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Article

Janet Marstine

(le Lorraine)

(b North Harvey, nr Chicago, Feb 20, 1897; d Woodstock, VT, Nov 18, 1983).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker and film maker. He was brought up in the suburbs of Chicago and was exposed to art at an early age by his father, Adam Emory Albright (1862–1957), a portrait painter. He passed on to his son the interest in careful draughtsmanship that he had developed from tuition with Thomas Eakins. Ivan’s initial field of interest was architecture, which he studied at Northwestern University, Evanston (1915–16), and at the University of Illinois, Urbana (1916–17). During World War I he served with an Army medical unit, making surgical drawings with great precision. He subsequently decided to become a painter and attended the Art Institute of Chicago (1920–23), the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Chicago (1923), and the National Academy of Design, New York (1924). Around this time he began to exhibit regularly.

Albright settled in Chicago in ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 19 February 1946, in Washington DC.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, engraver, photographer, video artist, glassmaker, decorative designer. Theatre design.

AfriCobra Group.

Akili Ron Anderson attended the Corcoran School of Art and Howard University in Washington DC where he lives and works. He is a member of AfriCobra (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists) founded in ...

Article

Christiane Paul

(b Buffalo, NY, May 25, 1978).

American computer artist, performance artist, video artist, installation artist, composer, sculptor, and printmaker. He graduated in 2000 from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he originally studied classical guitar but later switched to the technology of music. At Oberlin he also met Paul B. Davis with whom he formed the Beige Programming Ensemble in 2000, and released a record of 8-bit music entitled The 8-Bit Construction Set. In 2010 he co-founded, with Howie Chen and Alan Licht, the band Title TK.

Arcangel’s body of work has consistently addressed a series of themes, such as the manner in which we express ourselves through technological tools and platforms (from Photoshop to YouTube) in funny, original, creative, and awkward ways. His projects often explore our fascination with technology by playfully undermining our expectations of it and limiting viewers’ control. Another theme that frequently surfaces is the speed of technological obsolescence and the absurdity of a given technology’s lifecycle, which often moves from the cutting-edge of design to an insult of good taste (see Siegel, pp. 81–2). Arcangel connects these themes to the history of art, drawing parallels between pop-cultural vernacular and approaches in the fine art world and combining high tech and do-it-yourself (DIY) approaches. Among his best-known works are his hacks and modifications of Nintendo game cartridges and obsolete computer systems from the 1970s and 1980s (...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1951, in Seaford (Delaware).

Screen printer.

Gretchen Bender lives and works in New York.

Bender's work addresses the issue of media that use new technology such as computers and videos for marketing purposes. She aims to highlight the way in which works of art are appropriated and used in advertising, thus trivialising them and blurring the distinction between art and publicity, in a way that threatens to erode the nature of creativity. ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 1934, in Los Angeles.

Sculptor, ceramicist, draughtswoman, print artist, photographer, film maker. Figures, scenes with figures. Murals.

Camille Billops has a BA from California State College and an MFA from City College in New York. She settled in New York, where in ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

(b Los Angeles, CA, Aug 12, 1933).

African American filmmaker, sculptor, printmaker and archivist of African American culture. Camille Billops received her BA from California State College and her MFA from the City College of New York. A visual artist, filmmaker and archivist, Billops’s darkly humorous prints and sculpture have been exhibited internationally, including at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design, the New Museum and the Bronx Museum, New York; the Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Clark College, Atlanta University; the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA; Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia; Gallerie Akhenaton, Cairo, Egypt; the American Center, Karachi, Pakistan; and the American Cultural Center, Taipei, Taiwan. Billops received a Percent for Art commission in New York and was a long-time member of Robert Blackburn’s Printmaking Workshop (PMW), traveling to establish the first summer printmaking workshop in Asilah, Morocco, with the PMW delegation.

As a filmmaker, Billops earned a National Endowment for the Arts award. Her films have been shown on public television and at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She collaborated with photographer James Van Der Zee (...

Article

Derrick R. Cartwright

(b Rochester, IN, April 16, 1927; d New York, Dec 21, 2011).

American sculptor, painter, printmaker and film maker. Chamberlain studied at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1950 to 1952 and from 1955 to 1956 at Black Mountain College, NC, where he was exposed to the modernist aesthetics of the poets Charles Olson (1910–70) and Robert Creeley (1926–2005), with whom he formed a lasting friendship. His early welded-iron sculpture was heavily influenced by Abstract Expressionism and by the sculpture of David Smith. In 1957 he moved to New York where he made his first works out of crushed car parts, such as Shortstop (1957; New York, Dia A. Found.), a practice for which he became immediately recognized and recognizable. During the mid-1960s he continued in this mode, expanding its formal vocabulary to include larger free-standing complexes and wall reliefs, always emphasizing fit and spontaneity (e.g. Untitled, 1965). This work earned him instant critical association with the ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 18 November 1933, in McPherson (Kansas).

Painter, draughtsman, printmaker, collage artist, assemblage artist, sculptor, film maker.

Pop Art, Funk Art.

Bruce Conner studied at Wichita University; at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln where he received a BFA in 1956; at Brooklyn Art School (...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 19 September 1936, in Columbus (Ohio).

Painter, print artist, photographer, film maker. Murals.

AfriCobra Group.

Adger W. Cowans studied at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, obtaining his BFA in photography. He then enrolled in the US Navy as a photographer. He was active in the civil rights movement and joined AfriCobra, the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. In ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Active in Belgium.

Born 1940, in New Jersey.

Sculptor, draughtsman, installation artist, collage artist, photographer, screen printer, video artist. Artists’ books.

Peter Downsbrough lives and works between New York and Brussels. His works, founded on concepts of spatiality and temporality, are intended for the urban environment in the form of installations, sculptures, books, collages, photographs, screen prints, postcards and films. Since the 1960s he has been producing three-dimensional works, exploring various materials in a serial process. In the 1970s he enlarged these two concepts to include notions of movement and space, notably in the series ...

Article

Reena Jana

(b Cologne, Germany, 1969).

American mixed-media artist of German birth and Asian descent. Ezawa studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1990–94) before moving to San Francisco in 1994. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (1995) and an MFA from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (2003). Ezawa is not a photographer, but his work centers around photography; he has used a variety of media, from digital animations to paper collages and aquatint prints, to revisit some of the world’s most familiar, infamous and historically significant news photographs, television broadcasts and motion-picture stills (see The Simpson Verdict). All of Ezawa’s work utilizes the artist’s signature style of flat, simple renderings that are cartoonlike and also suggest the streamlined and colorful style of Pop artist Katz, Alex.

Ezawa’s project, The History of Photography Remix (2004–6), exemplifies his approach to exploring the power of photographs as a mirror of reality and yet also a force that can manipulate memories of events and people. The project consists of images appropriated from art history textbooks, such as American photographer Cindy Sherman’s ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant and Margaret Rose Vendryes

(b Cleveland, OH, 1959).

American printmaker, film maker, installation and conceptual artist and writer.

Green, of African descent, has worked primarily with film-based media, and has published criticism and designed installations that reveal her commitment to ongoing feminist and black empowerment movements. She earned her BA from Wesleyan University in 1981 and also spent some time at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1980, returning in the late 1980s to study in the Whitney Independent Study Program, graduating in 1990. At the age of 24 she began exhibiting her comparative compositions containing found objects, images, and texts that question recorded history.

Green’s work deals with issues of anthropology and travel. By undertaking projects via the methodology of the 19th-century explorer, she exposed the arbitrary and prejudiced nature of classification, as in Bequest (1991; see 1993 exh. cat.), an installation she made at the invitation of the Worcester Museum of Art to commemorate their 50th anniversary. Using the museum as a ready-made stage set, she installed works of art alongside 19th-century texts explaining stereotypes of whiteness and blackness. Green characteristically intervened in the history of her chosen site to produce a fiction that included her own responses as an African American woman to her findings. In ...

Article

Cecile Johnson

(b New York, July 13, 1936).

American performance and video artist, film maker, draughtsman, and printmaker. She studied sculpture and art history at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA (1954–8). In 1958 Jonas travelled to Europe before studying sculpture at the Boston Museum School (1959–61) and various subjects at Columbia University (MFA 1964). She was particularly influenced by her experience of the New York art scene in the early to mid-1960s and by the work of John Cage and Claes Oldenburg and their interest in ‘non-linear’ structure. Believing any potential for innovation in sculpture and painting to be exhausted, Jonas turned to the relatively unexplored area of performance art. Her early performances (1968–71), called Mirror Pieces, were held in large spaces and included large and small mirrors, either as a central motif or as props or costume elements. From the early 1970s her works became increasingly symbolic, game-like, and ritualistic: in, for example, ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 17 October 1955, in Birmingham (Alabama).

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor, engraver, collage artist, installation artist, photographer, video artist. Figures, portraits.

Kerry James Marshall grew up in South Central Los Angeles, studying at the Otis Art Institute, from which he received a PhD in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Active from 1954 in France.

Born 26 November 1929, in the Bronx (New York City).

Draughtsman, engraver (etching), illustrator. Figures, nudes, landscapes, interiors, still-lifes. Stage costumes and sets, videos, artists' books.

Gregory Masurovsky studied at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 27 July 1874, in Montevideo (Uruguay); died 1940, in New York.

Painter, watercolourist, engraver. History painting, portraits, genre scenes.

Francis Luis Mora was a pupil of the Boston School of Art, the Art Students league, New York, and his father, the Spanish sculptor Domingo Mora....

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

Native American (Bay of Quinte Mohawk), 21st century, female.

Born 1954, in Niagara Falls (New York).

Photographer, filmmaker, painter, sculptor, printmaker, screenwriter, beadworker.

The Mohawk artist Shelley Niro, born in the United States and raised at the Six Nations Grand River Reserve in Ontario, Canada, is a member of the Turtle Clan. She received a BA from Ontario College of Art and Design (...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 14 March 1923, in Brooklyn (New York); died 1976, in New York.

Painter, collagist, printmaker, experimental film. Figures, abstraction.

Figurative Expressionism.

Earle Montrose Pilgrim was a Caribbean-American artist, experimental filmmaker, and jewelry designer. Pilgrim’s parents, Leon and Amy, were born in the British West Indies and settled in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant where they raised Pilgrim and his sister. Pilgrim was a rebellious youth who was expelled from high school in his sophomore year for not wearing the regulation school uniform. Instead of completing his high school education, Pilgrim took an apprenticeship with a printmaker, which was instrumental in his venture into the arts. In 1943, during World War II, Pilgrim joined the US Army and wrote for the Army newspaper, Yank. Pilgrim’s rebelliousness eventually led him to be court-martialled for his refusal to listen to a white officer.

After the war, Pilgrim returned to New York, and studied at the Art Students League as well as with jewelry maker Sam Kramer. In the summer of ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 2 November 1939, in San Francisco (California), United States.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, engraver, installation artist, performance artist, video artist.

Process Art, Minimal Art.

Richard Serra first studied literature at the University of California in Berkeley and Santa Barbara, working at a steel mill to support himself. He then gained a degree in fine arts and painting at Yale University, where he collaborated on Joseph Albers’ work, ...