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American, 20th century, male.

Born 7 June 1931, in Eatonton (Georgia).

Painter, draughtsman (including ink), collage artist, print artist, sculptor, collector, art historian. Religious subjects, figures, portraits, figure compositions, scenes with figures, landscapes. Designs for stained glass.

David C. Driskell earned a BFA at Howard University in ...

Article

Karen Kurczynski

The use of organic abstract form in sculpture evoking the gendered body through an emphasis on process and materials. Lucy Lippard coined the term for an article in Art International which formed the basis for an exhibition at Fischbach Gallery in New York in 1966. Eccentric abstraction signaled the onset of Post-minimalism. The exhibition included Alice Adams (b 1930), Louise Bourgeois, Lindsey Decker (1923–96), Eva Hesse, Gary Kuehn (b 1939), Jean Linder (b 1938), Bruce Nauman, Don Potts (b 1936), Keith Sonnier, and Frank Lincoln Viner (b 1937). Lippard defined eccentric abstraction as an exploration of sensuous experience, evoking intuitively some of the psychological themes explored by Surrealism but without Surrealism’s literary allusions and literal imagery. Instead of Surrealist-inspired assemblage, the accumulation of recognizable objects, eccentric abstraction explored the formal and material properties of nonobjective art. It drew on Minimalist themes of presenting a single, whole, unified form, the emphasis on phenomenological experience to create meaning, and the withdrawal of personal expression in favor of exploration of the material properties of contemporary industrial materials. Unlike in Minimalism, however, the materials favored by these artists, such as felt, latex, vinyl, rubber, or fiberglass, tended to evoke bodily properties such as softness, inflation, and droopiness. This work also drew on Pop art’s irreverence for established artistic methods and experiments with soft sculpture and materials previously considered kitsch or vulgar. Lippard referred to eccentric abstraction as a “non-sculptural style,” closer to abstract painting than to sculpture in part because of its active investigation of color, but producing three-dimensional objects which broke down the form–content dichotomy....

Article

Native American (Okanagan), 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1953, in Omak, Washington.

Printmaker, muralist, sculptor, mixed-media artist. Collage, glass.

Born in 1953, Joe Feddersen is an Okanagan member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, and a Native American artist. He earned his BFA at the University of Washington (...

Article

Native American (Cheyenne and Arapaho), 20th–21st century, male.

Born 22 November, 1954, in Wichita (Kansas).

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor, printmaker, installation artist, conceptual artist, educator.

Edgar Heap of Birds is one of the most distinguished North American indigenous artists of his generation. His works reveal a distinctly critical and historical awareness of the ways that American Indian peoples, their histories and their viewpoints have been ignored and written over under colonialism. He has received numerous honours, presenting his work in competition for the United States Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale (...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 5 April 1938, in Worcester, Massachusetts; died 8 February 2014, in New York.

Sculptor, installation artist, filmmaker, photographer. Land Art, Environmental Art, Public Art, Post-Minimalism.

Nancy Holt received a BA in Biology from Tufts University in 1960 and then briefly travelled through Europe, before moving to New York City. There, she met influential Minimalist and Post-Minimalist artists, many of whom would become collaborators, including: Carl Andre, Dan Graham, Eva Hesse, Joan Jonas, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, and Richard Serra. Holt’s early artistic output was primarily photography, video, and Concrete poetry, mediums in which she continued to work throughout her career....

Article

Sook-Kyung Lee

One of the characteristics of Korean contemporary art is a continuous effort in employing and interpreting international art practices and discourses. Art movements from Europe and North America in particular, including Abstract Expressionism, Art informel, Minimalism, Conceptual art and Post-modernism, have influenced many Korean artists’ styles and ideas since the 1950s, providing formal and conceptual grounds for critical understandings and further experiments. Whilst some artists who maintained traditional art forms such as ink painting and calligraphy exercised modernist styles and abstract forms largely within the norms and conventions of traditional genres, a large group of artists proactively adapted to Western styles, employing new materials and techniques as well as the notions of avant-garde and experimentalism (see fig.).

A major critique of the reception of Western art and aesthetics came from ‘Minjung art’ (People’s Art) in the 1980s as part of instigating a nationalist and politically charged art strategy. Several art historians and critics who emerged in the 1990s also expanded the scope of the debate with postcolonial and pluralist points of view. The shift in social, economic and political environments played an important role in changing sensibilities in art, along with the advances of technology and new media in the 2000s. The high degree of diversity and sophistication of Korean art in terms of media and subject matters became widely acknowledged within and outside the nation, and an increasing number of artists started to work on the cutting edge of international art....

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 27 February 1924, in New Orleans.

Painter, draughtswoman, watercolourist, print artist (including linocuts), sculptor, art historian. Figures, portraits, genre scenes, landscapes.

Samella Lewis studied with Elizabeth Catlett at Dillard University, New Orleans, and Hampton Institute, Hampton, Virginia. In 1951 she obtained her doctorate from Ohio State University, Columbus, the first African-American woman to receive her doctorate in art history and fine art. In ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 27 May 1944, in New York City.

Installation artist, sculptor, designer. Land Art, environmental art, site-specific art.

Mary Miss studied at the University of California at Santa Barbara, graduating with a BA in 1966. She received her MFA from the Rhinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Art Institute in ...

Article

Terence A. Senter

(b Bácsborsod, Mohol Puszta, Hungary, July 20, 1895; d Chicago, Nov 24, 1946).

American painter, sculptor, photographer, designer, film maker, theorist, and teacher, of Hungarian birth. Moholy-Nagy’s importance in the 20th century is based as much on his theories as on his practical work. His ideologies related to the relationship between space, time, and light, and the interaction of man with these forces. His great achievement was that he applied his mystical outlook to highly practical enterprises and always recognized the purpose behind his creativity.

Moholy-Nagy’s ambition developed when he exchanged village life for the city of Szeged after his father left his family. Academically outstanding, Moholy-Nagy read law for a year at Budapest University before joining the artillery in World War I. Influential praise for his war sketches converted his aspiration from literature to art. His Expressionist style, social conscience, and investigation of light paralleled trends in the Hungarian avant-garde, from ...

Article

Canadian First Nations (Kwakwaka’wakw), 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1969, in Comox (British Columbia).

Conceptual artist, installation artist, sculptor.

Marianne Nicolson is a Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations artist and intellectual. In 1996 she graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and went on to earn an MFA from the University of Victoria in ...

Article

Jeremy Hunt and Jonathan Vickery

At the turn of the millennium, public art was an established global art genre with its own professional and critical discourse, as well as constituencies of interest and patronage independent of mainstream contemporary art. Art criticism has been prodigious regarding public art’s role in the ‘beautification’ of otherwise neglected social space or in influencing urban development. Diversity and differentiation are increasingly the hallmarks of public art worldwide, emerging from city branding strategies and destination marketing as well as from artist activism and international art events and festivals. The first decade of the 21st century demonstrated the vast opportunity for creative and critical ‘engagement’, activism, social dialogue, and cultural co-creation and collective participation. New public art forms emerged, seen in digital and internet media, pop-up shops, and temporary open-access studios, street performance, and urban activism, as well as architectural collaborations in landscape, environment or urban design.

Intellectually, the roots of contemporary public art can be found in the ludic and the architectonic: in the playful public interventions epitomized in the 1960s by the ...

Article

Jeffrey Weidman

(b Liverpool, Feb 20, 1816; d South Milford, MA, Aug 20, 1879).

American sculptor, painter, and writer of English birth. His father Thomas Rimmer, from the time of his youth in France and later in England, believed himself to be the younger son of Louis XVI and rightful heir to the throne of France after the death of his older brother in 1789. Although the validity of Thomas’s claims cannot be verified, three generations of the Rimmer family carried this belief.

William Rimmer arrived in America in 1818 and never returned to Europe. Brought up in poverty, he spent most of his life eking out a living for himself and his large family and was virtually unknown as an artist until he was 45. He was essentially self-taught in most of his diverse activities, including painting and composing music. A learned anatomist, Rimmer practised medicine in the Boston area from the late 1840s to the early 1860s, and, through his study of art anatomy, he fashioned a personal grammar of form in which the male nude became a metaphor for themes of heroic struggle (...

Article

Native American (Tlingit), 20th century, male.

Born 1947, in Juneau (Alaska); died 1992.

Sculptor (carver), painter, printmaker.

James Schoppert, a Tlingit artist from Alaska, received his BFA in printmaking from the University of Anchorage (1978) and his MFA in sculpture from the University of Washington (...

Article

Jean Robertson and Craig McDaniel

The final decades of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century witnessed an increasing propensity for artists to incorporate aspects of science in their own art. In many fields of scientific research—including the cloning of mammals, the genetic modification of crops, the creation of bioengineered organs and tissues, advances in nanotechnology and robotics, experimental research in how the human mind works and the study of artificial intelligence—the frontiers of knowledge pushed outward at an accelerated pace. In the spirit of creative inquiry, or in order to critique the goals and outcomes of scientific experimentation and application, artists regularly borrowed subjects, tools and approaches from science as a means to the production of art ( see fig. ).

In documenting and assessing the achievements of visual artists engaged with science, there was no broad consensus on the categorisation of artists’ work across the full range of activities, methods, motivations and use of materials. Assessments of artistic practice focused on artists’ work categorised by the traditional fields of science (e.g. artists who explore biology, artists who explore physical sciences). Other analyses of artistic practice focused on categories of art media (e.g. artists who use traditional means such as carving and casting to represent scientific discoveries, artists who explore and employ biological materials and scientific instruments)....

Article

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

Born 1951, in Wewoka (Oklahoma).

Sculptor, installation artist.

C. Maxx Stevens was born in Oklahoma but raised in Wichita, Kansas. Her training began in the 1970s when she gained an Associate of Arts degree from Haskell Indian Junior College in ...

Article

Jan Seidler Ramirez

(b Salem, MA, Feb 12, 1819; d Vallombrosa, Italy, Oct 5, 1895).

American sculptor and writer. Son of a justice of the US Supreme Court, he was educated at Harvard and practised law in Boston, where he also earned recognition as an art critic, poet and literary editor. He was part of an élite circle that included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Washington Allston and James Russell Lowell.

When his father died in 1845, a memorial statue was planned in his honour. Somewhat unexpectedly, Story was commissioned to design it, with the proviso that he first be permitted several years study abroad to acquire technical proficiency in sculptural modelling, a hobby in which he had already displayed natural ability. The resulting marble portrait of Joseph Story (1854; Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Portrait Col.) was enthusiastically received when it was installed in Mount Auburn Cemetery, encouraging both Story’s artistic ambitions and his desire for further European adventure. He settled in Rome in 1856 and worked assiduously at his new profession, drawing around him an urbane, affluent group of international friends who proved an invaluable source of commissions....