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Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 15 November 1948, in Des Moines (Iowa).

Environmental artist, video artist, installation artist.

Dennis Adams lives and works in New York and Berlin. Adams' work focuses on the relationship between architecture and images taken from political literature. He creates architectural environments that act as frameworks for text, photographs and other images. These environments, which are either temporary or permanent, are public places. The series of ...

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

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1932, in New York.

Collage artist.

Harold Jacobs has shown his work in solo exhibitions in 1964 at the Portland Art Museum, 1973 at the American Institute of Architects in Philadelphia, 1978 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Active in New York and Colorado.

Born October 1959, in Athens (Ohio).

Sculptor, landscape artist, architect.

Environmental Art, Land Art.

Maya Lin studied architecture at Yale University, obtaining a BA in 1981 and an MA in 1986. In 1987, Yale awarded her an honorary doctorate in fine arts. She taught in the Yale art history department, the school of landscape design at Harvard University, and the Phillips Exeter Academy. She also worked as a design consultant and an architectural designer....

Article

Susan Snodgrass

(b Madrid, Spain, 1961).

Chicago-based American sculptor also working in photography, video and installation. He received a BA in art and art history and a BA in Latin American and Spanish literature from Williams College in 1983. In 1989 he earned a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Manglano-Ovalle’s hybrid practice emerged with Tele-vecindario: A Street-Level Video Block Party, a public art project created for Culture in Action, a community-based art program in Chicago in 1992–3. Working with Latino youth in Chicago’s West Town community, an area often challenged by substandard housing, drugs and gang violence, the artist facilitated a multimedia portrait of their lives in which these youth constructed their own images and concept of self. Issues of identity, community and migration, as they relate to both cultural and geographic borders, have been explored throughout his prestigious career that includes collaborative modes of working, as well as individual works sited within the museum or gallery. For Manglano-Ovalle, culture encompasses a broad network of systems—artistic, political, environmental, scientific—in constant dialogue, negotiated by both artist and viewer....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1945, in New York; died 1978, in New York.

Performance artist, intervention artist.

Land Art.

Matta-Clark was the son of Roberto Matta. He studied architecture at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), but his studies were interrupted about 1965. In his early years Matta-Clark practised artistic performances in his New York loft, and was interested in graffiti. From his architectural studies he remained absorbed in the analysis of the relationship of man with his habitat in the urban environment. His interventions, especially in New York, but also in Paris with the exploration of the basements of the Opéra and Notre-Dame, and in Milan in ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b New York, June 22, 1943; d New York, Aug 27, 1978).

American sculptor, film maker, photographer and draughtsman. The son of painter Roberto Matta, he studied architecture in Ithaca, NY, at Cornell University (1962–8), where he mixed with artists and showed little ability for his chosen subject. There he met Robert Smithson, whose interests in land art and the theory of entropy (concerned with dissipating energy) were a significant influence on him. On completion of his studies he moved to New York and became a well-known figure among artists in SoHo. He is best known for a series of ‘building cuts’ (1972–8) in which he carved sections out of old buildings, treating them (in the manner of modern sculptures) as spatial compositions; see Splitting, 1943–1978. Calling these transformations ‘Anarchitecture’, Matta-Clark carved the buildings up with a chain saw, documenting the changes in films and photographs subsequently exhibited in galleries, often alongside fragments of the buildings themselves. His most celebrated work, ...

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

Deborah A. Middleton

The first national parks were conceived to preserve the natural wonders of a primeval American wilderness that served as inspiration for American painters and photographers. American landscape architecture and park design were central to the emergence of the National Park System at the end of the 19th century, and the permanent conservation of threatened areas of natural beauty. Photography and landscape painting strongly influenced the aesthetic appreciation of unspoiled nature. Photography informed the construction of pictorial spaces, distances, situated views in unexpected places, lighting, angle of view, framing of the view. The overwhelming experience of America’s natural places influenced painters, such as Thomas Cole, Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt, and naturalists, such as John Muir, whose emphasis on the transcendental vision of wilderness began to shape a desire to conserve these places as national symbols of America. Moran’s paintings of Yellowstone Park were influential in designating Yellowstone as America’s first national park on ...

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

SITE  

John F. Pile

[Sculpture In The Environment]

American architectural and environmental art organization founded in 1970 under the leadership of James Wines (b 1932). Wines trained at Syracuse University, NY, in sculpture and art history, graduating in 1955. Other principals included Alison Sky, Joshua Weinstein, and Michelle Stone. The group’s main concern was an unconventional approach to the design of the modern urban and suburban environment. Wines coined the term ‘de-architecture’ to describe the work of the group, in which conventional architectural approaches are replaced by surprising, eccentric, occasionally humorous proposals that relate to art and other non-architectural forms of visual communication. SITE’s work first attracted attention in 1971 when the group was responsible for the design of a showroom for the Best Products company, known as the Peeling Building Project, at Richmond, VA. Best Products, a frequent client of SITE, is a chain retailer whose shops are large, box-like buildings that stand in suburban shopping centres surrounded by extensive parking lots. For the Richmond project, SITE developed an exterior treatment, in which the generally blank front wall of the building appears to be peeled away at one edge. Subsequent projects for Best Products have developed other strange, ambiguous, and disturbing treatments for the exteriors of the generally similar and otherwise anonymous buildings. Indeterminate Façade (...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 4 October 1941, in Waco (Texas).

Painter, pastellist, draughtsman, engraver, sculptor, environmental artist.

Bob Wilson studied architecture at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn before becoming involved in theatre productions. In 1964, he studied painting under George MacNeill in Paris. He worked with the visionary architect Paolo Soleri in Phoenix Arizona before giving in to his love of the theatre and dance. The dancer Byrd Hoffman had helped him overcome a speech disability, firing Wilson's interest in his discipline, as well as a commitment to people with learning disability. ...