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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

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1966, in Marseilles.

Installation artist, sculptor, action artist, photographer.

Conceptual Art.

Boris Achour, who was a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, received a three-month extra-mural bursary from the Villa Médicis that he spent in Los Angeles in ...

Article

Canadian, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 12 August 1941, in Victoria.

Installation artist, photographer, sculptor.

Conceptual Art.

Ian Carr-Harris studied Modern History at Queen’s University, where he received an honours bachelor of arts in 1963, and went on to obtain a bachelor of library science from the University of Toronto in ...

Article

Ađalsteinn Ingólfsson

(b Dalir, west Iceland, Feb 19, 1943).

Icelandic painter, sculptor, photographer and conceptual artist, active in the Netherlands. He studied at the Myndlista- og handíÐaskóli Íslands (Icelandic School of Arts and Crafts), Reykjavík (1958–60), in Rome (1966–7) and in Limoges (1970–71), after which he moved to the Netherlands. He was one of the founding members of the Icelandic avant-garde group SÚM and he took part in its first exhibition in 1965. His early work consists of emblematic abstract paintings, enlivened with three-dimensional elements such as nails or rope (e.g. Painting; 1966, Reykjavík, N.G.). When he developed an interest in conceptual art, FriÐfinnsson began to use photography as a medium for concretizing his ideas, which derive from Icelandic myth and folklore as well as from dreams and poetry.

FriÐfinnsson’s House Project (1974) was suggested by a story by the Icelandic writer Thórbergur ThórÐarson about an old man who wanted to build an inside-out house. FriÐfinnsson built a house that fitted this description at a secret venue in Iceland and then photographed it (see ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1946, in London.

Painter (mixed media), sculptor, photographer. Artists' books.

Conceptual Art, Land Art.

After studying in London at St Martin's from 1966 to 1968, Hamish Fulton went on to study photography in 1969. Fulton is interested in landscape and has much in common with Land Art, although his approach is quite different. Unlike Richard Long - with whom he travelled in South America - Fulton does not intervene on site. He builds his work around the physical impression that a space leaves on the body when walking, first in timeless photographs with brief captions and then, from ...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Gilbert born in 1943 in the Dolomites, George born in 1942 in Totnes (Devon).

Installation artists, performance artists, sculptors, photographers, film producers. Videos, multimedia.

Conceptual Art, Body Art.

Gilbert studied at the Hallein Art School and the Munich academy of art. George studied at Dartington Hall College of Arts and in Oxford. They continued their studies at St Martins School of Art in London, where they met in 1967 and decided to work as a pair in 1969. They won the Tate Gallery's Turner Prize in 1986. Calling into question the traditional idea of sculpture as taught by Caro, in 1969 these two artists declared themselves to be ...

Article

Anthony Gardner

(b Singapore, July 12, 1959).

Malaysian conceptual artist, active also in Australia. Gill studied at the University of Western Sydney, completing her MA in 2001. Despite working in a range of media, she is best understood as a process-based artist who has consistently explored notions of migration and transformation within material culture. These include the effects of international trade on such everyday activities as cooking and eating. The spiral form of Forking Tongues (1992; Brisbane, Queensland A.G.), for example, entwines Western cutlery and dried chillies from the Americas and Asia, highlighting how foods and utensils from across the globe have come together to transform local cuisines and inform culinary habits. Gill’s later photographic series refer to other understandings of migration, such as the spread of the English language or of capitalist desire throughout South-east Asia in recent decades. For Forest (1998; Sydney, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery; see Chua), Gill cut out words and sentences from books written in English, placed the texts within tropical landscapes and photographed the results before the books’ paper began rotting into the humid environment. For ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1942, in Urbana (Illinois).

Installation artist, performance artist, sculptor, photographer. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art, Body Art.

Dan Graham lives and works in New York, where he has achieved renown as a gallery owner (he opened the John Daniels Gallery in the 1960s), art theorist (championing Minimal Art) and artist. The closure of his gallery for financial reasons caused Dan Graham to question the economic and social purpose of 'gallery art'. Influenced by Pop Art, which introduced an element of social realism to his work, Graham gradually rejected the concept of artistic autonomy promoted by the American Minimalists. Drawing on his experience of the commercial and economic realities of the art world, he realised that the value of a work of art is above all determined by the extent to which it is reproduced. He began to publicise his own work by reproducing it on inserts in, for example, the art and rock press and women's magazines, rather than by holding exhibitions in commercial galleries. His exploration of art, the means of reproduction and 'mediatisation' continued with the distribution of his own series of photographs of tract-houses (pre-fabricated, mass-produced American suburban homes): ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

revised by Jean Robertson

(b Brussels, Dec 6, 1961).

Belgian sculptor, installation and conceptual artist active in Germany and Sweden. He studied phytopathology (plant diseases) and agronomic entomology at the University of Kiel, where he received a doctorate in 1988. After an early career as an agricultural scientist specializing in insect communication, Höller became a full-time artist in 1993. He created a wide variety of objects and situations, many of them participatory in nature, using such means as toys, animals, flashing lights, mirrors, sensory deprivation tanks, dark passages, giant slides, carousel rides, pheromones and huge rotating sculptural replicas of upside-down fly agaric (a poisonous, hallucinogenic mushroom; see fig.). His art projects include various optical and sensory experiments that explore individual physiological and psychological reactions to experiences that alter perception and consciousness. Despite his scientific training, Höller’s goals as an artist have not been to achieve the certainty of quantifiable scientific conclusions. Rather he has emphasized doubt and the inability to achieve conclusive explanations. He signalled his preoccupation with doubt in ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1955, in New York.

Sculptor, painter, collage artist, installation artist, photographer, draughtswoman. Artists' books.

Conceptual Art.

Roni Horn studied at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1975 and at Yale in 1978. She lives and works in New York, where she teaches at the School of Arts, Columbia University....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1924, in Ann Arbor (Michigan); died 1997.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, photographer, installation artist.

Conceptual Art, Appropriation Art.

Douglas Charles Huebler studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art at the University of Michigan, then at the Académie Julian, Paris. Like numerous young American artists who, despite the wave of Pop Art, remained loyal to Abstract art, his research led him, in terms of his early work, to 'minimal art'; his main preoccupation seemed to be gigantic dimensions. But in less than three years he switched to work which was more or less equivalent to Conceptual Art, and ultimately became one of its leading exponents, along with Joseph Kosuth, Sol Lewit, Robert Barry and Lawrence Weiner. His Conceptual Art enquiries focused on 'interpreting' the range of life of forms in multiple signs and places, rather than the internalising or integrity of objects typical of the 'minimalist' genre....

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

Swiss, 20th century, male.

Born 9 January 1945, in Gilly.

Sculptor, engraver, draughtsman, photographer.

Conceptual Art.

Pierre Keller studied at the École Cantonale des Beaux-Arts et d'Art Appliqué in Lausanne from 1961 to 1985. He has lived in Grandvaux since 1970.

In 1966, he began creating his first modifiable objects, which led him to produce modifiable structures in the Constructivist manner. His manifestations and realisations are extremely diverse. He attempts a new kind of performance focused on the concept of 'Kilo Art' that he himself created, by having the quantities measured by official organisations and thus causing ideas of value in the world of art to be permanently questioned and changed. At the ...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1935, in Mechelen.

Painter, sculptor, installation artist, performance artist, video artist.

Conceptual Art, Art Sociologique (Sociological Art).

Plus Kern Group.

Guy Mees studied at the Academie voor Schone Kunsten and at the Nationaal Hoger Instituut in Antwerp, and was a signatory in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 6 December 1941, in Fort Wayne (Indiana).

Sculptor, draughtsman, video installation artist. Multimedia.

Body Art, Process Art, Conceptual Art.

Bruce Nauman attended the universities of Wisconsin and California. He began work in Davis, California, where he was completing his university studies. In 1966 he had his first studio in San Francisco. In 1969 he moved to Pasadena and in 1979 to Pecos in the mountains of New Mexico, far removed from the artistic ‘underground’....

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(b Fort Wayne, IN, Dec 6, 1941).

American conceptual artist. Recognized as one of the most influential, innovative, and provocative 20th century American artists, Nauman extended the media of sculpture, film, video, photography, and sound with performance and spatial explorations. Nauman attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1960 to 1964, with early studies in mathematics and physics, which broadened to the study of art under Italo Scanga (1932–2001). He received a master’s degree in Fine Art from the University of California, Davis in 1966 under William T. Wiley, Robert Arneson, Frank Owen (b 1939), and Stephen Kaltenbach (b 1940) and honorary degrees from the San Francisco Art Institute (1989) and California Institute of Art (2000). In 1966 he began to teach at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Nauman’s interactive artworks and performances explore the syntactical nuances of language, text, and figurative gesture to create material culture and in-between places, which often result in a heightened sense of physical and emotional awareness. Nauman’s artistic explorations of spatial perception, bodily consciousness, physical and mental activity, and linguistic manipulation were demonstrated in interactive spatial compositions that accentuated various relationships between the human body and built environments. Early works included body castings and holographic self-images with subsequent works situating the viewer within their own mental and bodily perceptions. In ...

Article

Karen M. Fraser

(b Hyogo Prefecture, 1945).

Japanese photographer, sculptor, and conceptual artist. He studied at Kyoto City University of Fine Arts, where he earned a BFA in 1967 and an MFA in 1969. Nomura was initially trained as a sculptor. In his MFA thesis project, Tardiology (1969), Nomura explored the idea of non-permanent sculptural form, creating an eight-metre tall cardboard sculpture and then using photographs to record the changes in form as the boxes gradually collapsed under their own weight. From that point on photography was one of his primary media. Nomura was interested in investigating processes of scientific and natural phenomena with a particular focus on the passage of time. He used photographs to capture movement and changes over time and to make previously unseen things visible. Many of his projects were created over lengthy periods, with photographs being taken daily or monthly and for years. In his 1991 Analemma series (The Analemma ’91-Noon...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1946, in Carcassonne.

Sculptor, installation artist, draughtsman, illustrator, photographer, film maker.

Conceptual Art.

Patrick Raynaud studied cinema and has produced and directed films.

In 1972 he directed a series of films including one on Robert and another on Sonia Delaunay. He also produced children's books and a series of graphic compositions. From ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1965, in Lyons.

Sculptor, mixed media, installation artist, video artist.

Conceptual Art, Art Narratif.

Franck Scurti lives and works in Paris. He selects his themes from everyday life but embellishes his subject matter by the discreet use of humour, irony and allusions to art history. The items of furniture in his ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 9 November 1945, in Providence (Rhode Island); died 14 September 2001, in San Francisco.

Sculptor, performance artist, installation artist, video artist, film maker.

Fluxus, Conceptual Art.

Stuart Sherman wrote poems and worked as an actor in the Fluxus group of avant-garde theatre companies in the USA in the 1960s. He was a friend and also later a companion of the writer Carson McCullers. His artistic activity began about ...