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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

South African, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1959, in Johannesburg.

Photomontage artist, sculptor of assemblages, installation artist.

Jane Alexander completed a Master of Arts in Fine Art at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in 1988. She has been professor at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, since ...

Article

Carol Magee

(b Bamako, 1959).

Malian photographer. He began his career in 1983 when he began documenting cultural patrimony for the Musée National du Mali, where he was staff photographer. His photographs present both broad and intimate views of life, and he is equally skilled in capturing a place empty of people as he is with close-ups, for example of hands or feet. Suggesting both absence and intimate presence, he evokes a powerful sense of the human condition. His aesthetically stunning works offer views that might otherwise go unnoticed: feet pedaling a bicycle, a faint reflection of a colourful boat on creamy white water. Working in both black and white and colour, he almost never shows the faces of his subjects as he captures them at work or in everyday pursuits, for example in Le bol de lait (1997). He suggests people through their interaction with their surroundings; although they remain anonymous, they have an overpowering presence. Light is important both technically and compositionally: in photographed reflections off the land and buildings, one senses the overpowering Malian sun, and such conditions enable him to create images rich in saturated colours....

Article

Elaine E. Sullivan

(b Lubumbashi, Dec 29, 1978).

Congolese photographer. Baloji’s photomontages explore themes of memory, architecture, and the environment. Such subjects are frequently treated through the use of archival photographs and watercolours, juxtaposed with contemporary photographs taken by the artist. By foregrounding archival images of labourers and overseers against contemporary urban and rural landscapes, Baloji’s work humanizes the colonial industrial history of his native Katanga province.

Sammy Baloji grew up in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he attended the University of Lubumbashi and in 2005 received degrees in Information Sciences and Communication. While working as a cartoonist he borrowed a camera to photograph scenes to use as source material for his drawings. This sparked his interest in photography, which he began to study in the DRC. In 2005 he moved to France, where he continued to study photography as well as video at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg.

Baloji’s work explores the history of Katanga through photography of both the natural and built environment. The locations Baloji photographs display the colonial and industrial pasts that continue to inform present-day politics and everyday life. Abandoned factories remind the viewer of Katanga’s prosperous mining past, and photographs of recently burnt fields where colonial outposts once stood shed light on a post-colonial reality....

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Nigeria, 1963).

Nigerian photographer, film maker, installation artist and writer active in Scotland. He studied Chemical Engineering at Strathclyde University, Glasgow (1981–85), before completing an MA in Media, Fine Art, Theory and Practice at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1996–8). Bamgboyé’s earliest work was photographic: The Lighthouse series (1989; see 1998 book, p. 65) initiated his interest in the representation of black masculinity by depicting his own naked body in often theatrical contortions, amid mundane domestic rooms; the frames of the photographs are attached to coat hangers, underlining the theme of domesticity and pointing to his interest in the changeable character of subjectivity. These themes were further explored in films, which he began to make in 1993: Spells for Beginners (1994; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 74) explores the breakdown of his long-term relationship with a woman through a broken mix of confessional dialogue and fleeting images of their home. The installation of which this film is a part takes the form of an ordinary living room and is typical of Bamgboyé’s technique of adumbrating his imagery with sculptural motifs that emphasize his themes. In other films he explored the issue of migration: ...

Article

Italo Zannier

British photographers of Italian origin. Antonio Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Luxor, 1903) and his brother Felice [Felix] Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Mandalay, after 1904) were for many years thought to be one person with two names, Antonio and Felice, and only recently has the mystery been solved of the almost contemporaneous presence of a Beato in two different (and often very distant) places. The misunderstanding arose from the fact that both their names (Antonio Felice Beato) appear on several photographs. A closer inquiry brought to light a letter written by Antonio and published in the French paper, Moniteur de la photographie (1 June 1886), in which he explains that he is not the producer of the exotic photographs recently exhibited in London, mention of which had been made in the Moniteur of 10 March; the photographer was instead ‘[his] brother Monsieur Felice Beato of Japan’....

Article

Martha Schwendener

[Ben Youseph Nathan, Esther Zeghdda]

(b London, Nov 21, 1869; d Brooklyn, NY, Nov 27, 1933).

American photographer. Born Esther Zeghdda Ben Youseph Nathan to a German mother and an Algerian father, she immigrated to the United States in 1895. She worked as a milliner in New York before opening a photographic portrait studio in 1897. Her ‘gallery of illustrious Americans’ featured actresses, politicians, and fashionable socialites, including President Theodore Roosevelt, author Edith Wharton, artist William Merritt Chase, and actress Julia Marlowe. Ben-Yusuf also created Pictorialist-inspired artwork like The Odor of Pomegranates (1899; see fig.), an allegory informed by the myth of Persephone and the idea of the pomegranate as a tantalizing but odourless fruit. Ben-Yusuf was included in an exhibition organized by the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the in London in 1896 and continued to exhibit in the group’s annual exhibitions until 1902. Her photographs were exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1898 and at the Camera Club of New York in ...

Article

South African, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1956, in Kitwe, Zambia.

Painter, sculptor, printmaker, video artist, land artist, watercolourist, curator.

Clive van den Berg came to South Africa in 1966, and trained at the University of Natal. He taught fine arts at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg ...

Article

Susan Kart

(b Mbarara, 1963).

Ugandan photographer, film maker, and installation artist of Indian descent, active in the UK. Bhimji was born in Uganda to Indian parents. The family fled Uganda to England in 1972 due to President Idi Amin’s expulsion of all Asians and Asian-Ugandans from the country along with seizure of their property and businesses as part of his ‘economic war’ on Asia. Bhimji studied art at Goldsmiths College and the Slade School of Art in London and her photographic work primarily consists of close-up, sometimes abstracted glimpses of seemingly abandoned spaces, objects, and landscapes. Bhimji’s work focuses on India and Uganda, which are treated as almost anthropomorphic subjects that appear restless, unfinished, abandoned, or frozen in her photographs, films, and film stills. Bhimji was one of four shortlisted finalists for the Turner Prize in 2007, and her work has been exhibited alongside such artists as El Anatsui, António Olé, Yinka Shonibare, and ...

Article

Geoffrey Belknap

(b Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort, March 8, 1831; d Alès, April 9, 1885).

French photographer and photographic printer. Bonfils is best known for his photographs of the Mediterranean and Middle East, particularly his five-volume Souvenirs d’Orient: Egypte. Palestine. Syrie. Grèce (1878). Prior to opening a studio briefly in Alès in 1865, he was apprenticed to Abel Niépce de St Victor (180570). Having travelled to Lebanon in 1860 with the French Army to intervene in the conflict between the Druse and the Maronites, Bonfils decided to return to Beirut in 1867 with his wife Marie-Lydie Cabanis and son Adrian to establish a photographic studio under the name La Maison Bonfils. From there Bonfils began his photographic tour of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Greece, and sold his views back in his studio. These views included (he claimed) 15,000 albumen prints and 9000 stereoscopic cards. La Maison Bonfils became well known throughout Lebanon, the Middle East, and Europe as a première photographic studio and attracted many tourists seeking photographs of the surrounding area and peoples. Bonfils’s success was compounded when he presented his photographs to the Société Française de Photographie in ...

Article

South African, 20th–21st century, female.

Active in Germany.

Born 29 January 1972, in Johannesburg.

Video artist, photographer, photomontage artist, printmaker, performance artist.

Appropriation Art.

After completing her undergraduate fine art studies at the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg) in 1993, Candice Breitz travelled to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship. She completed a Master’s degree at the University of Chicago in ...

Article

Kimberly Juanita Brown

(b Johannesburg, Sept 13, 1960; d Johannesburg, July 27, 1994).

South African documentary photographer. Carter swiftly became famous after one of his images appeared in the New York Times in 1993. That photograph, captioned A Vulture Watches a Starving Child, won him the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 1994. He committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning three months later, solidifying his fame in a swirling mélange of international tragedy, racial politics, and personal trauma.

Born in 1960 in Parkmore, a suburb of Johannesburg, into a firmly segregated South Africa, Carter was one of three children and the only son of Jimmy and Roma Carter. When he was later conscripted into the South African Defence Forces, Carter found it difficult to enforce the mandates of racial apartheid. As soon as he was able, he transitioned out of the SADF and into the world of photography. He began his career as a sports photographer and quickly moved into documentary photography. His disdain for the fully structured apartheid system was a matter of public and private record, and this disdain fuelled his desire to document the racial violence engulfing South Africa in the decade before the end of apartheid....

Article

South African, 20th century, male.

Also active in Sweden and the United States.

Born 21 March 1940, in Eersterust, Pretoria; died 18 February 1990, in New York.

Photojournalist, documentary photographer. Figures, city life, apartheid history.

Ernest Cole’s earliest photographs appeared in Zonk magazine. In 1958...

Article

Allison Moore

(b Eersterust, March 21, 1940; d New York City, Feb 18, 1990).

South African photojournalist, active also in the USA. Cole, of Bapedi ethnicity, grew up in a black township near Pretoria. His father was a tailor and his mother a washerwoman. One of six children, he suffered from malnutrition. Cole hoped to become a doctor, but the Bantu Education Act (a 1953 segregation law) prevented this, so he left school at the age of 16 and eventually worked for a Chinese studio photographer before being hired in 1958 at Drum, a picture magazine about black life. At that time he began a correspondence course from the New York Institute of Photography.

Cole was inspired by the American Civil Rights movement to document the horrors of apartheid in the hope of fomenting political action. In 1959 he began photographing black South African life. Under the hierarchical system of racial categorization in his home country, Cole was considered ‘black’, which greatly limited his access to spaces and events. However, Cole convinced the authorities that he was ‘Coloured’ (mixed race) and thereby increased his journalistic access. He hid his camera and disguised himself in order to document scenes that the authorities hoped to censor. In ...

Article

Ruth Rosengarten

(b Lourenço Marques, Mozambique, Feb 2, 1938; d Porto, Mar 29, 2011).

Portuguese painter. He studied at the Escola de Belas Artes in Oporto, where he taught from 1963. In the 1960s Ângelo worked in sculpture, photography and experimental cinema as well as painting. Having won a scholarship, he attended St Martin’s School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art in London from 1967 to 1968.

In the 1960s he painted simplified motifs drawn from nature, applying the paint thinly but unevenly, thus allowing a certain luminosity to show through the brushstrokes from the ground beneath. More interested in the mechanisms of perception than in their objects, Ângelo dispensed with figurative references from 1970, and henceforth his paintings dealt with light and spatial ambiguity. The formats comprise large, luminous, monochromatic fields of colour, applied in transparent, modulated layers and are usually divided into a few large geometric shapes by fine, incisive dark lines.

B. F. Pinto de Almeida: Ângelo de Sousa...

Article

Susan Kart

(b Nairobi, 1958).

Kenyan photographer, multimedia and performance artist, and teacher of Indian descent, active in the USA. DeSouza was born in Kenya to Indian parents. Raised in London from the age of 7, he called his background that of a ‘double colonial history’. DeSouza attended Goldsmiths College in London and the Bath Academy of Art, and although he has worked primarily in photography and as a writer on contemporary art, he has also branched out into performance art, digital painting, and textual and mixed media arts. He moved to the USA in 1992 and in 2012 became of Head of Photography at the University of California, Berkeley.

The primary themes in deSouza’s work are those of colonial encounter, seen in Indigena/Assimilado (1998), a photographic series of migrant workers in Los Angeles; migration, as explored in Threshold (1996–8), his early photographic series of airports empty of people; exile, which he explored in ...

Article

South African, 20th century, female.

Active in Canada from 1969.

Born 17 September 1936, in Piet Retief, South Africa.

Engraver (etching/aquatint), screen printer, watercolourist, photographer.

Jennifer Dickson studied at Goldsmiths in London and from 1961 to 1965 at the Atelier 17 engraving studio in Paris run by S.W. Hayter. She later spent time in Jamaica and the USA. In Canada she worked both as an artist and teacher. She was elected a member of the Royal Academy in London in ...

Article

Hélène Bocard

(b Paris, Feb 8, 1822; d Baden-Baden, Feb 9, 1894).

French photographer and writer. He was from a wealthy background, and he learnt calotype photography from Gustave Le Gray and Alexis de Lagrange. In 1849 he was sent by the Ministère de l’Instruction Publique on a mission to the Middle East to record the monuments and inscriptions. He undertook the trip (1849–51) with his friend the writer Gustave Flaubert, and during his travels he used a modified calotype process imparted to him by Alexis de Lagrange. He brought back c. 200 pictures from Egypt and some from Jerusalem and Baalbek. The album Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie: Dessins photographiques recueillis pendant les années 1849, 1850, 1851, accompagnés d’un texte explicatif et précédés d’une introduction was published by Gide and Baudry in 1852–4 (copy in Paris, Bib. Inst.; prints in Paris, Mus. d’Orsay; Paris, Bib. N.; Paris, Inst. Géog. N.). It contains 125 calotypes printed by Louis-Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, and it was the first printed work in France to be illustrated with ...

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Active also active in France.

Born 1918, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Painter, illustrator, draughtsman. Cartoon films.

Hatem El Mekki was born in Indonesia but moved to Tunisia in 1924. He started to exhibit his works at the Salon Tunisien in 1934. In ...

Article

Moroccan, 20th century, male.

Active also active in France.

Born 26 April 1934, in El Jadida.

Painter, draughtsman, lithographer, collage artist, film maker.

André Elbaz studied at Rabat's school of graphic art while at the same time taking drama classes at the city's theatre school. He began experimenting with collage while making posters for his theatre group, Mazagan, in El Jadida. Following a trip to France in ...