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Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 4 May 1937, in Houston.

Sculptor, print artist, monotype artist.

Minimal Art.

Mel Edwards studied at the University of Southern California, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles. He began teaching at Rutgers University, near New Brunswick (New Jersey), in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1 April 1933, in Jamaica (New York); died 29 December 1996, in New York.

Sculptor, installation artist, environmental artist, engraver.

Minimal Art.

Dan Flavin entered the Brooklyn Seminary in order to become a priest. He then trained as a meteorologist with the American army in Korea. He subsequently attended the New College of Social Research, New York, in ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1947.

Sculptor, lithographer, installation artist.

Minimal Art.

Maren Hassinger is an adjunct professor at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. She works with wire which she treats as she would textile. Her pieces, which she has described as 'kinetic', seem subjected to the elements and to behave in the way of plants, even set inside a gallery. This is her way of referring to an era when nature was not threatened by human activity and to the rural past of African Americans. She is the author of numerous open-air installations such as ...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(b Berkeley, CA, Nov 4, 1944).

American sculptor, painter, and printmaker. Heizer’s earthworks erected in the vast desert expanses of the American Midwest marked the beginning of the Heizer, Michael movement of the 1960s and liberated art from the confines of the art gallery. Heizer’s early experience and exposure to desert landscapes and Native American culture was influenced by his father Robert Heizer, an important American archaeologist, and his maternal grandfather Olaf P. Jenkins, who was an important early American geologist. He attended the San Francisco Art Institute (1963–4) to study painting and moved to New York (1966). In 1967 Heizer left New York to return to the American Midwest with colleague Walter De Maria, and began artistic collaborations with James Turrell and Robert Smithson to explore the making of land art.

Heizer’s early paintings explored the interaction of two-dimensional and three-dimensional geometric forms influenced by the Abstract Expressionists of the late 1940s and 1950s. By ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1960.

Painter, printmaker.

Minimal Art.

Jacqueline Humphries studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York in 1985, and with the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 1986. She lives in New York City, where she creates paintings and prints influenced by American abstract approaches of the 1960s, and by the work of David Salle. Techniques she has used include colour-field, dripping, over-painting, the 'non-relational' and the 'all-over', as when she covers the canvas with different colours which run when the canvas is held vertically. She often works in series, such as her pattern paintings of the early 1990s, which are formed of paint spots and short brushstrokes which spread pattern-like across the painting. In the mid-1990s she engaged in her red 'poured' paintings, and later she created her horizon pictures, which were brilliantly coloured and horizontally oriented. She has since made a series of black paintings, and says that she wants her paintings to be a kind of dramatic physical event in the moment of viewing....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Active in Italy.

Born 9 September 1928, in Hartford (Connecticut); died 8 April 2007, in New York.

Painter (gouache), installation artist, sculptor, engraver, draughtsman, illustrator. Artists’ books.

Conceptual Art, Minimal Art.

From 1945 to 1949 Sol LeWitt was a student at the University of Syracuse, New York. In 1951–1952 he did military service in Japan and Korea. By 1953 he was studying in New York at Cartoons Illustrators, which later became the School of Visual Arts. He worked for the magazine ...

Article

Jeremy Lewison

(b Hartford, CT, Sept 9, 1928; d New York, NY, April 8, 2007).

American sculptor, printmaker, and draughtsman. He studied at Syracuse University, NY, from 1945 to 1949, and between 1951 and 1952 he served in the US Army in Japan and Korea, where he was able to visit oriental shrines, temples, and gardens. In 1953 he moved to New York, where he attended the Cartoonists and Illustrators School. From 1955 to 1956 he worked as a graphic designer for the architect I. M. Pei, and he began to make paintings while continuing to work as a graphic designer. He abandoned painting in 1962 and began to make abstract black-and-white reliefs, followed in 1963 by relief constructions with nested enclosures projecting into space, and box- and table-like constructions. He first made the serial and modular works for which he is best known in 1965, an idea inspired in part by the photographs of Eadweard Muybridge. Initially these were wall and floor structures, but in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1938, in Bronxville (New York).

Painter, draughtsman, engraver.

Minimal Art.

Brice Marden was a student from 1958 to 1961 at the Boston University School of Fine and Applied Arts, and then, from 1961 to 1963, at the School of Art and Architecture at Yale University, where he attended the courses given by Josef Albers together with Robert Mangold and Richard Serra. He arrived in New York in ...

Article

Pauline I. A. Bullard

(b Bronxville, NY, Oct 15, 1938).

American painter and printmaker. He studied at Boston University School of Fine and Applied Arts, receiving his BFA in 1961, and from 1961 to 1963 at Yale University School of Art and Architecture in New Haven, CT. Settling in New York in 1963, in the following year he produced his first single-panel monochromatic paintings, such as Decorative Painting (1964; priv. col., see 1975 exh. cat., pl. 1), through which he contributed to the emerging aesthetic of Minimalism. In such works he reacted against the dominance of gestural techniques in second generation Abstract Expressionism by emphasizing the subtlety of surface and colour within the spatial and structural limits of the rectangle. Bringing together the painterly quality of Abstract Expressionism with the intellectual rigours of Minimalism, Marden achieved a balance between emotional intensity and formal simplicity.

In his early paintings Marden left a bare narrow margin at the bottom edge of the thickly worked surface of oil mixed with wax to allow the observer to be witness to the process. In later works such as ...

Article

Denise Carvalho

(b Rio de Janeiro, 1948).

Brazilian interventionist, multimedia, installation and conceptual artist, considered the most influential contemporary artist of his country. While international critics have compared his work with North American Minimalism and Conceptual art, Meireles insisted that art should be seductive. He studied at the National School of Fine Arts and at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. Coming of age at a time of the military dictatorship in Brazil (1964–85), he circumvented strict state censorship with a series of interventionist works, adding politically charged texts and reinserting the works back into circulation.

Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Coca-Cola Project (1970) included Coca-Cola bottles with the added text ‘Yankees. Go Home!’ In Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Cédula Project (1970), the same message was printed on one dollar bills, and on the current Brazilian currency, the Cruzeiro. Some bills also queried ‘Who killed Herzog?’ referring to a Brazilian journalist who died while in police custody. Meireles’ series utilizes a mechanistic process of capitalistic insertion and circulation, adding phrases that question the methods and policies of the dictatorship. ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 9 February 1931, in Kansas City.

Sculptor, painter, performance artist, draughtsman, engraver.

Conceptual Art, Minimal Art, Process Art, Antiform.

From 1948 to 1950 Robert Morris studied engineering and art at the University of Kansas City and from 1950 to 1952 at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco. In 1961 he studied art history at Hunter College, New York. He settled in Gardiner, New York State....

Article

Marco Livingstone

(Milton Ernest)

(b Port Arthur, TX, Oct 22, 1925; d Captiva Island, FL, May 12, 2008).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, photographer, and performance artist. While too much of an individualist ever to be fully a part of any movement, he acted as an important bridge between Abstract Expressionism and Pop art and can be credited as one of the major influences in the return to favour of representational art in the USA. As iconoclastic in his invention of new techniques as in his wide-ranging iconography of modern life, he suggested new possibilities that continued to be exploited by younger artists throughout the latter decades of the 20th century.

Rauschenberg studied at Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design from 1947 to 1948 under the terms of the GI Bill before travelling to Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian for a period of about six months. On reading about the work of Josef Albers he returned to the USA to study from autumn 1948 to spring ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1930, in Nashville (Tennessee).

Painter, engraver.

Minimal Art.

Robert Ryman arrived in New York in the 1950s after completing his military service, hoping to follow a career as a jazz musician. Self-taught, his initiation into contemporary art was due primarily to his job as a museum guard at the prestigious Museum of Modern Art in New York. There he met Dan Flavin and Sol Le Witt and struck up a friendship with them both. He also enrolled in the Black Mountain College. In about ...

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, ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 12 May 1936, in Malden (Massachusetts).

Painter, collage artist, sculptor, printmaker, mixed media.

Colour Field Painting, Post-painterly Abstraction, Minimal Art.

Frank Stella studied painting at the Phillips Academy in Andover and history at Princeton University, graduating in 1958. In 1959 he moved to New York, and took part in his first major exhibition, Sixteen Americans, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The following year he held his first solo exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York, showing his earliest irregularly shaped canvases. Stella visited Europe in 1961, staying mainly in Britain, Spain, and France, before moving on to Morocco. In the same year he married the art critic Barbara Rose. In 1982, he spent a year in Rome at the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1983, he was appointed a professor at Harvard University and gave a series of lectures there....

Article

Constance W. Glenn

(b Malden, MA, May 12, 1936).

American painter and printmaker. In his career he was an innovator, rather than responding to the innovations of others, and he often confounded his peers. He suggested that his painting was significantly shaped by the fact that he was among the first generation of artists for whom the rightful existence of abstraction was assumed, and he steadfastly maintained that it was the only post-war idiom capable of sustaining the highest ambitions for painting.

In 1950 Stella entered the Phillips Academy, Andover, MA, where he studied art history and painting; it was here that he realized that he had no interest in representational painting. Stella continued his studies in history at Princeton University (BA, 1958). At this time he was painting loose, gestural abstractions in the tradition of the New York School. He was already highly regarded by his professors, yet he did not seriously entertain the idea of a career in the arts. He kept in touch with developments in New York and in ...

Article

Canadian First Nations, 20th–21st century, male.

Active in California.

Born 1931, in Toronto, to parents of Native American Mohawk and Sicilian origin. Died 2007.

Sculptor, painter, lithographer.

Minimalism, Light and Space.

Norman Zammitt grew up on the Caugnawaga Reservation near Montreal. He moved with his family to Buffalo, New York, before settling in California in ...