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Article

Anne Kirker

(b Wyong, NSW, Dec 6, 1940).

Australian painter, photographer and teacher. Binns trained as a painter at the National Art School, Sydney (1958–62) and held her first solo exhibition at Watters Gallery, Sydney in 1967. It comprised vividly coloured and decorative paintings, with explicit representations of female genitalia. This symbolic imagery predated a collective push by Australian women artists to produce work that they believed was inherently female. She initiated many community arts projects from the beginning of the 1970s and was an influential force in re-positioning women’s work. This took into account collaborative projects and a respect for amateur techniques and traditions that thrive outside the art world of metropolitan centres. Her community projects included Mothers’ Memories, Others’ Memories for Blacktown Municipality (1979–81) and the art workshop program Full Flight, which Binns conducted for women throughout rural New South Wales (1981–3). Her Tower of Babel, an ongoing work open to contributors by invitation, was initiated in Sydney in ...

Article

James Smalls

(b New York, NY, Dec 9, 1919; d New York, NY, Oct 27, 2009).

American photographer and teacher. A central figure in post-war American photography, DeCarava strongly believed ‘in the power of art to illuminate and transform our lives’. Using Harlem as his subject, DeCarava created groundbreaking pictures of everyday life in that enclave of New York. He is also known for scenes of civil rights protests of the early 1960s, images of jazz musicians, and lyrical studies of nature.

DeCarava studied painting and printmaking at the Cooper Union School of Art, the Harlem Community Art Center, and the George Washington Art School. He took up photography in the late 1940s and quickly mastered its vocabulary. In 1952, DeCarava won a Guggenheim Fellowship—the first awarded to an African American photographer. The scholarship allowed him to spend a year photographing daily life in Harlem. These pictures brought a new moderation and intimacy to the photographing of African Americans and their social environment. Perhaps his most memorable photographs were those that appeared in the book ...

Article

Courtney Gerber

[Dicker, Friederike]

(b Vienna, July 30, 1898; d Auschwitz-Birkenau, Oct 9, 1944).

Austrian designer, painter, teacher and political activist. The only child of Simon Dicker and Karolina Fanta, she studied photography with Johannes Beckmann in Vienna at the Graphische Lehr- unde Versuchsanstalt in 1914. She mastered the medium within two years, but found its expressive potential limiting and did not pursue it further. In 1915 Dicker-Brandeis enrolled at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna as a student of painter Franz Cižek. In 1916 she transferred to Johannes Itten’s private school in Vienna where she engaged with Itten’s unconventional teaching methods, which focused on unearthing one’s creative powers through meditation, colour theory and interpreting the rhythmic and formal language of art while allowing them to converge. She decided to leave Vienna in 1919 so that she could continue working with Itten who had been offered a post at the Bauhaus School in Weimar. Dicker-Brandeis remained at the Bauhaus until 1923, training in the textile, printing, painting, sculpture and stage design workshops. Her instructors included such artists as Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee. An exemplary student, after her first year she was asked to teach Itten’s Basic Course for the school’s new students. While at the Bauhaus Dicker-Brandeis created a myriad of works ranging from fine art works on paper to children’s toys. The mixed-media composition ...

Article

Nancy E. Green

(b Ipswich, MA, April 6, 1857; d New York, NY, Dec 13, 1922).

American painter, printmaker, photographer, writer and teacher. Dow took art classes in the Boston studio of James M. Stone, where he met Frank Duveneck, who would remain a lifelong friend. He went to Paris in 1884 to study at the Académie Julian with Jules(-Joseph) Lefebvre and Gustave(-Clarence-Rodolphe) Boulanger. Dow also took evening classes at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, where the American artist Francis D. Millet (1846–1912) offered critiques of the students’ work. Dow then spent some time in Pont-Aven, where he met Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard, and in Concarneau where he sought out the advice of American painter Alexander Harrison (1853–1930). Dow’s painting Au Soir won an honorable mention at the Universal Exposition in 1889 and two of his paintings were accepted that same year for the Paris Salon and were hung on the line (i.e. at eye-level).

Dow returned to Boston where he began independent studies at the Boston Public Library that led him to the work of Japanese artists ...

Article

Native American (Eastern Band of Cherokee), 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1957, in Baltimore.

Multimedia artist, photographer, illustrator, basket-weaver with paper.

Shan Goshorn, given the Cherokee Wolf Clan name of Yellow Moon, began training in silversmithing at the Cleveland Institute of Art and transferred to the Atlanta College of Art for her final year, receiving a BFA degree in painting and photography (double major) in ...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b Buffalo, NY, 1950).

Tuscarora artist, writer, educator, and museum director. Hill studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1968–70), and was awarded a Master of Arts degree from SUNY, Buffalo, NY (1980).

Intrigued with Seneca General Ely Parker (General Grant’s Military Secretary), Hill investigated Parker’s life, which took him to Washington, DC, for two years. Hill began to identify with Parker’s experience and realized he would devote himself to enlightening others about Native American arts, knowledge, education, and culture.

Hill was skilled in painting, photography, carving, beading, and basket weaving, and many of these works are located at the Canadian Museum of Civilizations, Quebec; the Woodland Indian Cultural Center, Brantford, Ontario; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK; the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Washington, DC; and the Seneca Iroquois National Museum, Salamanca, NY. He taught at McMaster University, Mohawk College, Six Nations Polytechnic, and SUNY at Buffalo. Hill developed a culturally based Seneca Language curriculum and training models for teaching....

Article

New Zealand, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1948, in Auckland (New Zealand); died 2014, in London.

Painting, photography, writing.

Alexis Hunter was a painter, photographer, and author from New Zealand whose work was strongly influenced by feminist theory of the 1970s. Hunter focused on the portrayal of women in advertisements at the time and played a key role in the development of Conceptual, Feminist art in London.

After completing her studies in New Zealand, Hunter moved to London in 1972 where she joined the Artists Union Women’s Workshop alongside other feminist photographers and film makers such as Tina Keane, Annabel Nicolson, and Mary Kelly. Hunter’s aesthetic in her conceptual work was strongly influenced by storyboarding in advertising, photographic sequences, and filmic chronology.

The male body and masculine expressivity were reoccurring themes in Hunter’s work, often disrupting the portrayal of male identity at the time. Object Series (1974–1975) for instance places a shirtless man in front of the backdrop of the New York skyline, the Twin Towers strategically placed right above the man’s crotch. By turning her subjects into sex objects, Hunter inverts the male gaze that was so dominant in visual culture at the time. The photographic sequence ...

Article

Roy R. Behrens

(b Selyp, Oct 4, 1906; d Cambridge, MA, Dec 29, 2001).

Hungarian designer, painter, photographer, teacher and writer, active also in the USA. After secondary school, he studied painting at the Budapest Academy of Fine Arts (1925–8). Turning to design, photography and filmmaking, he worked in Budapest, then in Berlin, where in 1932 he designed the cover of the first German edition of Film als Kunst by Gestalt psychologist Rudolf Arnheim. He moved to London in 1936 where he joined the studio of fellow Hungarian and former Bauhaus master László Moholy-Nagy. That year he also met his wife, the artist Juliet Appleby (d 1999). In 1937 he followed Moholy-Nagy to Chicago, when the latter was appointed director of the New Bauhaus, which was later re-established as the Institute of Design. Kepes taught and directed the Light and Color Department there for six years. In 1946 he was hired as Professor of Visual Design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where 20 years later he founded the Center for Advanced Visual Studies. A life-long advocate of cross-disciplinary experimentation between the arts and sciences, his influence came about through the publication of a number of innovative books, the first of which, ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

Ingrid Severin

(b Baden, Dec 8, 1929).

Austrian painter, printmaker and photographer. He began painting as a self-taught artist in the mid-1940s, after leaving school, and first came into contact with contemporary art through a British Council exhibition in 1947 that included work by Paul Nash, Francis Bacon, Stanley Spencer, Henry Moore and Edward Burra. Around this time he produced his first portraits, such as Rainer Dying (pencil, 1949; Vienna, Helmut Weis priv. col., see 1984 exh. cat., p. 10). While attending the Staatsgewerbeschule at Villach from 1947 to 1949 he became interested in theories of Surrealism. He had almost no academic training as an artist, leaving the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna in 1949 after only one day because of an argument with a teacher, and lasting little longer at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna in 1950. From 1948 to 1951 he produced Surrealistic drawings representing underwater scenes and mystical forms, rendering these fantastic images in pencil as a densely worked surface. In ...

Article

Native American (Crow), 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1981, in Billings (Montana).

3D, collage and installation artist, photographer, printmaker.

Wendy Red Star, member of the Crow Nation and niece of noted Crow painter Kevin Red Star, works in a variety of media to produce multi-layered artworks which point to complexities in indigenous North American experience today. Drawing particularly on her years growing up near to the Crow Indian Reservation in Northern Montana, in collages such as ...

Article

Lloyd C. Engelbrecht

(b Detroit, MI, Aug 2, 1913; d Chicago, IL, Feb 1, 1978).

American photographer and educator. Siegel is known for a vast body of black-and-white and color photographs that include documentary images as well as creative experiments (e.g. photograms). His importance as an educator was in integrating photography into a four-year university-level curriculum and in establishing photography as a field in graduate study. An avid collector of vintage photographs, Siegel integrated insights from his vast knowledge of photographic history into his studio classes. At a time when the importance of Chicago’s architectural heritage was still little understood, he and his colleagues and students at the Institute of Design in Chicago documented this heritage in a vast body of skillful and sensitive photographs; one result of this effort was a book edited by Siegel, Chicago’s Famous Buildings, first published in 1965.

Siegel graduated from Wayne State University in 1936 with a degree in sociology; by that time he had begun his career as a photographer, and following graduation he taught photography as a part-time instructor at Wayne State. His early work included portraits as well as photographs sold to newspapers and newswire services, including New York Times/Wide World Picture Service....

Article

Joe Coates

American design and photography studio. Founded in 1979 in Boston by Nancy Skolos (b 1955) and her husband Tom Wedell (b 1949), the pair worked collaboratively creating compositions that used photographic images by Wedell and typography and designs by Skolos. Their dynamic and complex designs and collages have been compared to the work of Cubists and Russian Constructivists.

Skolos’s father was an industrial designer and mother was a music teacher. She studied industrial design at the University of Cincinnati (1975–7) before transferring to the Cranbrook Academy of Art (BFA 1977), where she became a student of Katherine and Michael McCoy. Though admitted to the programme as an industrial design student, Skolos gravitated toward graphic design and showed a particular affinity for typography. She went on to pursue a graduate degree in graphic design at Yale University, where she met and worked with designers such as Alvin Eisenman (...

Article

British, 20th century, female.

Born 1934, in London; died 1992, in London.

Photographer, activist, educator.

Jo Spence left school at the age of 13 and enrolled in secretarial college. It was her secretarial position at the small commercial photographers Photo Coverage that first ignited her passion for the medium. Spence subsequently completed a training course at Kodak and gained experience through a number of support roles for photographers including Walter Curtin. From humble beginnings she became a highly vocal, radical, and influential figure in photography. Throughout her life Spence was also active as a writer, activist, and educator and preferred to be known as a ‘cultural sniper’. Throughout her career Spence made contributions to a huge range of genres and inspired other artists to rethink the portrayal of sexuality, family, and class through the photographic image.

In 1967, Spence opened her own photographic portrait studio in Hampstead specializing in weddings and family portraits and creating portfolios for professional use. In the early 1970s, Spence became involved with the Children’s Rights Workshop, through which she began to challenge the conventions associated with photographing children in domestic photography. During this time she met photographer Terry Dennett who would become her partner and a long-term collaborator. Together they documented marginalized communities such as the Traveller community living under the Westway Bridge in west London....

Article

Native American (Muscogee Creek/Seminole and Diné/Navajo), 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1954, in Phoenix.

Photographer, filmmaker. Video, collage.

Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie is a member of the Bear and Raccoon Clans of the Seminole and Muscogee Nations, as passed down from her mother. Her Diné/Navajo father, Andrew Van Tsinajinnie (b. ...

Article

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....