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Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 24 January 1940, in New York.

Painter, sculptor, performance artist, video artist. Multimedia.

Body Art, Conceptual Art.

Vito Acconci was born in the Bronx, New York and lives and works in Brooklyn. He studied at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts and at the University of Iowa. He has taught in various art schools and universities and in particular at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University and the Parsons School of Design in New York....

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

Francis Summers

revised by Martin R. Patrick

(b Antwerp, Aug 22, 1959).

Belgian-born interdisciplinary artist, active in Mexico. He studied architecture at the Institut d’Architecture de Tournai in Belgium (1978–83) and at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice (1983–6). Alÿs moved to Mexico in 1987 and his art practice initially concentrated on Mexico City as a laboratory of urban living, often documented in the form of evocative, conceptually layered photographs, sculptures, and videos. In the slide series Ambulantes (Pushing and Pulling) (1992–2002), Alÿs photographed street vendors and workers as they passed by carting a wide variety of goods within a ten-block vicinity of his studio. For his project entitled The Liar, The Copy of the Liar (1997) Alÿs created small images of suited men inspired by the commercial sign painters of Mexico City, and subsequently commissioned from them larger versions in their own styles. In this process Alÿs deferred authorship into a semantic chain. Hovering between the banal and the surreal, these works have an uncanny theme, of individuals observed in situations that defy explanation....

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

Russian, 20th century, male.

Also active in France.

Born 11 July 1889, in Petropavlosk (Kamchatka); died 1974, in Paris.

Painter, collage artist, sculptor, illustrator, draughtsman. Stage costumes and sets, film sets.

The son of a political exile in Kamchatka, Yuri Annenkov was able to go to St Petersburg in 1898 and study at the school of fine art and at several artists’ workshops between 1908 and 1911, developing a passion for the theatre and theatrical production. He went to Paris in 1911 and studied with Maurice Denis and Félix Vallotton and then went to Switzerland in 1913. He exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris in 1912 and 1913 and then returned to Russia where he joined the...

Article

South African, 20th century, male.

Born 1906, in Somerset East, Eastern Cape; died 1982, in Port Shepstone, Natal (KwaZulu-Natal).

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman, printmaker, Collage, installations, performance art.

Walter Whall Battiss was raised in the Orange Free State (Free State), where he was introduced to rock art by William Fowler. He worked in the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Office (...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 20 August 1902, in Paris; died 11 February 1949, in Paris.

Painter (including gouache), pastellist, watercolourist, collage artist, draughtsman, illustrator. Nudes, portraits, genre scenes. Stage costumes and sets.

Bérard studied at the Académie Ranson in Paris in 1920. He was influenced by the graphic art of Maurice Denis, and by the sense of colour he found in the work of both Bonnard and Vuillard. He quickly discovered a passion for stage design and costumes, through theatrical friends such as Louis Jouvet, Boris Kochno and Jean Cocteau. The composer Francis Poulenc dedicated his ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 26 June 1909, in Dijon; died 6 December 1996, in Paris.

Painter, collage artist, engraver, draughtsman. Wall decorations, designs for mosaics, stained glass windows, tapestries, stage costumes and sets.

A pupil at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyons in 1930, Bertholle studied in Paris from 1932-1934, and subsequently attended classes run by the painter Roger Bissière at the Académie Ranson, where he met his friends and associates Manessier, Etienne-Martin, Le Moal and Véra Pagava. He was artistic director of the Gien porcelain factory from 1943-1957, and taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1965-1980. He was a member of the Institut de France, a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur and a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Initially an admirer of Puvis de Chavannes, whose work he had encountered at the city museum in Lyons, Bertholle later discovered Manet (at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1932), and through the latter, Van Gogh and Renoir. Following his early, highly-coloured Expressionist period, Bertholle was greatly influenced by the Flemish fantasies of Breughel and Heironymus Bosch, and ultimately by the Surrealists - as may be seen in his painting of the ...

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

German, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1950.

Painter, lithographer, performance artist, photographer. Artists' books.

Fluxus.

Wolf Adam Bottinelli trained at the art academy in Kassel. He appears to have a very free idea of the act of creation, which has brought him close to the ...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 1934, in Glasgow; died 2005.

Painter, sculptor, mixed media, performance artist.

Boyle lives in London and he and his wife Joan Hills (born 1936), and children Sebastian (born 1962) and Georgia (born 1964), work together as a family. He recreates the visual and tactile impressions that he himself draws from the geological environment in many different ways, both two- and three-dimensionally, using appropriate materials....

Article

Established in 2009, New York (New York), United States.

Art collective.

The Bruce High Quality Foundation is an anonymous artist collective that creates installations, videos, paintings, sculptures, performances, and exhibitions. The founding members keep their identities anonymous but are known to be a group of male artists who met while obtaining their undergraduate degrees at the Cooper Union in the late 1990s. The foundation is known for its tongue-in-cheek works, which use canonical art works as the basis for humorous, prank-style images and performances: in ...

Article

Austrian, 20th century, male.

Born 1938, in Ardring.

Action artist, happenings artist, performance artist, draughtsman.

Fluxus, Body Art.

Aktionismus group.

Günter Brus studied from 1953 in Graz and Vienna and went on in the 1960s to become one of the principal figures in the Viennese Aktionismus (Actionist) School which proclaimed the concept of artistic freedom and mourned its incompatibility with the sclerotic bourgeois society of the post-Nazi years. He took part in various 'happenings' in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1932, in Detroit; died May 1997, in Cairo.

Installation artist, performance artist, sculptor, draughtsman.

Conceptual Art.

Using a variety of different forms of expression, including installations, writing, performance, photographs and sculpture, James Lee Byars has created a highly personal collection of work. In the 1950s he focused on comparing oriental civilisation and western mystical thought, notably with folding sculptures which he unfolded in public. He went on to subvert objects by creating them in precious or unusual materials such as gold leaf or marble. He made several visits to Japan from ...

Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Japan and the USA.

Born 8 December 1957, in Quanzhou City (Fujian Province).

Painter, draughtsman, mixed media, video artist, installation artist, performance artist.

Cai Guo-Qiang trained in stage design at the Shanghai drama institute from 1981 to 1985...

Article

Isobel Whitelegg

(b La Vega, Mantanzas, 1959).

Cuban painter, photographer, installation and performance artist, active also in the USA. Campos-Pons studied at the Higher Institute of Art, Havana (1980–85). Initially a painter, her graduation show Acoplamientos (1985; Havana, HIA) was concerned with representations of the female body as a device for prohibition and control, and her early work focused on the role of women in society and their representation within the history of art. In 1988 she went to the USA as a visiting artist at the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, and in 1991 she settled permanently in Boston. Using shaped canvases, her first works displayed an interest in the interrelationship between painting and three-dimensional media. While living in the USA she also expanded her interest in sculpture and installation to include elements of video and performance.

Living abroad also brought her relationship to Cuba into sharper relief; work produced in the early 1990s addressed her own displacement in relation to the enforced migration of her ancestors as slaves, and the way in which an imagined Africa is collectively created in contemporary Cuba by story-telling, the cultivation of traditional medicinal plants and the practice of the Afro-Caribbean Santería religion. Using performance and video as a form of self-portraiture, another aspect of her practice focuses on her attempt to build a coherent identity as an Afro-Cuban woman living in the USA. With the aim of achieving simultaneity between performance and its immediate capture in the production of an unalterable image, her self-portraits employ large-format colour Polaroid photography, as in the diptych ...

Article

Swiss, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active since 1978 active in Germany.

Born 1951, in Lucerne.

Painter (gouache/mixed media), performance artist. Figures, nudes.

Body Art, New Fauves.

Luciano Castelli lives and works in Berlin. He appeared on the international art scene at the beginning of the 1980s, at the same time as German Neo-Expressionism and Italian Transavanguardia. He soon emerged as the key figure among what critics called the New Fauves. He practises a form of art in which performance, painting and concert are combined and complement each other. In ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1948.

Sculptor, collage artist, draughtsman, performance artist. Multimedia.

Brian Catling teaches sculpture at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford, and is a Fellow of Linacre College. He is also a poet.

During the 1990s Catling worked on the Cyclops...

Article

Italian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active also active in the USA.

Born 1960, in Padua.

Sculptor, draughtsman, installation artist, performance artist.

Neo-Conceptual Art..

Maurizio Cattelan lives and works in New York and Milan. He bases his work on the unexpected, on subversion, with the aim of sending a charge of irony into his infinitely variable works, sculptures, installations, performances and drawings, inspired by modern mythologies. He belongs to that part of the art world which delights in exceeding the norm, but is chiefly concerned with the means of communication between the work and the artist, in the style of Fabrice Hybert, which has meant that he needs specialist craftsmen to produce his works....

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Paris, after 1945).

French performance and installation artist, painter, bookmaker, furniture and interior furnishings designer. Chaimowicz moved to England as a child, studying at Ealing College of Art (1963–5), Camberwell College of Art (1965–8) and the Slade School of Art (1968–70). Whilst completing his MA at the Slade, Chaimowicz decided to abandon painting, and started to make performance work, such as Celebration? Real Life (1972; performed at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and Gallery House, London). For the duration of each show, Chaimowicz lived within the domestic space that he had created, serving coffee to visitors to the gallery. His work during the 1970s and early 1980s concentrated on performances in imaginary, idealised domestic spaces, with fragmented narratives and symbolic actions. Partial Eclipse (1980–82) consisted of Chaimowicz walking in a figure of eight in front of and behind a screen on which slides of his apartment/studio were projected, whilst a female voice recounted fragments of meetings, situations and relationships (see ...