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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

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

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

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

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; ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1946, in Cleveland (Ohio).

Performance artist, installation artist.

Conceptual Art.

During the 1970s Howard Fried taught at the Sculpture Department of the San Francisco Art Institute where he helped to establish the pioneering New Genres Department.

Fried was instrumental in the development of West Coast Conceptualism. Unlike the very cerebral and intellectual strain of Conceptual art being pioneered in New York and Europe, Californian artists such as Tom Marioni and Paul Kos adopted a more playful tone in their analysis of art-making processes. In his installation, video and performance works, Fried attempted to give form to the psychological dilemma between approach and avoidance that faces the artist before embarking on the creation of an artwork. In ...

Article

Native American (Tlingit and Aleut), 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1979, in Sitka (Alaska).

Conceptual artist, performance artist, musician. Installation, video, mixed media.

Nicholas Galanin is a Tlingit and Aleut artist. He received a BA in jewellery design at London Guildhall University (2003), and a MA in Indigenous Visual Arts at Massey University (...

Article

Canadian, 20th century, group.

Installation artists, photographers, performance artists. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art.

General Idea was a group formed in 1968 by three artists with fictitious identities: AA Bronson, born Michael Tims in Vancouver in 1946; Felix Partz, born Ron Gabe in Winnipeg in 1945; and Jorge Zontal, born Jorge Saia in Parma in ...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Gilbert born in 1943 in the Dolomites, George born in 1942 in Totnes (Devon).

Installation artists, performance artists, sculptors, photographers, film producers. Videos, multimedia.

Conceptual Art, Body Art.

Gilbert studied at the Hallein Art School and the Munich academy of art. George studied at Dartington Hall College of Arts and in Oxford. They continued their studies at St Martins School of Art in London, where they met in 1967 and decided to work as a pair in 1969. They won the Tate Gallery's Turner Prize in 1986. Calling into question the traditional idea of sculpture as taught by Caro, in 1969 these two artists declared themselves to be ...