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American, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1864, in Clarendon (New York); died 1926, in Mont Mikeno or Kabale, Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo).

Sculptor, photographer. Animals.

Carl Ethan Akeley began working as a taxidermist at the age of 17 at Ward's Natural Science Establishment in Rochester, New York. He later became associate curator at the Roosevelt American Museum of Natural History in New York, where he laid out the African rooms and the Hall of African Mammals was named after him. On trips to Africa for the museum, Akeley observed animals closely. In ...

Article

Aurélie Verdier

French painter, sculptor, photographer, film maker, writer and installation artist of Algerian birth. Born to Spanish parents, he was much affected by North African as well as Southern European culture. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre. Despite a pervasive and diverse use of media, Alberola often stressed the coexistence of his different artistic practices as leading to painting alone. His paintings relied heavily on evocative narratives, at once personal and ‘historical’. Alberola conceived of his role as a storyteller, on the model of African oral cultures. Convinced that narratives could not be renewed, he argued that a painter’s main task was to reactivate his work through contact with his pictorial heritage. The main points of reference for his paintings of the early 1980s were Velázquez, Manet or Matisse, whose works he quoted in a personal way. In the early 1980s he undertook a series of paintings inspired by mythological subjects, which he combined with his own history as the principal subject-matter of his work. The biblical story of Susannah and the Elders as well as the Greek myth of Actaeon provided his most enduring subjects, both referring to the act of looking as taboo, as in ...

Article

South African, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1959, in Johannesburg.

Photomontage artist, sculptor of assemblages, installation artist.

Jane Alexander completed a Master of Arts in Fine Art at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in 1988. She has been professor at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, since ...

Article

Carol Magee

Malian photographer. He began his career in 1983 when he began documenting cultural patrimony for the Musée National du Mali, where he was staff photographer. His photographs present both broad and intimate views of life, and he is equally skilled in capturing a place empty of people as he is with close-ups, for example of hands or feet. Suggesting both absence and intimate presence, he evokes a powerful sense of the human condition. His aesthetically stunning works offer views that might otherwise go unnoticed: feet pedaling a bicycle, a faint reflection of a colourful boat on creamy white water. Working in both black and white and colour, he almost never shows the faces of his subjects as he captures them at work or in everyday pursuits, for example in ...

Article

Elaine E. Sullivan

Congolese photographer. Baloji’s photomontages explore themes of memory, architecture, and the environment. Such subjects are frequently treated through the use of archival photographs and watercolours, juxtaposed with contemporary photographs taken by the artist. By foregrounding archival images of labourers and overseers against contemporary urban and rural landscapes, Baloji’s work humanizes the colonial industrial history of his native Katanga province....

Article

Morgan Falconer

Nigerian photographer, film maker, installation artist and writer active in Scotland. He studied Chemical Engineering at Strathclyde University, Glasgow (1981–85), before completing an MA in Media, Fine Art, Theory and Practice at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1996–8). Bamgboyé’s earliest work was photographic: ...

Article

French, Moroccan, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1971, in Paris, France.

Photography, video, film, installation, sculpture.

The Tangier-based artist Yto Barrada studied political science and history at the Sorbonne in Paris before she moved to New York to study photography at the International Center of Photography. Her practise focuses on Tangier and the physical, political, and psychological barriers its inhabitants face, as well as the oppositional forces between the West and East. Her photographs investigate the attractions of Western Europe for the people in Tangier, while also demystifying and de-exoticizing Western ideas of the East and Northern Africa....

Article

Italo Zannier

British photographers of Italian origin. Antonio Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Luxor, 1903) and his brother Felice [Felix] Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Mandalay, after 1904) were for many years thought to be one person with two names, Antonio and Felice, and only recently has the mystery been solved of the almost contemporaneous presence of a Beato in two different (and often very distant) places. The misunderstanding arose from the fact that both their names (Antonio Felice Beato) appear on several photographs. A closer inquiry brought to light a letter written by Antonio and published in the French paper, ...

Article

Martha Schwendener

American photographer. Born Esther Zeghdda Ben Youseph Nathan to a German mother and an Algerian father, she immigrated to the United States in 1895. She worked as a milliner in New York before opening a photographic portrait studio in 1897. Her ‘gallery of illustrious Americans’ featured actresses, politicians, and fashionable socialites, including President Theodore Roosevelt, author Edith Wharton, artist William Merritt Chase, and actress Julia Marlowe. Ben-Yusuf also created Pictorialist-inspired artwork like ...

Article

South African, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1956, in Kitwe, Zambia.

Painter, sculptor, printmaker, video artist, land artist, watercolourist, curator.

Clive van den Berg came to South Africa in 1966, and trained at the University of Natal. He taught fine arts at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1902; died 1992.

Draughtsman, watercolourist, photographer, ethnologist. Costume studies.

Jean Besancenot is known for his classic work on the costumes of Morocco based on his research gathered between 1934 and 1939 and first published in 1942. The original edition includes around 60 costumes and headdresses in colour plates, executed by Besancenot himself. Earlier he had completed a study on some regional costumes of Europe. He is probably the same artist as Jean Besancenot-Girard....

Article

Susan Kart

(b Mbarara, 1963). Ugandan photographer, film maker, and installation artist of Indian descent, active in the UK. Bhimji was born in Uganda to Indian parents. The family fled Uganda to England in 1972 due to President Idi Amin’s expulsion of all Asians and Asian-Ugandans from the country along with seizure of their property and businesses as part of his ‘economic war’ on Asia. Bhimji studied art at Goldsmiths College and the Slade School of Art in London and her photographic work primarily consists of close-up, sometimes abstracted glimpses of seemingly abandoned spaces, objects, and landscapes. Bhimji’s work focuses on India and Uganda, which are treated as almost anthropomorphic subjects that appear restless, unfinished, abandoned, or frozen in her photographs, films, and film stills. Bhimji was one of four shortlisted finalists for the Turner Prize in ...

Article

Geoffrey Belknap

French photographer and photographic printer. Bonfils is best known for his photographs of the Mediterranean and Middle East, particularly his five-volume Souvenirs d’Orient: Egypte. Palestine. Syrie. Grèce (1878). Prior to opening a studio briefly in Alès in 1865, he was apprenticed to Abel Niépce de St Victor (180570). Having travelled to Lebanon in ...

Article

South African, 20th–21st century, female.

Active in Germany.

Born 29 January 1972, in Johannesburg.

Video artist, photographer, photomontage artist, printmaker, performance artist.

Appropriation Art.

After completing her undergraduate fine art studies at the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg) in 1993, Candice Breitz travelled to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship. She completed a Master’s degree at the University of Chicago in ...

Article

Kimberly Juanita Brown

South African documentary photographer. Carter swiftly became famous after one of his images appeared in the New York Times in 1993. That photograph, captioned A Vulture Watches a Starving Child, won him the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 1994. He committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning three months later, solidifying his fame in a swirling mélange of international tragedy, racial politics, and personal trauma....

Article

South African, 20th century, male.

Also active in Sweden and the United States.

Born 21 March 1940, in Eersterust, Pretoria; died 18 February 1990, in New York.

Photojournalist, documentary photographer. Figures, city life, apartheid history.

Ernest Cole’s earliest photographs appeared in Zonk magazine. In 1958...

Article

Allison Moore

South African photojournalist, active also in the USA. Cole, of Bapedi ethnicity, grew up in a black township near Pretoria. His father was a tailor and his mother a washerwoman. One of six children, he suffered from malnutrition. Cole hoped to become a doctor, but the Bantu Education Act (a ...

Article

Ruth Rosengarten

Portuguese painter. He studied at the Escola de Belas Artes in Oporto, where he taught from 1963. In the 1960s Ângelo worked in sculpture, photography and experimental cinema as well as painting. Having won a scholarship, he attended St Martin’s School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art in London from ...

Article

Susan Kart

(b Nairobi, 1958). Kenyan photographer, multimedia and performance artist, and teacher of Indian descent, active in the USA. DeSouza was born in Kenya to Indian parents. Raised in London from the age of 7, he called his background that of a ‘double colonial history’. DeSouza attended Goldsmiths College in London and the Bath Academy of Art, and although he has worked primarily in photography and as a writer on contemporary art, he has also branched out into performance art, digital painting, and textual and mixed media arts. He moved to the USA in ...

Article

South African, 20th century, female.

Active in Canada from 1969.

Born 17 September 1936, in Piet Retief, South Africa.

Engraver (etching/aquatint), screen printer, watercolourist, photographer.

Jennifer Dickson studied at Goldsmiths in London and from 1961 to 1965 at the Atelier 17 engraving studio in Paris run by S.W. Hayter. She later spent time in Jamaica and the USA. In Canada she worked both as an artist and teacher. She was elected a member of the Royal Academy in London in ...