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Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Saïda, Algeria, 1953).

French painter, sculptor, photographer, film maker, writer and installation artist of Algerian birth. Born to Spanish parents, he was much affected by North African as well as Southern European culture. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre. Despite a pervasive and diverse use of media, Alberola often stressed the coexistence of his different artistic practices as leading to painting alone. His paintings relied heavily on evocative narratives, at once personal and ‘historical’. Alberola conceived of his role as a storyteller, on the model of African oral cultures. Convinced that narratives could not be renewed, he argued that a painter’s main task was to reactivate his work through contact with his pictorial heritage. The main points of reference for his paintings of the early 1980s were Velázquez, Manet or Matisse, whose works he quoted in a personal way. In the early 1980s he undertook a series of paintings inspired by mythological subjects, which he combined with his own history as the principal subject-matter of his work. The biblical story of Susannah and the Elders as well as the Greek myth of Actaeon provided his most enduring subjects, both referring to the act of looking as taboo, as in ...

Article

Chika Okeke-Agulu

(b Cairo, May 22, 1963).

American painter, sculptor, fibre and installation artist of Egyptian birth. Amer, one of the few young artists of African origin to gain prominence in the late 1990s international art scene, studied painting in France at the Villa Arson EPIAR, Nice (MFA, 1989), and the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Art Plastique, Paris (1991). She subsequently moved to New York. She is best known for her canvases in which paint and embroidery are combined to explore themes of love, desire, sexuality, and women’s identity in a patriarchal world. Amer’s use of Embroidery, historically regarded as a genteel female craft, to create images of women fulfilling their sexual desires without inhibition, recalls the provocations and strategies of 1970s Western feminist art. However, her work also reflects her alarm at the incremental curbing of women’s social and political freedoms in her native Egypt following the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, especially after the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser ended in ...

Article

Iranian, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA since 1960.

Born 1939, in Tehran.

Sculptor. Architectural installations.

New Image (related to).

Siah Armajani trained as an architect while studying the philosophy of mathematics. He moved to Minnesota.

Architecture constitutes his main source of inspiration and he has brought together all his works in a ...

Article

Israeli, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1953, in Tel Aviv.

Sculptor, draughtsman, mixed media.

Ilan Averbuch studied at Wimbledon Art School in London, at the School of Visual Arts in New York and at Hunter College.

In his choice of materials and structures, Averbuch’s body of work is akin to Land Art; he uses materials in their primal state - ­frequently stone but also wood and lead - in order to produce his ‘archaeologies’, compositions that often evoke ancient and sacred places but also create their own symbolic language. His fragmented, yet dynamic and monumental sculpture is laboriously constituted piece by piece, almost as if he were rebuilding after some cataclysmic event rather than starting from scratch....

Article

Lebanese, 20th century, male.

Born 12 July 1942, in Beirut.

Painter, sculptor, photographer, video artist.

Kinetic Art.

Roland Baladi permutated various techniques, notably drawings and photographs, to produce the Photograms he exhibited in Beirut in 1962. In 1971, Roland Baladi exhibited a piece entitled Cinetone...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 20 September 1941, in Tacoma (Washington).

Glassmaker, sculptor, installation artist.

Dale Chihuly studied at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he received a BA in 1965, the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1967, where he obtained an MS, and Rhode Island School of Design, where he obtained an MFA in ...

Article

Iranian, 20th century, female.

Active in France from 1975.

Born 1955, in Tehran; died 17 February 1996, in Paris.

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor, installation artist.

Neo-Conceptual Art.

Feyzdjou attended the national school of fine arts in Paris from 1975 onwards, at the same time as studying aesthetics at the Sorbonne....

Article

Michael Turner

(b Cluj, Romania, Jan 21, 1947).

Israeli conceptual sculptor. After studying at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem (1966–9) he completed his studies (1969–72) at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan. He returned to Israel in 1978, intent on cutting his connections with the Western mainstream to develop an artistic language based on a strong conceptual attitude and opposed to the then dominant trend towards figurative painting. This language was conceived as parallel to textual expressions being formulated at that time in Italy. The relationship between object and text subsequently became more intricate, with the object becoming a syntactical language transforming the text as an interpreter. Although having deliberate echoes of Russian Constructivist structures, Goldstein’s works are not characterized by a stylistic approach, but build on the exchange of conflicting and parallel ideas. In 1978 he began teaching at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. From this time he used metaphor in its most abstract sense, in order to propose that artists on the periphery, outside Europe and the USA, could give new forms to geographical, social and artistic works. Goldstein defined the three main categories of his work in the ...

Article

Palestinian, 20th–21st century, female.

Active in England since 1975.

Born 1952, in Beirut.

Sculptor, installation artist, photographer. Multimedia.

Mona Hatoum studied graphic design at Beirut University College before settling in London in 1975, during civil war in Lebanon. In London she studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art. In the 1980s she began making video and performance works incorporating themes of exile and the body, such as ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(Joseph)

(b Beirut, Feb 11, 1952).

Palestinian sculptor, performance and installation artist, active in England. Hatoum’s art, as the work of a Palestinian woman in an initially involuntary exile in London, transformed from confrontational performance in the 1980s to a more reflective engagement with a minimalist and conceptualist heritage in the 1990s. This engagement is exemplified by Socle du Monde (1992–3; wood, steel and iron filings, Toronto, A.G. Ont.), a large block covered with a deep patterned crust of magnetized iron filings, a sensuous and visceral remake of Piero Manzoni’s original Socle du Monde (1962; iron and brass, Herning, Kstmus.). The related themes of exile and institutionalized authority pervade Hatoum's oeuvre and find pithy exemplification in her submissions for the 1995 Turner Prize, Light Sentence (1992; Paris, Pompidou) and Corps étranger (1994; video installation; Paris, Pompidou). The latter showed colour video images of an endoscopic probe of the artist's own body, an earthy and disturbing critique of the dualisms of ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ that recasts the political criticisms of her earlier performance work. By working with a variety of media Hatoum criticizes the boundaries of traditional art practice and evokes the danger and threat of authoritarian politics; ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Shiraz, Jan 15, 1955).

Iranian sculptor and installation artist, active in England. She left Iran in 1973 and studied at the Chelsea School of Art, London (1976–9), then was a junior fellow at Cardiff College of Art (1979–80). Although she settled in London and was often bracketed with a group of young British sculptors, including Anish Kapoor and Richard Deacon, her work was distinguished by the interpretation of a Persian cultural background through Western sculptural language. Her early work consisted of allusive environments and biomorphic sculptural forms, demonstrating an attempt, echoed in later work, to embody spiritual concepts physically. As it developed, her work became more autonomous, austere and concerned with materials that could symbolize a spiritual transcendence of materiality (see figs 1 and 2; see image page for alternate views). The drawings Dancing around my Ghost (graphite and acrylic on paper, 7 parts, each 1.0×1.0 m, 1992–3...

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

Jean Robertson

(b Jerusalem, 1969).

Israeli sculptor and video, performance and installation artist. She studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, where she was awarded a BFA in 1994 and continued post-graduate studies in 1995. She spent a semester at the Cooper Union School of Art and Design, New York, as an exchange student in 1993. She moved to Tel Aviv in 1996. Landau represented Israel in 1997 at the Venice Biennale and participated in Documenta X that same summer. Since then she became internationally known for complex, ambitious installations that have included video projections, decaying materials such as rotting fruit and cotton candy, and sometimes life-size Ecorché (flayed) figures fashioned by the artist of Papier mâché with surfaces that look like bloody sinew. From 2005, Landau submerged various objects in the Dead Sea then dried them in the desert sun, the salt coating forming a crystallized surface; some are found objects, others are sculptural forms made of barbed wire. The salt-encrusted objects—including lampshade-like forms—became components of installations. She also made individual sculptures of bronze and other materials....

Article

Israeli, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France from 1975.

Born 1946, in Rehovat.

Sculptor, painter, lithographer, draughtsman, video artist, installation artist.

During the 1970s Micha Laury lived in a kibbutz in Israel and began to work as a self-taught artist. He moved to Tel Aviv in ...

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Active fromc.1980 active in France.

Born 1937, in Lauf.

Painter, sculptor, installation artist.

Nils-Udo travelled to Europe, the Middle East, Morocco and the USSR before settling in Paris. In 1986, he visited the Centre d'Art Contemporain de Vassivière in the Limosin. He has shown his works in various solo exhibitions, notably: ...

Article

Osman  

Turkish, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France since 1977.

Born 1948, in Bozkurt.

Sculptor, assemblage artist.

Osman taught fine arts in Turkey until 1977 and thereafter in France; he has taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Bourges since 1990. He started as a painter, but turned to sculpture on discovering the works of Beuys, Mario Merz and Penone. His pieces are made of iron or glass but he also uses grains and concrete to create mysterious, very pure elementary forms, suggesting echoes of some long-lost culture: they bring to mind the ancestral tools used by farmers and artisans in his native village in Turkey but also contain an elemental symbolism (fire, earth, water, pain and fertility). These works are given narrative titles: ...

Article

Susan Kart

Susan Kart

Term that emerged in Francophone Africa in the early 1990s to define a series of contemporary art, artisanal, and craft practices in which artists laid claim to abandoned spaces and/or abandoned (found object) materials. Récupération does not translate well into English, but in a fine art context can loosely be explained as the retooling of materials and spaces from the natural and man-made environments to produce new objects and installations with cultural, political, and aesthetic implications.

One of the first documentarians of the movement was art historian Abdou Sylla. He positioned Senegalese artists who were practicing récupération (which he called ‘assemblage’ and ‘installation’) in opposition to the recycling operations by those he called ‘baay jagal’, a Wolof term for a person who collects trash to re-use or sell. Sylla’s distinction was necessary in order to situate the found object works of récupération artists in Africa against the craft practices of making shoes out of car tires, or toys out of soft-drink cans and electrical wire....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1932, in Cairo.

Painter, collage artist, sculptor, potter.

Saleh Réda studied at the school of applied arts in Cairo, from which he graduated with a diploma in 1957, and then at the school of fine arts. He went to Czechoslovakia to study sculpture and ceramics, and obtained a doctorate in Great Britain. He has participated in collective exhibitions, such as the Biennial in Alexandria, the Biennale for engraving in Italy, the Venice Biennale, and ...

Article

Turkish, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in France.

Born 1953, in Istanbul.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtswoman, sculptor, mixed media, performance artist.

Art Brut.

Art-Cloche Group.

Saban studied restoration in Istanbul, sculpture in Tel Aviv and painting in Haifa, and from 1977 to 1980 at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She was a member of the ...

Article

Lebanese, 20th century, female.

Born 1936, in Beirut.

Painter, watercolourist, mixed media, sculptor.

Nadia Saikali trained at the Lebanese Aca­demy of Fine Arts, where she taught during the 1960s, and at the École des Beaux-Arts, in Paris, where she studied engraving under Henri Goetz at the Académie de la Grande-Chaumière. She also taught at the Fine Arts Institute of Beirut University. In ...