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Article

(b Geneva, June 24, 1948).

Swiss draughtsman, performance artist, painter, and sculptor. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Geneva (1966–7) and at the Glamorgan Summer School, Britain (1969). Armleder is known primarily for his involvement with Fluxus during the 1960s and 1970s, which included performances, installations, and collective activities. He was a member of the Groupe Luc Bois, based in Geneva in 1963. In 1969, with Patrick Lucchini and Claude Rychner, he was a founder-member of the Groupe Ecart, Geneva, from which stemmed the Galerie Ecart (1973) and its associated performance group (1974) and publications. Armleder’s first exhibition was at the Galerie Ecart in 1973, followed in the same year by one at the Palais de l’Athénée, Geneva. The anti-establishment and anti-formalist philosophy of the Fluxus groups continued in Armleder’s mixed-media works of later years, which include the Furniture Sculpture of the 1980s. In works that couple objects (second-hand or new) with abstract paintings executed by Armleder himself, and which often refer ironically to earlier modernist abstract examples, he questioned the context in which art is placed and the notion of authenticity in art. Such concerns continued to appear in his work. Armleder’s ...

Article

Ben  

Vanina Costa

[Vautier, Benjamin]

(b Naples, Italy, July 18, 1935).

French painter and performance artist. In 1949 he settled in Nice, where in 1958 he bought a record shop, which he used to stage exhibitions. In this gallery, which he initially called Laboratoire 32, and later Galerie Ben Doute de Tout, he held his first one-man show in 1960. Self-taught, he was by this time producing paintings of large handwritten words on a plain background, often coloured black and white, as in Je suis un menteur (1959; see 1987 exh. cat., p. 24). In an equally subversive spirit he created the Vomit Pictures (1958; see 1987 exh. cat., p. 14), which consisted of black canvases on to which he vomited. In the early 1960s he became associated with Fluxus, inscribing a ping-pong ball ‘Dieu’ for his Fluxbox Containing God (1961; see 1987 exh. cat., pp. 54–5) and in 1962 taking part in the Festival of Misfits at Gallery One in London. His Fluxus editioned works were often containers filled with everyday objects or materials, such as ...

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

Austrian, 20th century, male.

Born 1938, in Ardring.

Action artist, happenings artist, performance artist, draughtsman.

Fluxus, Body Art.

Aktionismus group.

Günter Brus studied from 1953 in Graz and Vienna and went on in the 1960s to become one of the principal figures in the Viennese Aktionismus (Actionist) School which proclaimed the concept of artistic freedom and mourned its incompatibility with the sclerotic bourgeois society of the post-Nazi years. He took part in various 'happenings' in ...

Article

Jean E. Feinberg

(b Cincinnati, OH, June 6, 1935).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, illustrator, performance artist, stage designer and poet. He studied art at the Cincinnati Arts Academy (1951–3) and later at the Boston Museum School and Ohio University (1954–7). In 1957 he married Nancy Minto and the following year they moved to New York. Dine’s first involvement with the art world was in his Happenings of 1959–60. These historic theatrical events, for example The Smiling Workman (performed at the Judson Gallery, New York, 1959), took place in chaotic, makeshift environments built by the artist–performer. During the same period he created his first assemblages, which incorporated found materials. Simultaneously he developed the method by which he produced his best known work—paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that depict and expressively interpret common images and objects.

Clothing and domestic objects featured prominently in Dine’s paintings of the 1960s, with a range of favoured motifs including ties, shoes and bathroom items such as basins, showers and toothbrushes (e.g. ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Nashville, TN, June 1, 1937).

American painter, sculptor, installation artist, draughtsman, performance artist and film maker. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1955), at the New School for Social Research in New York (1956) and under Hans Hofmann in Provincetown, MA (1957). Together with Allan Kaprow, Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine, Robert Whitman (b 1935) and others, he was briefly an instrumental figure in the history of performance art in New York during the late 1950s with the Happenings he presented as early as 1957, most famously The Burning Building (1959), which took place in his loft at 148 Delancey Street (designated the Delancey Street Museum). With their narrative flow and elements of comedy, Grooms’s highly engaging performances were closer to the ‘painter’s theatre’ of Dine than to the events created by Kaprow or the Fluxus artists. The energy that went into these performances was soon redeployed into films, beginning with ...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 1931.

Performance artist, sculptor of assemblages, painter (mixed media).

Neo-Dadaism, Fluxus.

Geoffrey Hendricks joined Fluxus in 1966. In 1971, together with Bici Forbes Hendricks and George Maciunas, he created Flux Divorce, the movement's principal manifestation. He was also involved in several avant-garde festivals and, in ...

Article

Anna Bentkowska

(b Wielopole, nr Kraków, April 6, 1915; d Kraków, Dec 8, 1990).

Polish painter, draughtsman, theatre director and stage designer. He studied painting and stage design under Karol Frycz (1877–1963) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, graduating in 1939. After the outbreak of World War II he organized in Kraków an experimental underground theatre (1942–4), exhibitions and art discussions. He painted and produced numerous drawings and stage designs for future performances. He was influenced by various artistic movements such as Constructivism, Expressionism and Futurism, as well as by the writings of Bruno Schultz (1892–1942) and Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (ii), whose plays he later staged. In 1947 he went to Paris, where at the Palais de la Découverte he ‘discovered’ the infinity of nature that he examined through the microscopic images of cells and cross-sections of minerals. As the scientific approach to this was beyond his means, he began to explore the natural world by developing the concept of inner, intellectual and spiritual space through the act of artistic creation. He called it ‘the umbrellic space’. A series of abstract and metaphorical paintings and drawings followed, with the motif of an umbrella that could ‘fold’ and ‘unfold’ the space (e.g. ...

Article

Danish, 20th century, male.

Active also active in Germany.

Born 1 September 1938, in Copenhagen.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, watercolourist, engraver, performance artist, environmental artist. Landscapes.

Neo-Impressionism.

Fluxus, Nouveaux Fauves.

Per Kirkeby took a doctorate in geology and has participated in several scientific expeditions to Greenland, central America, central Asia and Ireland. In the 1960s, he was a member of the experimental art school in Copenhagen, which was close to the Fluxus group, and, in ...

Article

Czechoslovak, 20th century, male.

Born 1940, in Plzen.

Painter, draughtsman, performance artist, video artist. Multimedia.

Neo-Dadaism, Fluxus.

Between 1948 and 1956, Milan Knizak studied at the Mariánské Lázne school of music, at the academy of fine arts, and at the faculty of mathematics and physics in Prague. He taught at several American universities and art colleges in Germany and Austria. He was appointed rector of the academy of fine arts in Prague in ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Düsseldorf, April 11, 1939; d Düsseldorf, Nov 24, 1996).

German painter and dealer. He studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (19587ndash;62) and in 1963 co-staged two events, part exhibition and part happening, that betrayed the influence of both Pop art and the Fluxus movement. The first, Malerei und Grafik. Sonderausstellung, was organized with fellow graduates Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter and Manfred Kuttner in May of that year, in a disused shop at 31A Kaiserstrasse in Düsseldorf. The impact of popular contemporary trends from France, Britain and the USA was evident in the second happening that Lueg staged with Richter five months later, Leben mit Pop – eine Demonstration für den Kapitalischen Realismus, in a furniture department store (Möbelhaus Berges, Flingerstrasse 11, Düsseldorf). This featured the two artists as living sculptures alongside papier-mâché figures of American President John F. Kennedy and the art dealer Alfred Schmela, as well as works by Lueg, Richter and Joseph Beuys, amongst the furniture displays. The event was critical not only of the consumerism of post-war West Germany, but also of the art scene in Düsseldorf, which was dominated by Galerie and by the Zero group. Lueg’s subsequent work under the banner of ‘Capitalist Realism’ was a loose exploration of both popular imagery and commercial patterns, in paintings such as ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 12 December 1922, in Chicago; died 8 December, 2004.

Painter, performance artist, poet, writer.

Fluxus.

Jackson Mac Low has taught in numerous schools, mainly in association with New York University. He is the author of about 30 works. He lived and worked in New York. In the USA in the 1960s Mac Low was one of the Fluxus artists grouped around George Maciunas. He often carried out his performances with his wife, Anne Tardos....

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Active from 1939 in England.

Born 1926, in Nuremberg.

Painter, sculptor, performance artist.

Fluxus, Kinetic Art.

Gustav Metzger fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and eventually settled in London, where he studied art (1942-1944). He transferred to the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp in ...

Article

Austrian, 20th century, male.

Born 16 June 1925, in Grodnau; died 26 May 2013, in Portugal.

Painter, draughtsman, action artist, performance artist.

Fluxus, Body Art.

Aktionismus group.

Otto Muehl studied painting at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna between 1952 and 1957 and went on to give drawing lessons in a therapy centre. In ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1927, in Meudon.

Painter, performance artist.

Fluxus.

Serge Oldenburg III, son of a Russian emigrant, lived in Nice and Paris. He was involved in early 'happenings' from 1962, hitchhiking with a piano and re-routing a bus, and generally with the Nice group, especially Ben and the Fluxus movement. In his plastic pieces he worked in monochrome, as in the white or blue he spread over the pictures in his paintings ...

Article

Japanese, 20th century, female.

Active in the USA.

Born 1933, in Tokyo.

Painter, sculptor, performance artist.

Neo-Dadaism, Fluxus.

After settling in New York, Yoko Ono initially took an active role in the Fluxus group, organising concerts (particularly of La Monte Young) and putting up artists from the group (George Brecht, Allan Kaprow, George Segal). After marrying the singer John Lennon of the Beatles, she broke off from her own activities as an artist and took part in demonstrations for peace and for the emancipation of women. Following the assassination of her husband, she returned to her work as an artist....

Article

Latvian, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 23 July 1948, in Riga, Latvian SSR (now Latvia).

Painter and performance artist. Cityscape, landscape, genre painting, allegorical, literary, and portrait subjects, appropriated imagery modified with ultrarealistic self-portraiture, and individual and collaborative performance art.

Miervaldis Polis is Latvia’s postmodernist paradox, challenging notions of originality and authorship in painting, yet in a manner singularly his own, and elevating individual personality to the status of cultural institution through a sustained work of performance art that simultaneously denatures and distinguishes the self. Polis first studied at the Janis Rozentāls Riga Art School, and after matriculating in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 22 October 1925, in Port Arthur, Texas; died 12 May 2008, in Captiva Island, Florida.

Painter (mixed media), watercolourist, sculptor of assemblages, engraver, lithographer, screen printer, installation artist, performance artist. Stage sets.

Neo-Dadaism, Fluxus, Citationism, Copy Art.

Experiments in Art and Technology group...

Article

Japanese, 20th century, female.

Born 1929, in Sabae-Shi.

Draughtswoman, collage artist, photomontage artist, performance artist. Artists’ books.

Fluxus.

After studying in Japan, Takako Saito went to the USA in 1963 where she made the acquaintance of George Maciunas and completed her education at the Brooklyn Museum Art School. In ...

Article

Constance W. Glenn

(b Kastoria, Greece, Sept 14, 1936).

American painter, sculptor and photographer of Greek birth. He immigrated to West New York, NJ, in 1948 and graduated from Rutgers University in 1959. He participated in the earliest Happenings, and he studied art history with Meyer Schapiro and acting at the Stella Adler Studio Theater. In 1960 he created the first of his well-known boxes, for example Box No. 3, 1962–1963 (New York, Whitney). His choice of media ranged from the sensuous to the menacing, and he preferred opulent textures and colours. Tacks, pins and shards of glass encrusted such early works as Book #4 (Dante’s Inferno) (1962; New York, MOMA). Always self-referential, he first secreted a photograph of himself in early boxes and constructions. On moving to New York in 1964 he created another unconventional self-portrait: a gallery installation, Room, inspired by his claustrophobic New Jersey bedroom.

From 1969 Samaras began to produce photographs using his body as subject and metaphor in a series entitled ...