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Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Saïda, Algeria, 1953).

French painter, sculptor, photographer, film maker, writer and installation artist of Algerian birth. Born to Spanish parents, he was much affected by North African as well as Southern European culture. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre. Despite a pervasive and diverse use of media, Alberola often stressed the coexistence of his different artistic practices as leading to painting alone. His paintings relied heavily on evocative narratives, at once personal and ‘historical’. Alberola conceived of his role as a storyteller, on the model of African oral cultures. Convinced that narratives could not be renewed, he argued that a painter’s main task was to reactivate his work through contact with his pictorial heritage. The main points of reference for his paintings of the early 1980s were Velázquez, Manet or Matisse, whose works he quoted in a personal way. In the early 1980s he undertook a series of paintings inspired by mythological subjects, which he combined with his own history as the principal subject-matter of his work. The biblical story of Susannah and the Elders as well as the Greek myth of Actaeon provided his most enduring subjects, both referring to the act of looking as taboo, as in ...

Article

Mitra Monir Abbaspour

[Fondation Arabe pour l’Image]

Non-profit organization established in 1997 in Beirut, Lebanon, with a mission ‘to collect, preserve, and study photographs from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Arab diaspora’. Its growing collection contains more than 400,000 photographs that date from the mid-19th century to the present. Today the Arab Image Foundation serves as both a public research archive and a repository for its members’ art and scholarship.

The Arab Image Foundation was co-founded by Lebanese photographers Fouad Elkoury (b 1952) and Samer Mohdad (b 1964), and artist Akram Zaatari (b 1966). Executive Director Zeina Arida (b 1970) has since overseen its administration and fundraising. A group of artists and scholar members, along with Arida, form the Board of Directors, which is responsible for the acquisition of photographs, approval of archival projects, and conceptual direction of the Arab Image Foundation. Members of the foundation, including artists such as ...

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

Israeli, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1951.

Photographer. Multimedia.

A theorist and art and philosophy critic, he is also an editor and artist.

He takes part in group exhibitions, notably Implicit Connections in 1997 at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Article

Israeli, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in the United Kingdom.

Born 1967, in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Photographer, video artist. Sound, multimedia.

Ori Gersht studied photography at the University of Westminster, London, and graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in 1992. He then went on to study for an M.A. in the same subject at the Royal College of Art, London. A year after graduating, he took up the post of senior lecturer at Kent Institute of Art and Design, where he taught for seven years before becoming a reader at the same institute until ...

Article

Palestinian, 20th–21st century, female.

Active in England since 1975.

Born 1952, in Beirut.

Sculptor, installation artist, photographer. Multimedia.

Mona Hatoum studied graphic design at Beirut University College before settling in London in 1975, during civil war in Lebanon. In London she studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art. In the 1980s she began making video and performance works incorporating themes of exile and the body, such as ...

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

(b Newark, NJ, Jan 26, 1945).

American conceptual artist, designer, and writer. She enrolled at Parsons School of Design, New York, where her teachers included the photographer Diane Arbus and Marvin Israel (1924–84), a successful graphic designer and art director of Harper’s Bazaar, who was particularly encouraging. When Kruger’s interest in art school waned in the mid-1960s, Israel encouraged her to prepare a professional portfolio. Kruger moved to New York and entered the design department of Mademoiselle magazine, becoming chief designer a year later. Also at that time she designed book covers for political texts. In the late 1960s and early 1970s she became interested in poetry and began writing and attending readings. From 1976 to 1980 she lived in Berkeley, CA, teaching and reflecting on her own art. Kruger later taught at Art Institute of Chicago and joined the visual arts faculty of the University of California San Diego in 2002, and later the University of California Los Angeles, dividing her time between Los Angeles and New York....

Article

Israeli, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France from 1975.

Born 1946, in Rehovat.

Sculptor, painter, lithographer, draughtsman, video artist, installation artist.

During the 1970s Micha Laury lived in a kibbutz in Israel and began to work as a self-taught artist. He moved to Tel Aviv in ...

Article

Iranian, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in the USA.

Born 26 March 1957, in Qazvin, Iran.

Painter, video artist, installation artist, photographer. Multimedia.

Shirin Neshat was born in Iran but left to study art at the University of California, Berkeley, at the age of 17. She lives and works in New York. She won a Lion d’Or at the Venice Biennale in ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Qazvin, Iran, March 26, 1957).

American photographer and video artist of Iranian birth. She studied at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was awarded a BFA in 1979 and an MFA in 1982. She became involved in the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York when she was unable to return to Iran for political reasons. Years later, having settled in New York, she began making art in response to the situation she found after a visit to the post-Shah religious state. Using the Islamic veil, or chador, she made photographs that examined stereotypes of Muslim women as oppressed by the veil but also empowered by their refusal of the Western colonial gaze, as in Women of Allah (1993–7) and Rebellious Silence (1994; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 61). In these works Neshat is often posed with a gun, her image overlaid in Islamic script, as a way of confronting the Western view of Islam as both incomprehensible and dangerous. In ...

Article

Israeli, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1953, in Tel Aviv.

Installation artist, video artist.

Moshe Ninio creates videos working from photographs and technical instruments such as surveillance cameras. His work is highly original and full of poetry.

1999, Tales of the Sands, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh...

Article

Lebanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in the USA.

Born 1967, in Chbanieh, Lebanon.

Photographer, conceptual and performance artist.

Raad first became interested in photography in 1978 through his father, who documented the ravaging effects of Lebanese civil war on the city of Beirut. The artist remained in Lebanon until the age of 16, when he left for the United States to escape the war and to pursue his academic studies. In Rochester, NY, Raad received a B.F.A. in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester. Raad lives in Beirut and New York....

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

Robin Holmes

(b Paris, April 1, 1963).

French photographer, video artist, and installation artist of Algerian descent, active in the UK. Born in Paris in 1963, Zineb Sedira relocated to England in 1986. In 1995 she earned a BA in critical fine art practice with a focus on post-colonial studies at Central Saint Martins School of Art. She finished an MFA in Media at the Slade School of Art in 1997 and conducted research studies at the Royal College of Art until 2003. Through the use of self-portraiture, family narrative, and images of the Mediterranean, her work has addressed ethnic, religious, and gender identities as well as issues of stereotype, displacement, and migration. She draws on her Algerian heritage in much of her work, evoking North Africa through the integration of traditional Islamic forms and motifs into her installations. In her 1997 work Quatre générations de femmes, Sedira incorporated repeated images of her mother, daughter, and herself into traditional Islamic tile patterns (...

Article

Israeli-British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in London from the late 1960s.

Born 1945, in Israel.

Video artist, painter, sculptor. Multimedia.

Amikam Toren spent his formative years in Tel Aviv learning to paint and draw under Peter Hesse. He had his first solo show at the Maserik Gallery in Tel Aviv in ...

Article

Israeli, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1965, in Tel Aviv.

Sculptor, installation artist, video artist. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art.

Uri Tzaig graduated from the theatre school in Jerusalem in 1990 and lives and works in Tel Aviv. He initially produced small-scale sculptures in which his literary work played an essential part, then progressed to video installations. One of these, ...