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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

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

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

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 partnership of conceptual artists working as performance artists, video artists, photographers and sculptors. It was formed in 1968 by A. A. Bronson [pseud. of Michael Tims] (b Vancouver, 1946), Felix Partz [pseud. of Ron Gabe] (b Winnipeg, 1945) and Jorge Zontal [pseud. of Jorge Saia] (b Parma, Italy, 1944; d Feb 1994). Influenced by semiotics and working in various media, they sought to examine and subvert social structures, taking particular interest in the products of mass culture. Their existence as a group, each with an assumed name, itself undermined the traditional notion of the solitary artist of genius. In 1972 they began publishing a quarterly journal, File, to publicize their current interests and work. In the 1970s they concentrated on beauty parades, starting in 1970 with the 1970 Miss General Idea Pageant, a performance at the Festival of Underground Theatre in Toronto that mocked the clichés surrounding the beauty parade, resulting in the nomination of Miss General Idea ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1966, in Glasgow.

Video installation artist, environmental artist, video artist, performance artist, photographer.

Conceptual Art, Appropriation Art.

Douglas Gordon studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1984 to 1988 and at the Slade School in London from 1988 to 1990...

Article

Canadian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1949, in Vancouver.

Installation artist, video artist. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art.

Rodney Graham studied at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, from 1968-1971, where he met Ian Wallace, Jeff Wall and Ken Lum. He lives and works in Vancouver. His eclectic work, which uses 'appropriationism' to explore the concept of the 'open work', its tautological completion, its permanence, and the concept of the author, is difficult to categorise. Throughout the 1970s, he worked with recorded images (photography and film). In ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

revised by Jean Robertson

(b Brussels, Dec 6, 1961).

Belgian sculptor, installation and conceptual artist active in Germany and Sweden. He studied phytopathology (plant diseases) and agronomic entomology at the University of Kiel, where he received a doctorate in 1988. After an early career as an agricultural scientist specializing in insect communication, Höller became a full-time artist in 1993. He created a wide variety of objects and situations, many of them participatory in nature, using such means as toys, animals, flashing lights, mirrors, sensory deprivation tanks, dark passages, giant slides, carousel rides, pheromones and huge rotating sculptural replicas of upside-down fly agaric (a poisonous, hallucinogenic mushroom; see fig.). His art projects include various optical and sensory experiments that explore individual physiological and psychological reactions to experiences that alter perception and consciousness. Despite his scientific training, Höller’s goals as an artist have not been to achieve the certainty of quantifiable scientific conclusions. Rather he has emphasized doubt and the inability to achieve conclusive explanations. He signalled his preoccupation with doubt in ...

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

Jeff Fleming

(b Göttingen, 1968).

German conceptual artist. Jankowski studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg. Working in video, film, photography, installation, and performance, he reinserted ritual and its intrinsic mystery into the creative act and, subsequently, into the act of viewing a work of art. For the artist, ritual enabled the recognition of a specific world view and built a site where dialogue could take place between different people or different belief systems. Jankowski arrived at this point of recognition through his transformative use of collaboration, a circular method of creation, the utilization of magic or wonder, and humour. By making clear these devices in his art, Jankowski enabled the viewer to experience an ‘aha’ moment, or a climatic ‘Big Wow’, a phrase coined by Walt Disney to describe the high point on an amusement park ride or the big, concluding special effect in a movie. These approaches, together with Jankowski’s use of popular forms of mass culture, provided a critique of the detached nature of contemporary art production and positioned Jankowski as one of the most thought-provoking image makers of his time....

Article

Argentinian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in the USA.

Born 12 December 1946, in Buenos Aires.

Installation artist, video artist. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art.

In 1958, David Lamelas had his first moment of aesthetic epiphany before Velázquez's The Maids of Honour ( Las Meñinas) in the Prado. He studied at the Buenos Aires fine arts academy ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in New York from 1973.

Born 14 April 1946, in London.

Installation artist, performance artist, video artist. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art.

Anthony McCall studied at the Ravensbourne College of Art and Design from 1964 to 1968. He makes films.

1973...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(b Fort Wayne, IN, Dec 6, 1941).

American conceptual artist. Recognized as one of the most influential, innovative, and provocative 20th century American artists, Nauman extended the media of sculpture, film, video, photography, and sound with performance and spatial explorations. Nauman attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1960 to 1964, with early studies in mathematics and physics, which broadened to the study of art under Italo Scanga (1932–2001). He received a master’s degree in Fine Art from the University of California, Davis in 1966 under William T. Wiley, Robert Arneson, Frank Owen (b 1939), and Stephen Kaltenbach (b 1940) and honorary degrees from the San Francisco Art Institute (1989) and California Institute of Art (2000). In 1966 he began to teach at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Nauman’s interactive artworks and performances explore the syntactical nuances of language, text, and figurative gesture to create material culture and in-between places, which often result in a heightened sense of physical and emotional awareness. Nauman’s artistic explorations of spatial perception, bodily consciousness, physical and mental activity, and linguistic manipulation were demonstrated in interactive spatial compositions that accentuated various relationships between the human body and built environments. Early works included body castings and holographic self-images with subsequent works situating the viewer within their own mental and bodily perceptions. In ...

Article

Reiko Tomii

(b Tokyo, May 1965).

Japanese conceptual artist who has used photography, video, painting, sculpture, installation and performance. He received degrees in oil painting (1989) and mural painting (1991) from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Ozawa belongs to the so-called subculture generation of Japan; those immersed in manga and anime in their childhood. Like his contemporaries (such as Takashi Murakami (b 1962) and Makoto Aida (b 1965)), he freely borrowed from both traditional and modern cultures to critique the institutions of art, life and society, while humorously exploiting everyday culture, such as Jizō (Sk: Kshitigarbha; a popular Buddhist deity of salvation), soy sauce and milk-bottle receptacles.

For his first major project Jizoing, begun in 1988, he photographed a small handmade figurine, or a rudimentary drawing of Jizō, at some 80 places in Japan, as well as China, Tibet, Korea, Moscow, Tehran and New York over a period of more than 10 years. The photographs, monochromatically printed and tinted in pale blue to invoke a time of twilight, were compiled into a book (...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Reggio nell’Emilia, 1940).

Italian conceptual, video and installation artist. He studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Venice and in 1968 began to make conceptual works using water as the key element. These photo documents and experimental videos, such as Reflecting Water (1979; see 1998 exh. cat., p. 41), used water as a symbolic substance, a motif that has continued throughout his career. In the mid-1980s, Plessi began to make large-scale video installations: Roma (1987; exh. at Documeta 8, Kassel) consisted of a circle of video monitors with a conveyor belt dropping imaginary stones into the image of water on the monitors, the stones becoming ‘visible’ as they appeared falling into the water, with the sound of splashing continuing the illusion. This playing with video imagery to evoke actual movement or reflection is central to Plessi’s manipulation of the viewer’s expectations. During the late 1980s and 1990s, Plessi travelled widely, an experience that informed many of his video installations during this period, such as ...

Article

Indian, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1956, in Bangalore, India.

Photographer, video artist,conceptual artist.

After earning a B.A. (1977) in economics, English, and psychology, Pushpamala N. received both her B.F.A. (1982) and her M.F.A. (1985) in sculpture from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India. Since then, she has created a large body of photographic work and exhibited regularly at the international level....

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1961.

Assemblage artist, installation artist, video artist. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art.

Françoise Quardon works by collating, modifying and personalising. She refers to her Surrealist installations as 'psycho objects' and to her exhibits as 'psycho bric-a-brac' which reveals her emotions and her occasionally troubled sense of self....

Article

Mitra Monir Abbaspour

(b Chbanieh, June 15, 1967).

Lebanese conceptual artist, photographer, video and performance artist active also in America. Raad received his BFA in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1989, and completed his MA and PhD in Cultural and Visual Studies at the University of Rochester in 1993 and 1996, respectively, and in 2002 became an associate professor at the Cooper Union School in New York. History and its representation, narration, and memory are the central themes of Raad’s work. His experience of the Lebanese wars between 1975 and 1991 and their ongoing effects inform his inquiries into the methods of historical documents.

Raad began contending with narratives of the Lebanese wars in a series of short video documentaries that included Up to the South (1993)–a collaboration with Lebanese artist Jayce Salloum (b 1958)—and Missing Lebanese Wars (1996). Characteristic of his later practice, these videos critically employ a genre (documentary film) associated with factual reportage, foregrounding the relationship between subject and method of the work....

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1946, in Carcassonne.

Sculptor, installation artist, draughtsman, illustrator, photographer, film maker.

Conceptual Art.

Patrick Raynaud studied cinema and has produced and directed films.

In 1972 he directed a series of films including one on Robert and another on Sonia Delaunay. He also produced children's books and a series of graphic compositions. From ...

Article

Italian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1964, in Rome.

Installation artist, performance artist, video artist.

Conceptual Art.

Bernhard Rüdiger's art deals with mental concepts and is based on language. He attempts to establish the sense of such ideas as 'beauty', 'truth' and 'looking' by juxtaposing and dispersing objects....