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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

Achiam  

Israeli, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 10 February 1916, in Bet-Gan; died 16 March 2005, in Paris.

Sculptor. Public art.

Achiam studied initially at the college of agriculture in Jerusalem and was active in the Israeli resistance against the British occupying forces. He started to teach himself sculpture at the age of 24, working directly with the dark grey basalt stone readily available in the environs of Jerusalem. Achiam moved to Paris in ...

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

Mary M. Tinti

(b Houston, TX, 1951).

American sculptor, installation and conceptual artist. His multimedia works investigate the pathology of contemporary culture. Mel Chin was born and raised in Houston, Texas to parents of Chinese birth and received his BA in 1975 from the Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee. The works in Chin’s oeuvre are diverse in both medium and subject, but a consistent undercurrent of social, political, and environmental responsibility runs throughout. Whether a sculpture, film, video game, installation, public project or earthwork, Chin’s artworks consistently targeted a broad spectrum of pressing cultural and ecological interests and spread their message in subtle, if not viral ways.

In the 1980s, Chin produced a number of sculptures that set the stage for his ever-evocative artistic journey. The Extraction of Plenty from What Remains: 1823 (1988–9) is a frequently referenced piece from this period. It is a symbolic encapsulation of the effects of the Monroe Doctrine, referencing the complicated dealings between the US (represented by truncated replicas of White House columns) and Central America (represented by a cornucopia of mahogany branches, woven banana-tree fiber, and a surface layer of hardened blood, mud, and coffee grinds). From the 1990s, however, Chin moved away from strictly gallery-based installations and began creating works that directly engaged contemporary culture in a variety of physical and theoretical landscapes....

Article

Margo Machida

Asian American mixed-media and installation artist and cultural activist. Ken Chu came to the United States from Hong Kong in 1971, settling in California where he received a BFA in film studies from San Francisco Art Institute (1986). Relocating to New York City after graduation, his encounters with local Asian American artists, activists and cultural organizations supported his artistic efforts, in which he often drew upon subjects that emerged organically from personal experience in the US as a gay Asian man. Adopting popular cultural idioms from film and comics, while also drawing upon symbols and motifs from Chinese and other Asian cultures, his imagery from this pivotal period featured Asian men cast as prototypically American masculine figures, such as California surfers and cowboys, who populate colorful, imaginary scenarios of cross-cultural contact, mixing and desire. In Western societies, where the dominant norms are non-Asian and few viable role models for Asian men exist, Chu’s art strongly asserted their collective presence and place. His socially inspired work has since also engaged matters of anti-Asian violence, internalized racism, stereotyping, homophobia and the impact of AIDS on Asian diasporic communities....

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1948, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Sculptor, environmental artist, installation artist.

Land Art. Eco Art.

Chris Drury studied at Camberwell School of Art from 1966 to 1970. He works with nature to create original forms such as cones, tumuli, sheafs, bundles and fungi....

Article

Israeli, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1930, in Tel Aviv.

Sculptor, environmental artist. Monuments.

Land Art.

Dani Karavan began his studies in Tel Aviv and at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, and continued them until 1957, first in Florence, where he learnt techniques of fresco painting with Mordechai Ardon, and then in Paris at the Grande Chaumière. In ...

Article

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1947, in Shizuoka.

Installation artist, environmental artist.

In 1989, Katase’s installations were exhibited at Le Magasin in Grenoble, at the Shedhalle in Zurich and at the International Cultural Centre in Antwerp. In 1995 Katase made a collection of sculptural pieces under the overall title ...

Article

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1953, on Hokkaido Island.

Installation artist, environmental artist.

Kawamata graduated from the painting section of the Tokyo University of Fine Art in 1979. In addition to his main activity in Japan, his work is often seen abroad. In 1982...

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA from 1958.

Born 4 March 1932, in Nagoya (Aichi Prefecture).

Painter, installation artist, environmental artist.

Minimal Art.

After graduating from Tokyo fine arts univesity, Tadaaki Kuwayama settled in New York. He initially painted Abstracts in a style based on a deliberately ‘anti-spiritual’ attitude designed to make the work foreign to the artist’s spirit. Subsequently he created installations and environments, making geometric spatial constructions out of small aluminium modules, as in ...

Article

David Spalding

(b Ha Tien, Nov 16, 1968).

Vietnamese conceptual artist. Lê was born near the Cambodian border, but fled with his family when his hometown was invaded by the Khmer Rouge in 1979. Lê moved to Los Angeles and studied photography at the University of California, Santa Barbara and received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 1992. In 1989, while at the University of California, Lê enrolled in a class on the Vietnam War (1955–75) that emphasized American hardship. This sparked Lê’s earliest public art project, Accountability, a series of posters that Lê put up on his college campus (reproduced in 1992 for Creative Time, New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles). These posters juxtaposed American media images of the Vietnam War with explicit pictures of Vietnamese suffering, accompanied by captions detailing the damage done to Vietnam. The desire to intervene in dominant perceptions of the Vietnam War propelled Lê for much of his artistic career....

Article

Margo Machida

(b Guangzhou, China, Sept 15, 1948).

Chinese multimedia artist. Raised in Hong Kong and Macau, Lee immigrated to the United States in 1973 to attend the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio (BFA 1977), followed by graduate studies at Syracuse University (1977–9). Moving to New York City in 1979, he became actively involved with the burgeoning downtown Manhattan arts community, where he created Graffiti and poster art, as well as outdoor slide theater works. Beginning in the 1980s, Lee co-founded three New York-based arts collectives: Epoxy Art Group (1981–7), Godzilla: Asian American Art Network (1990–2001) and Tomato Grey (2009). The first, Epoxy Art Group, involved project-oriented collaborations with artists from mainland China, Canada and Hong Kong that reflected their intersecting standpoints as Chinese living in the West. Godzilla: Asian American Art Network was a pan-Asian, intergenerational art group. Most recently, with Tomato Grey, Lee became involved with a new cohort of contemporary immigrant artists who endeavor to foster cultural exchange between arts practitioners in Hong Kong and New York City. Lee was a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts in New York (...

Article

Israeli, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1958, in Jerusalem.

Environmental artist, sculptor.

Ran Morin exhibited Hanging Orange Tree, a mix of the natural and the artificial, at the Horace Richter Gallery, Tel Aviv, in 1994. She has also created a number of environmental sulptures, including the garden of the kibbutz Ramat Rahel, near Jerusalem, and ...

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Active in Italy from 1967.

Born 1940, in Tonei (Manchuria).

Sculptor, painter, environmental artist.

Nagasawa Hidetoshi studied at the Tama fine arts school in Tokyo. He subsequently went to Europe and settled in Milan, where he worked with Fabro, an artist of the Arte Povera movement....

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Born 28 January 1927, in Tokyo; died 14 April 2001, in Tokyo.

Sculptor, environmental artist, film maker, flower arranger.

Teshigahara Hiroshi was caught up in 1960s international art but also attached to Japanese tradition: he would invite Rauschenberg and Cage to Tokyo while teaching the art of flower arrangement at the Ikebana School. He created avant-garde environments but used natural components fully in the spirit of Japanese tradition, such as green bamboo....

Article

Midori Yoshimoto

(b Tokyo, April 5, 1967).

Japanese sculptor, installation and video artist . Torimitsu received a BFA in sculpture at Tama Art University (1994) and, soon after her university graduation, she completed Miyata Jiro, a life-size robot of a stereotypical Japanese businessman, and made it crawl on the pavements of various districts in Tokyo. Perhaps because of its candid critique of Japanese corporate culture, businessmen in Marunouchi district pretended not to look at the robot, while it attracted large crowds elsewhere. In order to study varying reactions to her robot in different social settings, Torimitsu moved to New York in 1996, to participate in the P.S.1 International Program. For the American premier of Miyata Jiro that year, on Wall Street and near the Rockefeller Center, Torimitsu dressed as a nurse to redirect the robot’s movement or recharge its battery. Her New York performances were so well received that Torimitsu subsequently acquired opportunities to do the same in Amsterdam, Graz, London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1938, in Béziers.

Painter, installation artist. Land art.

As a pot-holer, Truel discovered the mysteries of caves and chasms and he used them as his models and his studios. He has visited caves in Spain, Lebanon, Morocco, Kentucky, New Mexico, Turkey and Niger. He lives and works in Béziers. He has legally installed trails in natural sites, making caves his models for evocative, informal and materialist Abstract paintings. He has, more questionably, covered some of them, notably in the Bramabiau group, with his own paintings....

Article

Taiwanese, 20th century, male.

Sculptor.

Yuyu Yang seeks to attain the traditional Chinese ideal of unity between man and nature by creating monumental sculptures in polished steel in such a way that they incorporate the environment in which they are situated. The International Centre of World Commerce in Taipeh possesses one of these sculptures. He was presented by the Galerie May at the Foire International d’Art Contemporaine in Paris in ...