydney Opera House. Many were fooled by his official-looking stencilled declaration that walls on Marylebone and Bayswater Roads in Westminster were ‘a designated graffiti area’. Other works contained unusual appropriations of public property—vandalized street signs, traffic cones, telephone booths, vehicles, and even farm animals. Banksy has termed his appropriation and manipulation of public advertisements ‘Brandalism’. A subtle use of found objects involves the painting of frames or dotted lines and scissors around the edges of objects, making the outlined objects appear to be either artworks or coupons ready to be clipped. In addition, Banksy has mimicked British pound notes (‘Banksy notes’ featuring Princess Diana) and oil paintings by William Bouguereau and Claude Monet, among other artists, by inserting incongruous objects (bombs, iPods, shopping trolleys) into copies of well-known paintings in a series of ‘Vandalized Oil Paintings’....

Article

British, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1963, in England.

Book artist, printmaker, graphic designer, installation artist, art director, writer, educator. Community art, environmental art.

After a Foundation course at Lanchester Polytechnic, Lanchester (1981–1982), Les Bicknell studied graphic design at the London College of Printing (...

Article

Belgian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Antwerp.

Born 1946, in Antwerp.

Installation artist.

Neo-Conceptual Art.

Guillaume Bijl did his first installation in 1979. In his installations, he recreates the functional environments of the world of work, setting up incongruities in contrast with the artistic domain they are presented in. An artificial sun-tanning salon is perfectly recreated with a bike and blue neons, a 'found sculpture' is a polling booth or an ensemble of four street lamps around a tub of flowers - a perfect example of street furniture. Bijl's work might be construed as a critique of the art of the object based on the simple technique of displacement of context....

Article

Swedish, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1957, in Stockholm.

Painter (mixed media).

Ernst Billgren studied at the Valand art academy (1982-1987). HIs paintings are presented with a flourish not dissimilar to Pop Art practices, the complexity of which adds a theatrical, distancing dimension. He has had many solo exhibitions in Sweden, and has participated in collective exhibitions in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Brasil and Mexico....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1945, in Paris.

Painter, installation artist, intervention artist, performance artist, photographer. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art, Land Art, Body Art.

The beginnings of Borgeaud's work, as it was to develop subsequently, can be dated from 1969, the year of the exhibition event ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1967, in Glasgow.

Sculptor, installation artist.

Martin Boyce studied in the Environmental Art Department at Glasgow School of Art from 1986 to 1990. He completed an MFA there in 1997. In 1991 he participated in the seminal Windfall exhibition which served as an important catalyst for drawing attention to Glasgow as a major centre for conceptual art....

Article

Francis Summers

(b Glasgow, 1967).

Scottish installation artist and sculptor. Boyce studied at Glasgow School of Art, in the Department of Environmental Art, from 1986 to 1990, and, after a break of five years returned to Glasgow School of Art to complete his MA (1995 to 1997). He also visited the California Institute for the Arts, Valencia, in 1996. An early work Around Every Corner (1996; see 2000 exh. cat., pp. 18–19), made whilst still at college, is a wall painting that uses a grid and the words of its title. Combining the utopian tropes of the Modernist project with a sense of menace, Boyce made more wall drawings employing words and grids, such as Over Your Shoulder and Disappear Here (both 1999; see 2000 exh. cat., pp. 40–41 and p. 33 respectively). Other works directly reference Modernism by incorporating International Style design products. For example, Boyce used the classic Eames storage unit in ...

Article

(b Brooklyn, NY, Nov 4, 1940).

American graphic designer, installation artist and design educator. De Bretteville attended Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, NY, and was included in the school’s Art Squad by teacher and artist Leon Friend, who submitted his students’ work to national competitions. She received a prestigious Alex Award, named after the designer Alex Steinweiss, also a former member of the Art Squad. She received a BA in art history from Barnard College, New York in 1962 and received her MFA in the graphic design program at Yale University’s School of Art in 1964. She joined the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and founded the first design programme for women in 1970. In 1981 she founded the communication design programme at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles (now the Otis College of Art and Design), which was at the time affiliated with the Parsons School of Design in New York. In ...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Active since 1973 active in England, after Germany.

Born 28 January 1924, in Brussels; died 28 January 1976, in Cologne.

Painter (including gouache/mixed media), engraver, installation artist, environmental artist.

Conceptual Art.

Marcel Broodthaers bowed to his father's wishes and enrolled at university in 1942 to study chemistry, but quickly dropped out to become a poet. By the late 1940s, he was running a small bookshop and moving in literary circles, frequenting the Surrealists and becoming a willing co-signatory to the various tracts levelled at the time against André Breton. He was a close friend of René Magritte. In 1957, Broodthaers published his first volume of poems: ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1965, in Glasgow.

Video artist, multimedia artist.

Roderick Buchanan studied Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art and completed an MA in Fine Arts at the University of Ulster. He lives and works in Glasgow.

In his videos, installations, screen projections, sculptures and photographs, Buchanan takes his hometown of Glasgow as a vantage point from which to explore global issues of national, social, cultural and religious identity. Glasgow has a long history of sectarian tension that is reflected in the rivalry between the city's two major football clubs, Celtic and Rangers. In works such as ...

Article

Cecilia Suárez

(b Quito, Sept 8, 1939).

Ecuadorean painter, graphic designer, sculptor, installation artist, architect and teacher. He studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Bogotá, Colombia. He worked for the Graham Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC, and received a grant to attend the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, where he worked with György Kepes. Later he became a professor at the arts faculty of the Universidad Central, Quito. Bueno worked first in graphic design before going on to experiment with the incorporation of technology into art, using laser beams, mechanical pumps, plastic, glass and such elements as water, fire and air, for example in 49 Tubes, exhibited at the Bienal de Arte Coltejer in Medellín in 1972. He also combined visual art with music in such works as Flame Orchards, with music by Paul Earls, which won joint first prize with Kepes in the same exhibition. Exploration into ecological and environmental art led him to experiment with the idea of an aerial view of the urban landscape incorporating military camouflage sheets....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 25 March 1938, in Boulogne-sur-Seine.

Painter, installation artist, environmental artist.

Conceptual Art.

BMPT Group.

Daniel Buren was a pupil in Paris at the École des Art Appliqués, then the École des Beaux-Arts, where he was a fellow student of Parmentier, Viallat and Kermarrec. In the 1960s he travelled very widely. Daniel Buren seldom takes part in group exhibitions, though there have been a few exceptions, such as the Paris Biennale des Jeunes of ...