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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

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

Manuel Cirauqui

(b Mexico City, 1981).

Mexican conceptual artist. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Bonillas started his career before, and instead of, undertaking an official fine arts education. Widely and internationally exhibited before he reached age 20, his work began with highly analytical studies of ordinary photographic procedures such as printing (in his foundational piece, Trabajos fotográficos, 1998) or pressing the shutter (Diez cámaras documentadas acústicamente, 1998).

Bonillas’s work investigates the materiality and semiotic depth of the photographic medium in a somewhat topographic manner: starting, and never ending, in a periphery that stands ambiguously as both the material margins of photography as well as its self-reflective dimension. However, the “peripheral” nature of Bonillas’s inquiry quickly reveals itself as a strategy to address core aspects of a medium whose substance lies, precisely, on its surface. As the artist exerts infinite variations on generic aspects of the photographic practice, alternately related to structure and meaning (primary colors, family photographs, erasures, captioning, fiction, archival habits, etc.), he delivers a paradox with each of his works. In them, background becomes foreground, face becomes pigment, anecdote becomes the main theme, stain becomes signature, and vice versa....

Article

Belgian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1946, in Kapellen.

Painter, draughtsman, photographer, video artist.

Conceptual Art.

Bruyninckx trained at the Institut de St Luc in Brussels. He takes basic elements from nature, a blade of grass, for example, and produces multiple representations in drawings, paintings, photographs, video and other media....

Article

Hilary Gresty

(b Sheffield, July 24, 1941).

English conceptual artist, writer and photographer. He studied painting at the Royal College of Art from 1962 to 1965 and philosophy and fine art at Yale University from 1965 to 1967. From the late 1960s he adhered to Conceptual art using combinations of photographic images and printed texts to examine the relationship between apparent and implicit meaning. In his ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1953 , in Paris.

Installation artist, photographer, film producer. Artists’ books.

Conceptual Art, Art Narratif.

Starting from a narrative framework, Sophie Calle creates installations, books, films, and even CDs, illustrating an autobiographical experience or exploring the limits between private and public space. Texts accompany the photographs as part of the exhibit on the wall. Artists’ books she has published include: ...

Article

Marta Zarzycka

(b Paris, Oct 9, 1953).

French photographer, writer, and conceptual artist. Calle’s work engages with absence of others, either loved ones or strangers. Her frequent use of street photography, scene-of-the-crime photography, surveillance cameras, and archival photography lend a documentary character to her work. The stories she tells in that documentary mode, however, are often mysterious and their relationship to reality remains uncertain.

In her art, Calle often acts as the pursuer or voyeur; on other occasions she places herself directly under the observation of others. One of her early works, Suite Vénitienne (1980), involved following someone that she had met at a party in Paris to Venice, without his knowledge. The photographic documentation of the project raised questions as to whether the man’s identity could be revealed by his day-to-day movements through the city, as well as imitating ironically the behaviour of unrequited love. The French philosopher Jean Baudrillard wrote an essay (...

Article

Canadian, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 12 August 1941, in Victoria.

Installation artist, photographer, sculptor.

Conceptual Art.

Ian Carr-Harris studied Modern History at Queen’s University, where he received an honours bachelor of arts in 1963, and went on to obtain a bachelor of library science from the University of Toronto in ...

Article

Tom Williams

(b East Orange, NJ, March 29, 1947; d Falls Village, CT, June 25, 2013).

American photographer and conceptual artist. Charlesworth received a BA in art history from Barnard College in New York in 1969. During her undergraduate years, she enrolled in a number of studio courses, including those taught by conceptual artist Douglas Huebler, and her work was decisively shaped by late 1960s debates about conceptual art. In 1974–5 she joined with Joseph Kosuth and others to establish and edit the combative conceptualist journal The Fox, to which she made several contributions, including ‘Declaration of Dependence’, her well-known essay about the artist’s place in the larger society. Her photo-conceptualist practice is often associated with the so-called Pictures Generation that included other photographers such as Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, and Cindy Sherman, and in this context, she is often regarded as a key figure in the development of appropriation art during the late 1970s and early 1980s. From 1992 she taught at the School of Visual Art in New York and from ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b London, Nov 8, 1965).

English conceptual artist, photographer and film maker. He studied History of Art at Manchester University (1985–8) and Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ College, London (MFA, 1992–4). In 1990 he began a series of works by placing advertisements in the London magazine Loot and various newspapers, inviting people who thought they looked like God to send in their picture; this evolved into The God Look-Alike Contest (1992–3; London, Saatchi Gal.), exhibited in the Sensation exhibition (London, RA, 1997) and consisting of the original advertisement and the responses he received. For Involva (1995; see 1999 exh. cat., pp. 19–21), he advertised in a sex contacts magazine, illustrating a drawing of a woodland clearing with the caption ‘Please will you join me here?’. He then photographed the letters he had in reply in a clearing similar to the one shown in his announcement. The process of asking a question that at first appears naive or absurd is a key strategy in Chodzko’s work, the final form of which is the product of other people’s imaginations. In the late 1990s he began to target specific groups for his projects, as in ...

Article

Native American (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation), 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1946, in Montana.

Printmaker, photographer, conceptual artist, installation artist.

Corwin Clairmont, or ‘Corky’, received his MFA from California State University, Los Angeles in 1971. His early work, concerning social and environmental issues, earned him a Ford Foundation Grant (...

Article

Francis Summers

American photographers and conceptual artists of Irish and Israeli birth. Collaborating under a corporate-sounding name, Michael Clegg (b Dublin, 1957) and Martin Guttman (b Jerusalem, 1957) began making photographs together in 1980. Using corporate group portraits as their resource material, they made constructed photographs in the manner of 17th-century Dutch paintings. A Group Portrait of the Executives of a World Wide Company (1980; see 1989 exh. cat., p. 33) shows five suited men seated in a brooding darkness, their heads and hands illuminated in a chiaroscuro effect. The reference to historical paintings is made particularly explicit in The Art Consultants (1986; see 1989 exh. cat., p. 37): the figures are posed directly in front of a canvas so as to mirror the painted figures, illustrating Clegg & Guttman’s proposition that within the hierarchies of power, the essential nature of pose, emblems and dress have remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Pushing these images to the point of indetermination, Clegg & Guttman also occasionally carried out actual commissions (although not always successfully), as well as creating collaged and altered portraits such as ...

Article

Canadian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1949, in Arvida (Quebec).

Painter, photographer, installation artist.

Conceptual Art.

Sylvain P. Cousineau creates three-dimensional assemblages which give a good idea of his creative process. He accumulates canvases, oils, wood panels, discarded objects, domestic debris and ironmongery, and produces deliberately simple images which, rather than yield meaning, serve above all to highlight the appropriateness of the materials used. The apparent naivety of the images is merely feigned, and is contradicted by the skill of Cousineau's pictorial and other techniques....

Article

Constance W. Glenn

(b Worcester, MA, Oct 7, 1943).

American photographer and conceptual artist. He studied painting at the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston (1961–5), and the University of Illinois, Urbana (1965–7). He first won recognition for his 8×10 view camera photographs, for example Chair Trick (1973; see Alinder, pl. 12). In such works as these, where he constructed the objects and their settings and then photographed them, Cumming explored perception, illusion, logic, time and motion. In the 1980s he began using drawing, printmaking and colour photography, for example X-ray Crystallography Mounts (DNA Molecule Research) MIT (photograph, 1986; Cambridge, MA, MIT; see 1988 exh. cat., pl. 24), with the same attention to pragmatic detail and often magical humour. His interest in narrative fantasies first provided storylines for photo-sequences and later led him to write, illustrate, and publish five books including Discourse on Domestic Disorder (Orange, CA, 1975).

J. Alinder: Cumming Photographs: Untitled 18...

Article

[Gerardus Johannes Maria]

(b Weert, May 9, 1941).

Dutch photographer and conceptual artist. From 1959 to 1963 he trained as an art teacher at the Akademie Bouwkunst in Tilburg, while at the same time taking painting lessons with Jan Gregoor in Eindhoven from 1961 to 1963. He had his first one-man show in 1965 at Galerie 845 in Amsterdam. He then taught in Enschede until 1967 when he studied at the St Martin’s School of Art in London on a British Council scholarship. Until then he had produced monochrome, Minimalist paintings and was influenced by Mondrian, Vermeer and Pieter Saenredam, but after the period in London he worked primarily with photography. He began with a series called Perspective Corrections (1967–9), characterized by optical effects. In Perspective Correction—My Studio II, I: Square on Floor (1969; Amsterdam, Stedel. Mus.), for example, he placed a white trapezium on the floor of his studio. He then photographed it from an angle that made it appear square and consequently detached from its surroundings....

Article

Vietnamese-American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1968, in Ha Tien, Vietnam.

Photographer, video artist, conceptual artist.

In 1978, Dinh Q. Lê fled Vietnam with his family to the United States, where he eventually gained U.S. citizenship. After completing his BA in fine arts at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in ...

Article

Zachary Baker

(b Kent, Oct 4, 1966; d Scotland, March 29, 2008).

English conceptual artist, photographer, painter and installation artist. He is associated primarily with the Goldsmiths’ College group, sometimes known as the ‘Freeze Generation’, which emerged in the late 1980s during Michael Craig-Martin’s period of teaching there. In February 1988, as a second year student, Fairhurst organized a small group exhibition at the Bloomsbury Gallery of the University of London Institute of Education; it included, alongside his own work, art by fellow students Mat Collishaw, Abigail Lane and Damien Hirst. This was a kind of precursory event for the more dynamic and famous Freeze exhibition of summer 1988, curated by Hirst, in which he also participated. In the early 1990s he was involved in many seminal events and exhibitions such as A Fête worse than Death (1993), on Charlotte Road and Rivington Street, London, curated by Joshua Compston (1971–96) and Factual Nonsense, and Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away...

Article

Ađalsteinn Ingólfsson

(b Dalir, west Iceland, Feb 19, 1943).

Icelandic painter, sculptor, photographer and conceptual artist, active in the Netherlands. He studied at the Myndlista- og handíÐaskóli Íslands (Icelandic School of Arts and Crafts), Reykjavík (1958–60), in Rome (1966–7) and in Limoges (1970–71), after which he moved to the Netherlands. He was one of the founding members of the Icelandic avant-garde group SÚM and he took part in its first exhibition in 1965. His early work consists of emblematic abstract paintings, enlivened with three-dimensional elements such as nails or rope (e.g. Painting; 1966, Reykjavík, N.G.). When he developed an interest in conceptual art, FriÐfinnsson began to use photography as a medium for concretizing his ideas, which derive from Icelandic myth and folklore as well as from dreams and poetry.

FriÐfinnsson’s House Project (1974) was suggested by a story by the Icelandic writer Thórbergur ThórÐarson about an old man who wanted to build an inside-out house. FriÐfinnsson built a house that fitted this description at a secret venue in Iceland and then photographed it (see ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1946, in London.

Painter (mixed media), sculptor, photographer. Artists' books.

Conceptual Art, Land Art.

After studying in London at St Martin's from 1966 to 1968, Hamish Fulton went on to study photography in 1969. Fulton is interested in landscape and has much in common with Land Art, although his approach is quite different. Unlike Richard Long - with whom he travelled in South America - Fulton does not intervene on site. He builds his work around the physical impression that a space leaves on the body when walking, first in timeless photographs with brief captions and then, from ...

Article

Pauline I. A. Bullard

(b London, July 21, 1946).

English photographer and conceptual artist. He studied sculpture at St Martin’s School of Art, London, from 1966 to 1968, at the same time as Jan Dibbets, Barry Flanagan, Gilbert and George, John Hilliard, Richard Long and Bruce McLean, and at the Royal College of Art, London, from 1968 to 1969. Basing his work on long-distance walks lasting from one day to several weeks, Fulton recorded his physical and emotional experience of the landscape by photographing it in black-and-white with a 35 mm camera; in typical works such as Slioch Hilltop Cairn/Circling Buzzards (2 photographs, each 118.1×87.6 mm, 1980; London, Tate), he then presented a single photograph or sequence of photographs, usually printed on a large scale and in a rich tonal range, often in conjunction with printed captions. These texts sometimes describe prosaic matters, such as the length, duration or date of the walk or the weather conditions under which the walk was made; in other cases a sequence of words evokes a poetic mood particular to the walk, enabling the spectator to bring to the work his or her own feelings, glimpses, memories and encounters with landscape. While his work has been linked both to conceptual art and land art, Fulton saw himself as heir to British traditions of landscape painting. His work was perhaps most widely disseminated in his books....