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Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 24 January 1940, in New York.

Painter, sculptor, performance artist, video artist. Multimedia.

Body Art, Conceptual Art.

Vito Acconci was born in the Bronx, New York and lives and works in Brooklyn. He studied at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts and at the University of Iowa. He has taught in various art schools and universities and in particular at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University and the Parsons School of Design in New York....

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1966, in Marseilles.

Installation artist, sculptor, action artist, photographer.

Conceptual Art.

Boris Achour, who was a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, received a three-month extra-mural bursary from the Villa Médicis that he spent in Los Angeles in ...

Article

Dutch, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA from 1963.

Born 1942, in Winschoten; died 1975, while crossing the Atlantic.

Performance artist, happenings artist, installation artist, photographer.

Conceptual Art.

Bas Jan Ader settled in the USA when he was 21 years old, and studied art and philosophy at the University of California in Irvine, where he would later teach. After ...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 1926, in Milan; died 1981.

Collage artist, mixed media. Artists' books.

Arte Povera, Conceptual Art.

Vicenzo Agnetti's work has appeared in numerous group exhibitions of international contemporary art, including Documenta 5 in Kassel, Germany (1972) and Biennale in Venice (...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1945, in Bordeaux; died 1980, in Barbézieux (Charente).

Assemblage artist.

Conceptual Art, Art Sociologique (Sociological Art).

Thierry Agullo showed a 'collection' of horseshoes collected from around the world in 1973 in Paris, each presented with its own references. In 1974...

Article

Finnish, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in Helsinki.

Born 1959, in Hämeenlinna.

Video installation artist, film producer, photographer, performance artist.

Conceptual Art.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila was a student at the university of Helsinki from 1980 to 1985 and studied film and video at the London College of Painting. In ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 4 August 1948, in Paris.

Installation artist.

Conceptual Art, Arte Povera.

Bernard Amiard's work can be compared to that of Arte Povera. He combines substances, texture and image. He mostly uses neon as a graphic medium. He leans towards a redefinition of objects as brute materials and their reciprocating relationships....

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Active in Turin.

Born 1934, in Borgofranco d'Ivrea.

Installation artist.

Conceptual Art, Arte Povera.

Giovanni Anselmo is one of the exponents of Arte Povera (It. 'poor art'), the singular movement that was expressed in many physical forms. It was founded in Italy and remained Italian in character, despite obviously influencing conceptual artists in other countries. Arte Povera falls within the vast movement of conceptual art that swept over the art scene in the 1960s, historically a time of social, political and ethical protest. Arte Povera challenged art itself above all else. A Zen influence, conscious or subconscious depending on the work, is also discernible in the invitation to contemplate a pile of pebbles presented as a work or a non-work of art, or any other object that the eyes and the mind regularly take for granted.The term Arte Povera was coined by Germano Celant (the movement's main instigator and historian) in ...

Article

Wystan Curnow

[Bates, Barrie]

(b Auckland, Jan 1, 1935).

New Zealand sculptor and conceptual artist. He studied at the Royal College of Art in London in the early 1960s and first showed his work alongside that of fellow students such as David Hockney and Derek Boshier, helping to mark the emergence of British Pop art. The pseudonym that he adopted in 1962 reflected his obsession with different ways of representing fruit. On moving in 1964 to New York he began to produce neon versions of popular icons. In 1970 he established Apple as one of New York’s first artist-run ‘alternative’ art spaces.

The conceptual element in Apple’s early Pop work became dominant in the late 1960s and 1970s. From 1975 to 1980 he concentrated on the deconstruction of the ‘white cube’ gallery exhibition space, proposing alterations to or actually changing existing interiors, notably at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York (1977, 1978, 1980) and at a number of public galleries in New Zealand (...

Article

Pakistani, 20th century, male.

Active in Britain.

Born 1935, in Karachi.

Installation artist, painter, sculptor.

Conceptual Art.

Araeen initially studied to be a civil engineer. He has exhibited in Karachi, New York and in a number of British cities. His work often addresses issues facing ethnic groups in Britain. He is also a writer and editor and founded the ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Karachi, 1935).

Pakistani conceptual artist, sculptor, painter, writer and curator, active in England. He graduated in civil engineering from the University of Karachi in 1962 and moved to London in 1964. He began working as an artist without any formal training, producing sculptures influenced by Minimalism and by his engineering experience; the four-part Boo (1969; Liverpool, Walker A. G.), with its cage-like compartments, recalls in particular the work of Sol LeWitt. In 1972, appalled by the institutionalized racism that he found to be endemic in Britain, he became interested in radical politics and joined the Black Panther movement. Six years later he founded and began editing the journal Black Phoenix, which, in 1989, was transformed into Third Text, one of the most important journals dealing with art, the third world, post-colonialism and ethnicity. He continued to contribute to and edit Third Text, and was one of the pivotal figures in establishing a black voice in the British arts through his activities as a publisher, writer and artist. His performance ...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Painters, installation artists.

Conceptual Art.

The term Art & Language was coined in England in 1968 by Terry Atkinson, David Bainbridge, Michael Baldwin and Harold Hurrell, who had already collaborated on various projects. In 1971, Ian Burn and Mel Ramsden joined this group of conceptual artists, along with Philip Pilkington, David Rushton and Charles Harrison. In May ...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 1939, in Barnsley (Yorkshire).

Painter, assemblage artist, mixed media.

Conceptual Art.

Art & Language group.

Terry Atkinson was born in Thurnscoe, Yorkshire in 1939. He studied at Barnsley Art School from 1959 to 1964 and then completed a degree at the Slade School of Art. He taught at the Art Colleges in Birmingham and then Coventry. He is currently a tutor at the school of fine art at the University of Leeds, and much of his own work is made in the studio provided at Leeds....

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 1941, in Barnsley (Yorkshire).

Painter, assemblage artist, mixed media.

Conceptual Art.

Art & Language group.

David Bainbridge prefers analysing the mechanisms of artistic expression rather than the realisation of art itself. From 1970, he exhibited with the Art & Language...

Article

Dutch, 20th century, male.

Born 1943, in Heemstede.

Mixed media.

Conceptual Art.

Douwe Jan Bakker has been represented in collective exhibitions since 1967, especially in Holland. He also featured at the 8th Biennale des Jeunes Artistes in Paris in 1973, and Minimalism and After, DaimlerChrysler Contemporary, Berlin. Among his solo shows were Haarlem, ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 17 June 1931, in National City (California).

Painter, video artist, photographer. Artist’s books.

Conceptual Art.

John Baldessari lives and works in Santa Monica, California. At the end of the 1950s, he decided to abandon painting and burned his pictures. He has stated that he profoundly disagreed with art in general, and therefore decided to give people what they understood best: written language and photography....

Article

Elisabeth Roark

(b National City, CA, July 17, 1931).

American conceptual artist . After studying art at San Diego State College (1949–53) and the Otis Art Institute (1957–9), among other institutions, he began to develop his painting style, soon incorporating letters, words, and photographs in his works. By 1966 he was using photographs and text, or simply hand-lettered text, on canvas as in Semi-close-up of Girl by Geranium … (1966–8; Basle, Kstmus.). From 1970 he worked in printmaking, film, video, installation, sculpture, and photography. His work is characterized by a consciousness of language evident in his use of puns, semantics based on the structuralism of Claude Lévi-Strauss, and the incorporation of material drawn from popular culture. All are apparent in Blasted Allegories (1978; New York, Sonnabend Gal.), a series combining Polaroids of television images captioned and arranged to suggest an unusual syntax. Baldessari differed from other conceptual artists in his humour and commitment to visual images, often obscured by flat, brightly coloured geometric and organic shapes including round forms that he likened to bullet holes. Baldessari dramatized the ordinary, although beneath the apparent simplicity of his words and images lie multiple connotations....

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Merseyside, June 23, 1966).

English sculptor and conceptual artist. She studied at Kingston Polytechnic, Surrey (1986–9), and at Goldsmiths’ College of Art in London (1992–3). She had her first solo exhibition at City Racing, London, in 1994, and in the following year was included in General Release: Young British Artists at the XLVI Venice Biennale. Banner came to prominence with her ‘wordscapes’, large text works that recount the plots of feature films or other events. The first of these was Top Gun (pencil on paper, 2.13×4.57 m, 1993), a hand-written account of the film Top Gun presented on a cinematic scale. The ‘wordscapes’ led to the publication in 1997 of The Nam, 1000 pages of continuous text describing the Vietnam war movies Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Hamburger Hill and The Deer Hunter. This unreadable text points to the excess of violence in such films, the numbing of critical faculties, as well as the mythologizing and fictionalizing framing devices used to interpret historical events. Towards the end of the 1990s she became interested in the implications of punctuation signs, dwelling on their qualities as abstract marks that give structure to text. By selecting a variety of fonts, enlarging the full stop signs to ...

Article

Brazilian, 20th century, male.

Installation artist.

Conceptual Art.

Barrio participated in the debate on Neo-Constructivism that took place during the 1960s in Brazil. He has favoured poetic elements since then. He has taken part in collective exhibitions, such as the São Paulo Biennale in 1996...

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Cartagena, Oct 27, 1945).

Colombian painter, sculptor and conceptual artist. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes of the University of Atlántico in Barranquilla, Colombia, from 1958 to 1960, and in Italy from 1966 to 1967 at the University of Perugia. In 1966, under the influence of Pop art, he made the first of a series of collages combining cut-outs of well-known individuals and comic strips with drawn elements. Two years later he added frosty effects and velvet flowers to his interpretations in black and red ink of figures with distorted bodies and the faces of film stars. In 1969 he began to present these in increasingly three-dimensional boxes or glass cases, accompanied by clouds of cotton wool, plastic figures and other additions that combined to make up fantastic or nostalgic scenes, dream-like and surrealist in appearance and tone.

Barrios was among those who introduced conceptual art to Colombia, for example by publishing in newspapers a series of ...