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Article

Sofia Hernández Chong Cuy

American installation artists, active also in Puerto Rico. Jennifer Allora (b Philadelphia, Mar 20, 1974) graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Richmond, Virginia (1996), and Guillermo Calzadilla (b Havana, Cuba, Jan 10, 1971) graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Escuela de Artes Plastica in San Juan, Puerto Rico (1996). Allora and Calzadilla met in Italy in 1995 during a study abroad program in Florence. They then lived together in San Juan for a year before moving to New York City where they started working collaboratively while each participated in different residency and study programs. In 1998–1999, Allora participated in the year-long Whitney Independent Study Program, while Calzadilla participated in the P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center National Studio Program.

Allora & Calzadilla’s first important international exhibition was the XXIV Bienal de São Paulo in 1998 curated by Paulo Herkenhoff, which investigated the idea of cultural cannibalism known in Brazilian literature as ...

Article

Venezuelan, 20th century, male.

Born 1935, in Santo Domingo.

Environmental artist, sculptor.

Domingo Alvarez was an architect and his sculptural work was limited to the creation of practical environments, a form of plastic expression that was characteristic of the 1960s and 1970s.

Article

Anne K. Swartz

(Francisca )

(b East Los Angeles, CA, Sept 20, 1946).

American muralist, activist and teacher. Born to Mexican–American parents, Baca is recognized as one of the leading muralists in the USA. She was involved from a young age in activism, including the Chicano Movement, the antiwar protest and Women’s Liberation. She studied art at California State University, Northridge, where she received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Baca started teaching art in 1970 in East Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and became interested in the ways murals could involve youth, allowing them to express their experiences. She founded the City of Los Angeles Mural Program in 1974, which evolved into the Social and Public Resource Center, a community arts organization, where she served as artistic director. She held five summer mural workshops from 1976 through 1983 for teenagers and community artists to help her paint a huge mural on the ethnic history of Los Angeles, called the ...

Article

Cecilia Suárez

(b Quito, Sept 8, 1939).

Ecuadorean painter, graphic designer, sculptor, installation artist, architect and teacher. He studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Bogotá, Colombia. He worked for the Graham Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC, and received a grant to attend the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, where he worked with György Kepes. Later he became a professor at the arts faculty of the Universidad Central, Quito. Bueno worked first in graphic design before going on to experiment with the incorporation of technology into art, using laser beams, mechanical pumps, plastic, glass and such elements as water, fire and air, for example in 49 Tubes, exhibited at the Bienal de Arte Coltejer in Medellín in 1972. He also combined visual art with music in such works as Flame Orchards, with music by Paul Earls, which won joint first prize with Kepes in the same exhibition. Exploration into ecological and environmental art led him to experiment with the idea of an aerial view of the urban landscape incorporating military camouflage sheets....

Article

Mexican, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA.

Born 19 August 1938, in Mexico City.

Sculptor, environmental artist, assemblage artist.

Robert Graham creates 'environments', assemblages which create a space in which figures that appear real are situated. Graham's interest in the revival of realism had repercussions for his work and his audience....

Article

Puerto Rican, 20th century, male.

Sculptor, draughtsman.

Land Art.

Jan Henle lives and works in Puerto Rico. He works on site, restoring the land to its virgin state, free from civilisation, then captures the landscape through photography. In 1966 the Wooster Gardens Gallery in New York held an exhibition of his work....

Article

Courtney Gerber

(b Greenville, MI, Aug 6, 1945).

American painter and installation artist. She studied first at the Memphis Academy of Art (1965), then at the University of the Americas, Mexico City (1966–7) and finally at the St Martin’s School of Art, London (1968–9). She had her first solo exhibition in 1977 at the Holly Solomon Gallery in New York. Jaudon completed numerous permanent public art commissions and her paintings are represented in collections throughout the USA and Europe. In the 1970s Jaudon was linked most closely to the pattern and decoration movement (P&D). Her participation in this movement demonstrated her engagement with issues that were also understood as being at the core of the contemporaneous feminist art movement: disrupting the modernist definition of fine art as non-decorative, strictly formal, and, generally, produced by white men from Western cultures. In the painting Bellefontaine (1976; see 1996 exh. cat., p. 52), Jaudon fused modernism’s geometric abstraction with the interlacing curves and angles found in Islamic or Celtic ornamentation from the Middle Ages. She consciously takes care that the Western idiom of abstract painting does not overpower the non-Western decorative motifs, so that they coexist in a cross-cultural, non-hierarchical collaboration....

Article

Aleca Le Blanc

(de Almeida)

(b Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, 1971).

Brazilian installation artist. Lucas studied at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), where she earned her BA (1993) and MFA (1999). She received her PhD in 2008 from the Escola de Comunicações e Artes at the Universidade de São Paulo (ECA-USP). Lucas’s projects confuse the distinction between public and private space, often questioning conventions associated with the display of art, including architecture, audience, and the permanence of the art object. In one of her best-known installations, Falha (2003), she covered the gallery floor with large panels of raw plywood connected with hinges. Viewers were encouraged to walk on top and pull open the large and unwieldy panels, propping them open at various angles to create new configurations. This installation refuted expectations that art works be made of refined materials and relegated to walls or pedestals. This mutable and temporary architecture inviting immersive participation bore a strong formal connection to Brazilian Neo-Concrete artist ...

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

Cuban, 20th century, female.

Active in the USA.

Born 1948, in Havana; died 1985, in New York.

Sculptor, installation artist, performance artist, video artist, photographer.

Land Art, Body Art.

Ana Mendieta's family left Cuba for political reasons. She studied in the USA at the University of Iowa and began as a painter before making a radical change of direction. Ana Mendieta died in mysterious circumstances. From ...

Article

Argentinian, 20th century, female.

Born 1943.

Sculptor, environmental artist, happenings artist. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art.

In 1965 in collaboration with Ruben Santanonin, Marta Minujin created La Menesunda (Confusion) at the Torcuato Di Tella institute in Buenos Aires. The institute was founded in 1958 as a private initiative and encourages the expression of avant-garde art in Argentina. Her piece was a kind of polymorphous interior environment offering the public visual and tactile sensations. It included a closed-circuit video, a mirror gallery, air-stream blown confetti and corridors with soft surfaces. In ...

Article

Brazilian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1964, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Sculptor, installation artist, environmental artist.

Ernesto Neto studied at the Pargua Lage Escolas de Artes Visuais in Rio de Janeiro. He lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. Neto is one of the best-known members of the new generation of Brazilian artists and is well known on the international scene. His sculpture reveals an indirect exploration of the body. He unfurls and stretches semi-abstract, semi-organic Baroque forms made of Lycra fabric and scented with spices. These engage both the sense of touch and of smell. As in ...

Article

Venezuelan, 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1950.

Born 5 June 1923, in Ciudad Bolivar; died 17 or 18 January 2005, in Paris.

Painter, sculptor, environmental artist.

Op Art, Kinetic Art.

Jesús Rafael Soto came from a poor family. He began painting cinema signs when he was 16, then a scholarship took him to Caracas art school ...