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Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 19 February 1946, in Washington DC.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, engraver, photographer, video artist, glassmaker, decorative designer. Theatre design.

AfriCobra Group.

Akili Ron Anderson attended the Corcoran School of Art and Howard University in Washington DC where he lives and works. He is a member of AfriCobra (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) founded in ...

Article

Armenian, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 23 May 1938, in Kharkiv, Ukraine; died 12 November 2009, in New York City.

Vagrich Bakhchanyan studied with avant-garde painter and designer Vasily Ermilov (1894–1967) at the Kharkov Studio for Decorative Art in the late 1950s. In 1967...

Article

Yugoslav, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 7 October 1951, in Belgrade (now in Serbia).

Draughtsman, newspaper cartoonist, painter, designer, film producer. Comic strips, posters, stage costumes and sets.

Enki Bilal was the son of General Tito's former tailor. He arrived in Paris with his family in ...

Article

German, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1950.

Painter, lithographer, performance artist, photographer. Artists' books.

Fluxus.

Wolf Adam Bottinelli trained at the art academy in Kassel. He appears to have a very free idea of the act of creation, which has brought him close to the ...

Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Japan and the USA.

Born 8 December 1957, in Quanzhou City (Fujian Province).

Painter, draughtsman, mixed media, video artist, installation artist, performance artist.

Cai Guo-Qiang trained in stage design at the Shanghai drama institute from 1981 to 1985...

Article

Isobel Whitelegg

(b La Vega, Mantanzas, 1959).

Cuban painter, photographer, installation and performance artist, active also in the USA. Campos-Pons studied at the Higher Institute of Art, Havana (1980–85). Initially a painter, her graduation show Acoplamientos (1985; Havana, HIA) was concerned with representations of the female body as a device for prohibition and control, and her early work focused on the role of women in society and their representation within the history of art. In 1988 she went to the USA as a visiting artist at the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, and in 1991 she settled permanently in Boston. Using shaped canvases, her first works displayed an interest in the interrelationship between painting and three-dimensional media. While living in the USA she also expanded her interest in sculpture and installation to include elements of video and performance.

Living abroad also brought her relationship to Cuba into sharper relief; work produced in the early 1990s addressed her own displacement in relation to the enforced migration of her ancestors as slaves, and the way in which an imagined Africa is collectively created in contemporary Cuba by story-telling, the cultivation of traditional medicinal plants and the practice of the Afro-Caribbean Santería religion. Using performance and video as a form of self-portraiture, another aspect of her practice focuses on her attempt to build a coherent identity as an Afro-Cuban woman living in the USA. With the aim of achieving simultaneity between performance and its immediate capture in the production of an unalterable image, her self-portraits employ large-format colour Polaroid photography, as in the diptych ...

Article

Belgian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 14 December 1958, in Antwerp.

Draughtsman, watercolourist, installation artist, performance artist, director, scenographer, film writer.

Jan Fabre attended the art academy and the arts and crafts institute in Antwerp. He is a visual artist, but also a choreographer, dancer and playwright (his first play was written in ...

Article

Swiss, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active since 1985 active in Paris, since 1998 in Berlin.

Born 1959, in Evilard.

Painter, installation artist, video artist, performance artist.

Neo-Conceptual Art.

Favre settled in Paris in 1985, then in Berlin in 1998. Her work, which draws on different sources, is eclectic and even seems contradictory. She divides her time between performance, sound, video, theatre, writing and painting. Generally, she produces work in series revolving around a chosen object, such as a chair, a pillow or a cupboard. Using a single colour, white, she then invites us to reflect....

Article

Amanda du Preez

Term used to indicate the complex visual matrix incorporating the one who looks as well as the one who is looked at. This means the one who imposes the gaze and the one who is the object of the gaze are both implicated in the construction of the gaze. The concept was addressed initially by Sigmund Freud’s concept of scopophilia (‘pleasure in looking’ or voyeurism) and later in Jacques Lacan’s formulation of the mirror stage and its role in identity formation. Lacan formulated the complex role of the gaze in constructing the relation between interior self and exterior world as two kinds of subjects—not only as a powerful subject gazing at the world but also as a lacking, objectified subject encountering the gaze outside himself. For the most part the link between the gaze and power is entrenched in theories on the gaze, since the directed gaze of the powerful subject has the ability to subjugate and even petrify its objects as exemplified in the terrifying gaze of Medusa in Greek mythology. The construction of the gaze happens within an asymmetry of power. In recent times, the gaze has become a trope within visual culture for the critical analysis of several entwined ideas concerning class, race, ethnography, sex, gender, religion, embodiment, ideology, power, and visuality. In this article the powerful directed gaze is analysed through the categories of the clinical gaze, colonial gaze, touristic gaze, and the male gaze. Finally, theorizing possibilities of going beyond the gaze are considered....

Article

Latvian, 20th century, male.

Born 24 October 1962, in Riga, Latvian SSR (now Latvia).

Painter, graphic artist, multimedia artist. Allegorical subjects, abstraction and portraiture. Sculptural objects, conceptual installations.

Of the generation that came of age during Latvia’s transition from Soviet occupation to political independence, Kristaps Ģelzis distinguished himself as the most cerebral of that nation’s artists while, paradoxically, anchoring his work in intrinsic properties of base materials, the timelessness of simple forms, and labour-intensive craft. The son and younger brother of renowned architects, Ģelzis resolved to pursue another creative vocation, first studying violin while attending Riga’s 50th Secondary School, then taking preparatory classes for the Latvian Art Academy in lieu of attending the art high school. As a student in the academy’s department of graphic art ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1947, in Amiens.

Painter, sculptor, collage artist, installation artist, film producer, performance artist. Multimedia.

Joël Hubaut lives in Réville and teaches at the École des Beaux-Arts in Caen. A multimedia designer whose work is a kind of semiotic restless wandering, Hubaut makes references to artists such as Giotto, Duchamp, Pissarro and Beuys as well as writers such as Raymond Roussel, Lewis Carroll or Jules Verne, by weaving slogans, inscriptions and quotations into his sculptures and assemblages. For Pierre Restany, by mixing an all-consuming enthusiasm with a scattered and varied number of signs, word play, images and sound components, Hubaut's works are a critique of a kind of 'information pollution'....

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

Sook-Kyung Lee

One of the characteristics of Korean contemporary art is a continuous effort in employing and interpreting international art practices and discourses. Art movements from Europe and North America in particular, including Abstract Expressionism, Art informel, Minimalism, Conceptual art and Post-modernism, have influenced many Korean artists’ styles and ideas since the 1950s, providing formal and conceptual grounds for critical understandings and further experiments. Whilst some artists who maintained traditional art forms such as ink painting and calligraphy exercised modernist styles and abstract forms largely within the norms and conventions of traditional genres, a large group of artists proactively adapted to Western styles, employing new materials and techniques as well as the notions of avant-garde and experimentalism (see fig.).

A major critique of the reception of Western art and aesthetics came from ‘Minjung art’ (People’s Art) in the 1980s as part of instigating a nationalist and politically charged art strategy. Several art historians and critics who emerged in the 1990s also expanded the scope of the debate with postcolonial and pluralist points of view. The shift in social, economic and political environments played an important role in changing sensibilities in art, along with the advances of technology and new media in the 2000s. The high degree of diversity and sophistication of Korean art in terms of media and subject matters became widely acknowledged within and outside the nation, and an increasing number of artists started to work on the cutting edge of international art....

Article

Austrian, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in Rotterdam and Vienna.

Born 1970, in Vienna.

Painter, draughtswoman, engraver, video artist, performance artist, installation artist, photographer, mixed media. Artists' books.

Elke Krystufek paints her own body, produces self-portraits and writes her thoughts across her works; a woman's life constantly historiated and revisited. Her work is a feminist claim that also illustrates the increasingly artificial boundary between private and public life today and the logical consequences of this: the representation of our emotions, 'déjà-vu' replacing the true 'ego' that the artist is actually trying to reach. Though she accepts an affinity with the Expressionist Egon Schiele, she does not recognise any association with Viennese Actionism. Among her performances, mention may be made of the following: ...

Article

Russian, 21st century, male.

Born 1979 in Moscow, Russia (then Soviet Union).

Andrei Kuzkin is a Moscow-based artist, who is best known for his intensely physical performances. He is also a prolific sculptor, painter, and draughtsman, whose works meditate on the primal and debase in humankind and nature. Kuzkin graduated with a degree in graphic arts from Moscow State University of Printing Arts in ...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b San Francisco, CA, Oct 5, 1937).

Native American (Maidu–Wintu) painter, printmaker, photographer, writer, educator, traditional dancer and poet. LaPena, also known as Tauhindauli, spent time with the Nomtipom Wintu and other regional neighboring elders to conserve and regain traditional cultural practices. He was taught traditional tribal songs, dances and ceremonial rituals of Northern California Native American culture that inspired his interest in reviving and preserving Northern California tribal culture and accompanying performance arts. His work, along with Frank Day (1902–76), a late Maidu elder and painter, aided the founding of the Maidu Dancers and Traditionalists, a group dedicated to carrying out traditional cultural forms and social practices. Earning his bachelor’s degree from California State University (CSU), Chico (1965), and an Anthropology Masters of Arts degree from CSU, Sacramento (1978), he taught for the next 30 years in the CSU, Sacramento American Indian Studies program.

For LaPena, his art was a spiritual act, which empowers the maker with an opportunity to achieve a stronger sense of understanding life. Inspired by prehistoric rock painting, some painted images are depicted in total abstraction, while others illustrate a narrative theme. His strong consciousness of his Californian Native American heritage is distinctive and many themes in his compositions provide a powerful commentary in their depiction of the struggles of Northern California Native Americans; “To let the world know what happened in California, and to the indigenous populations points out that survival issues are still of great concern.” His paintings and prints reached a popular acceptance. LaPena exhibited throughout the United States and internationally at the Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe, NM, the Chicago Art Institute, the San Francisco Museum, the Linder Museum, Stuttgart, the American Arts Gallery, New York, the George G. Heye Center of the Smithsonian, New York, and numerous galleries. In ...

Article

Spanish, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 12 May 1955, in Malaga.

Painter, draughtsman. Portraits.

Julián Lorca, the godson of the French actress Arletty, is also a photographer, writer, composer and performer. He originally signed his work with his real surname, Álvarez. He held a solo exhibition at the Musée Horta in Brussels in ...

Article

Italian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1958, in Naples.

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor, installation artist, mixed media, performance artist, video artist. Multimedia.

Neo-Conceptual Art.

Lucariello lives and works in Paris. Using several different modes of expression (painting, sculpture, photography, videos), he has produced a varied oeuvre that delights in evoking triviality. He works via association of ideas, notably in the series where he associates landscapes and the artist photographed mid-laughter, scratching his buttocks....

Article

Canadian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1956, in Vancouver.

Painter, performance artist, installation artist, photographer. Artists' books.

Conceptual Art.

Ken Lum graduated from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, where he began teaching in 1990. He was a visiting professor in the late 1990s in institutions in Paris, Munich and China. He was awarded a Killam Award for Outstanding Research in ...

Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Beijing.

Born 1969, in Huangshi (Hubei Province), China.

Painter, photographer, performance artist.

Ma Liuming graduated from the Department of Oil Painting at the Hubei Academy of Fine Arts in Wuhan in 1991. Ma is best known as a member of the Beijing East Village collective, which worked on the outskirts of Beijing in the early 1990s. A pioneer of performance art in China, Ma focused his practice on issues of gender and sexuality through the use of his own body. During his time in the East Village, Ma developed a feminine alter ego, Fen-Ma Liuming. His performances primarily focused on domestic activities and often featured the act of cooking, such as in ...