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Article

Yugoslav, 20th–21st century, female.

Active in the Netherlands.

Born 30 November 1946, in Belgrade (now in Serbia).

Performance artist. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art, Body Art.

Marina Abramovic studied at the fine arts academy in Belgrade from 1965 to 1970 and began executing her first performance pieces, films and videos between ...

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

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

Mexican, 20th century, male.

Born 1936, in Mexico.

Artist. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art.

Alcaraz-Laus was noticed at the Biennale des Jeunes in Paris in 1971. Under the title Double 1, he presented an encounter between a dancer and that dancer's image, a conceptual production revolving around the theme of the body and its representation, one that was in favour at that time....

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Born 1921, in Krefeld; died 23 January 1986, in Düsseldorf.

Performance artist, installation artist, assemblage artist, engraver.

Neo-Dadaism, Fluxus, Conceptual Art.

Joseph Beuys spent his youth in Cleves. Relatively little is known about his early years, but he is thought to have begun studying natural sciences when he was mobilised in 1941 as a bomber pilot in the Luftwaffe. In winter 1943, his plane was shot down over the Russian steppes near Sevastopol. According to Beuys, some Tatars found him buried in the cabin wreckage and just managed to save his life by smearing the wounds of his half-frozen body with animal fat and wrapping him in felt. There is some doubt as to the truth of parts of this story, but certainly the metaphorical power of the fat and felt became a recurring theme throughout the rest of his career....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1945, in Paris.

Painter, installation artist, intervention artist, performance artist, photographer. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art, Land Art, Body Art.

The beginnings of Borgeaud's work, as it was to develop subsequently, can be dated from 1969, the year of the exhibition event ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1932, in Detroit; died May 1997, in Cairo.

Installation artist, performance artist, sculptor, draughtsman.

Conceptual Art.

Using a variety of different forms of expression, including installations, writing, performance, photographs and sculpture, James Lee Byars has created a highly personal collection of work. In the 1950s he focused on comparing oriental civilisation and western mystical thought, notably with folding sculptures which he unfolded in public. He went on to subvert objects by creating them in precious or unusual materials such as gold leaf or marble. He made several visits to Japan from ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA from 1967.

Born 1934, in Oran, Algeria; died 1983.

Draughtsman, mixed media, performance artist. Artists' books.

Conceptual Art.

In 1967, Guy de Cointet left for the USA, where he worked as an assistant to Larry Bell in New York, before moving to Los Angeles. His work and his philosophy, derived from Structuralism, are connected to word-making signs, in experiments in books evolving towards images. The inventor of a new language, Guy de Cointet's artistic books and graphic works are close to concrete poetry: ...

Article

Yugoslav, 20th century, male.

Active in Italy.

Born 1936, in Mostar (now in Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Painter, performance artist. Landscapes, urban landscapes.

Minimal Art, Conceptual Art.

Damnjanovic Damnjan graduated from the academy of fine arts in Belgrade in 1957.

Between 1959 and 1965, he painted fantastical landscapes and still-lifes. His landscapes are dominated by a vast, low sky, below which stretches a sandy coastline with fragments of flooring with diagrams, signals and symbols. His still-lifes of imaginary or useless objects are painted in a palette of violently contrasting tones. Damjanovic's work is distinguished by its unique mixture of the abstract and the dreamlike. From ...

Article

Matthew Gale

(b Ancona, 1947).

Italian conceptual and performance artist. At 17 he mounted his own exhibition (1964; Ancona, Gal. D.D.), before moving to Rome where he was influenced by Arte Povera. His one-man show (1969; Rome, Gal. Attico), for which he published an obituary announcing his death, included traces of ‘invisible objects’: a square outlined on the floor constituted Invisible Pyramid. Such dematerialization was associated with mortality, with which de Domenicis was primarily concerned, investigated through autobiography and self-portraiture, as well as through juxtapositions of Urvasi, the Hindu goddess of beauty, and the partially divine Ghilgamesh, who sought immortality in vain. Invisibility became a paradoxical and primary conceptual means: D’io (‘of me’/‘God’, 1971) filled the Galleria L’Attico with a recording of laughter. Having included live animals in his Zodiac exhibition (1970; Rome, Gal. Attico), de Domenicis increasingly used people to embody such concepts as ageing (e.g. the opposition of a young and an old man at Incontri Internazionale d’Arte, Rome, ...

Article

German, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active since 1973 active in France.

Born 1954, in Biberach.

Painter (mixed media). Stage costumes.

Conceptual Art.

From 1968, Domenika corresponded at length with the German sculptor Josef Beuys. In 1975 she met Rüdiger. She has exhibited in 1974, in Milan; ...

Article

Swiss, 20th century, male.

Born 1940, in Geneva.

Intervention artist, mixed media.

Conceptual Art.

Gérard Ducimetierre stages interventions and events, making observations on what he calls the planetary environment. He will launch an event simultaneously in different places around the world; these are ephemeral moments with no real importance, intended as an examination of the behaviour of a neutral object (such as a piece of paper) which is discarded at the same time in several towns around the globe. Alternatively, he will look at an object from a different angle, for example by planting a tree upside down....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1925, in Moulins (Allier).

Painter, draughtsman, performance artist, installation artist.

Conceptual Art.

Jean Dupuy studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Early in his career, he practised a gestural style of painting. After he visited New York his activity developed towards technological art and particularly the study (in the spirit of Fluxus) of the relationships between the organism and the laws of physics. For example, he would use sophisticated material to express an extremely simple proposition: listening to his heartbeat, seeing the inside of his ear, building a sculpture out of dust, hearing the 'sounds of silence' of a blank record, and so on....

Article

Annamaria Szőke

(b Budapest, July 4, 1928; d Budapest, May 22, 1986).

Hungarian architect, sculptor, conceptual and performance artist, teacher, theorist and film maker. He came from a Jewish–Christian family, many of whom were killed during World War II. In 1947 he began training as a sculptor at the College of Fine Arts in Budapest, but he left and continued his studies in the studio of Dezső Birman Bokros (1889–1965), before training as an architect from 1947 to 1951 at the Technical University in Budapest. During the 1950s and early 1960s he worked as an architect and began experimenting with painting and graphic art, as well as writing poems and short stories. During this period he became acquainted with such artists as Dezső Korniss, László Latner and, most importantly, Béla Kondor and Sándor Altorjai (1933–79), with whom he began a lifelong friendship. In 1959 and 1963 he also enrolled at the Budapest College of Theatre and Film Arts but was advised to leave both times....

Article

Czechoslovak, 20th century, male.

Born 15 July 1937, in Velké-Hradné.

Assemblage artist, environmental artist, happenings artist.

Conceptual Art.

Stano Filko studied at the higher college of fine art in Bratislava. He began exhibiting in his country, Italy and France.

Filko attracted attention with complex assemblages of religious images and erotic photographs ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Active also active in Germany.

Born 1926, in Sauve; died 2 December 1987, in Les Eyzies (Dordogne).

Installation artist, performance artist, video artist. Multimedia.

Neo-Dadaism, Fluxus, Conceptual Art, Mail Art (forerunner).

The French artist Robert Filliou was closely associated with the Fluxus group, his career embracing French, German and American developments. Having moved to the USA in ...

Article

Vanina Costa

(b Sauve, Gard, Jan 17, 1926; d les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, nr Périgueux, Dec 2, 1987).

French performance artist, conceptual artist and writer. He studied economics and science at the University of California at Los Angeles from 1948 to 1951, but he was self-taught as an artist. Having first worked as a playwright during the second half of the 1950s, in 1960 he presented the first of his performances incorporating poetry. By 1962 he was involved with the Fluxus movement; sharing his fellow artists’ distaste for marketable art objects, he not only continued to create performances and other ephemeral works but also involved himself in conceptual gestures such as the foundation of a ‘République Géniale’. He made films and videos, sent enigmatic objects through the post as a form of correspondence art and worked against traditional ideas about the individuality of the artist by working collaboratively with others: in 1964 he and Joachim Pfeufer created the Poïpoïdrome, a group researching ‘permanent creation’ and the ‘principle of equivalence’, and in ...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 10 April 1944, in Duffel.

Installation artist, performance artist, painter, draughtsman.

Conceptual Art.

Filip Francis initially used traditional graphic schemes, but then saw that film and video were better suited to his performances. As his methods of experimentation are different in every case, they can only be interpreted during the course of his personal journey; Francis himself considers that they constitute his diary. His fundamental aim is to highlight the concept of space-time. According to some commentators, his performances contain a certain humour: for example, either during live action, or recalled through film or video, he wrote the same number, the same word or the same insult in different languages, over a predetermined space of time; ...