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Article

Yugoslav, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 7 October 1951, in Belgrade (now in Serbia).

Draughtsman, newspaper cartoonist, painter, designer, film producer. Comic strips, posters, stage costumes and sets.

Enki Bilal was the son of General Tito's former tailor. He arrived in Paris with his family in ...

Article

Mark Allen Svede

(b Riga, Sept 6, 1943).

Latvian painter, stage designer and graphic designer. After a childhood spent in Siberian exile, he studied decorative art and trained as a painter in the Latvian Art Academy (1963–72), preparing for a career as a stage designer. Stage design and the applied arts were less constrained by Socialist Realist dictates during the 1970s, and he quickly became one of Latvia’s most innovative artists. His fluency with process art and installation, for example, was already evident in his designs for a 1973 Riga production of Žanna d’Arka (Joan of Arc) by Andrej Upīts, the stage metamorphosing from Minimalist cavity to an assemblage in Arte Povera style. Abandoning the theatre in 1987, Blumbergs continued his prolific output. His compositions, sometimes abstract, often figurative and allegorical, are notable within Latvian art for their spare elegance and uncontrived expressiveness, successfully combining grand literary allusion and subtle metaphysical content. His graphic virtuosity earned him a degree of international celebrity rare among his Latvian peers. Exceptional, too, for his political candour, he was a harbinger of ...

Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Japan and the USA.

Born 8 December 1957, in Quanzhou City (Fujian Province).

Painter, draughtsman, mixed media, video artist, installation artist, performance artist.

Cai Guo-Qiang trained in stage design at the Shanghai drama institute from 1981 to 1985...

Article

Margarita González Arredondo

(b Mexico City, June 10, 1940).

Mexican painter, sculptor, illustrator and stage designer. He was self-taught when he took up painting in 1956 with the encouragement of Diego Rivera, but from 1956 to 1960 he studied graphic design with Gordon Jones. During those years he worked in an Abstract Expressionist manner, although he soon incorporated figurative elements and, from c. 1963, elements of fantasy. In 1967 he went to Paris on a French government grant. In the following year he was a founder-member of the Salón Independiente, where he began to exhibit acrylic sculptures of the female torso. These were followed between 1974 and 1976 by a series entitled Mutations, in which he explored the possibilities of the cube and which opened the way to later sculptures and paintings in which geometry is balanced with sensuality. Venus and Mars (Mexico City, U. N. Autónoma) is one of the best of his public sculptures. He also worked as a stage designer, for example on a production in ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1957, in Amiens.

Painter, engraver (wood/lino). Stage sets, stage costumes.

Hélène Delprat studied at the Écoles des Beaux-Arts in Amiens and Paris. Between 1982 and 1984, she was an artist-in-residence at the Académie de France in Rome. She won the Prix de Rome in ...

Article

German, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active since 1973 active in France.

Born 1954, in Biberach.

Painter (mixed media). Stage costumes.

Conceptual Art.

From 1968, Domenika corresponded at length with the German sculptor Josef Beuys. In 1975 she met Rüdiger. She has exhibited in 1974, in Milan; ...

Article

Belgian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 14 December 1958, in Antwerp.

Draughtsman, watercolourist, installation artist, performance artist, director, scenographer, film writer.

Jan Fabre attended the art academy and the arts and crafts institute in Antwerp. He is a visual artist, but also a choreographer, dancer and playwright (his first play was written in ...

Article

Horacio Safons

(b Buenos Aires, Sept 28, 1949).

Argentine painter and stage designer. After a series of pictures featuring hallucinatory images of disembodied mouths and orifices, bodies and pits, he began to treat circus scenes, exploiting their symbolic suggestiveness by representing candles, ladders, insects and animals of arbitrary size alongside ambiguous human forms. Falling somewhere between the merry and the tragic, they have a theatrical aspect consonant with his experience as a stage designer. Combining a lively, almost festive palette with thick paint, sometimes violently applied, Fazzolari emerged in the 1980s as one of the leading Neo-Expressionist painters in Argentina....

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 9 July 1946, in Paris.

Intervention artist, sculptor.

Kinetic Art.

Patrice Ferrand has staged kinetic art shows, and has exhibited inflatable structures.

Article

Melissa Chiu

(b Quanzhou, Dec 8, 1957).

Chinese installation artist. Cai studied at the Shanghai Theatre Academy, completing his degree in stage design in 1985. He is best known for ephemeral, large-scale explosion-works using gunpowder—a medium he began to experiment with in China and often explained as a childhood reference to witnessing skirmishes between China and Taiwan along what was known as the Fujian Front.

In the 1980s, he applied gunpowder to canvas, which he then lit to create bold, charred designs. When Cai emigrated to Japan in 1986, he began to use gunpowder for environmental installations. Since 1989 he called these works Projects for Extraterrestrials. Cai believed that most explosions visible from space have been related to war, and that his work sends a non-violent message. A good example is The Horizon from the Pan Pacific: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 14 (1994), executed off the coast of Iwaki, a small town in Japan, where Cai installed a 5000-metre trail of gunpowder in the ocean that illuminated the horizon. The work evoked the experience of living in this small fishing village, where the ocean is a central part of everyday life. Such a conceptually charged, yet rudimentary application of gunpowder, characterizes Cai’s works created in Japan....

Article

Andreas Franzke

(b Bleckede, nr Lüneburg, June 14, 1945; d Düsseldorf, May 28, 2007).

German painter, draughtsman and sculptor. He entered the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf in 1963, spending three semesters studying stage set design before becoming a student of Joseph Beuys. After producing a series of pictures in 1966 using babies as his prime motif, he adopted a word suggestive of baby talk, ‘Lidl’, for performances and political demonstrations in Düsseldorf and other cities from 1968 to 1970. These activities, for which he enlisted the support of other artists, continued after he began teaching art in 1968 at a secondary school in Düsseldorf; he remained a teacher there until 1980.

Immendorff’s renewed application to painting coincided with his first meeting with A. R. Penck in East Berlin in 1976. They wrote a brief manifesto on working collaboratively and met again in 1977, when they decided to organize joint artistic activities and exhibitions. It was at this time that Immendorff began his Café Deutschland series, e.g. ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 14 May 1948, in Oradea, Romania.

Draughtsman. Figures, portraits, self-portraits. Stage costumes and sets.

Ben-Ami Koller studied at the Nicolae Gregorescu school of fine arts in Bucharest from 1967 to 1973, particularly scene painting. He draws with pencil or silver crayons, sometimes in the form of washes. His broad, nervous stroke places and replaces figures, alone or in couples, in different postures, on a neutral background. Elsewhere his stroke is gentler, particularly in his portraits and self-portraits in silver....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 19 August 1949, in Pasadena.

Painter (including gouache), collage artist, draughtsman, performance artist, lithographer. Stage sets, stage costumes.

Robert Kushner studied at the University of California, San Diego, where he received a BA. In 1971 he travelled in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Europe and India with Amy Goldin. He lives and works in New York. His early work in the 1970s was performance art in which his costumes (or lack of them) were as important as the performance. He was a founder of the Pattern and Decorative movement of the 1970s, and his numerous decorative works are inspired by Matisse. He views his work as a continuation and update of a vast conservative tradition, and believes in the importance of beauty in everyday life....

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1968.

Painter, sculptor, installation artist, performance artist.

Body Art.

Made in Eric's body in its capacity as body-thing ( corps objet) is the starting point of his work. Live or in staged photographs, he puts his body to use as a bicycle-shed, a microphone stand, a pillow, underpants, a chair. Made In Eric featured in the exhibitions ...

Article

British, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1959, in Edinburgh.

Painter, pastellist, draughtsman, installation artist, performance artist. Figure compositions, figures, animals. Stage sets.

Keith McIntyre studied at the Dundee College of Art from 1978 to 1983 and from 1984 to 1989 taught at the Glasgow School of Art....

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1951, in Paris.

Painter (including mixed media), poster artist, graphic designer. Figures. Stage costumes and sets.

David Rochline applies acrylics to photographs, and re-photographs and retouches the resultant image before gluing it to a backing canvas.

Paris, 7 March 1990...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active also active in England.

Born 11 December 1958.

Painter, watercolourist. Portraits, figures, interiors with figures. Stage costumes and sets, frescoes.

Francesco Ruspoli is an economics graduate who has lived and worked in London since 1986. A self-taught artist, his work is strongly influenced by Surrealism. He paints stylised nudes reminiscent of De Chirico's mannequins, typically in contorted and/or intertwined poses against an abstract coloured background. He also designs theatre costumes and stage sets and has adapted several plays....

Article

Romanian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 5 June 1946, in Bucharest.

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, illustrator. Religious subjects, figures, portraits, scenes with figures, landscapes, still-lifes, flowers. Icons, frescoes, stage costumes and sets, designs for stained glass.

Michel Stoenesco de Pontbriant is the son of Grégoire and the great-nephew of Eustache Grégoire. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Romania and taught Byzantine art at Helsinki between ...

Article

Patti Stuckler

(b Waco, TX, Oct 4, 1941).

American performance artist, writer, draughtsman, printmaker and stage designer. He studied painting in Paris under the American painter George McNeil (b 1908) in 1962, before completing a degree in interior design at the Pratt Institute in New York from 1962 to 1965. After serving an apprenticeship in architecture to Paolo Soleri in Phoenix, AZ, from 1965 to 1966, he returned to New York and began to work as a performance artist, creating a range of theatrical productions that combine music, text, dance and design. He earned his reputation with productions such as Deafman Glance (first staged in 1970 at the University Theater in Iowa City, IA) and A Letter to Queen Victoria (première at the Teatro Caio Melisso in Spoleto, Italy, and extensively toured in 1974); many of these were large-scale, marathon extravaganzas in which a series of images, formed from the conjunction of actors, dancers and set designs, unfolded to the accompaniment of music. Abandoning traditional theatrical elements such as ordered narrative content and the compression of real time, he favoured an avant-garde approach influenced by composers, choreographers and artists active in New York from the early 1960s....

Article

Melissa Chiu

(b Shanghai, 1955; d Paris, Dec 13, 2000).

Chinese installation artist, active also in France. Chen studied at Shanghai Fine Arts and Craft School until 1973 and the Shanghai Drama Institute until 1978, where he majored in stage design. Following his graduation, he became a professor at both art schools. Chen’s most representative works from this period are a series of large, grey oil paintings entitled The Flow of Qi (Qi You Tu) (1985). These works endeavoured to represent the movement of qi, or spirit, a core element of life and the cosmos in Chinese philosophy. Although not radical in form, the work with its references to ancient and traditional Chinese philosophy was a provocative political gesture given that these ideas had been suppressed during the Cultural Revolution.

When Chen moved to Paris in 1986, he enrolled at the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques, graduating in 1989. His installations throughout the 1990s, when he came to international prominence, nearly without exception included references to his Chinese heritage, including Daoist philosophy, Chinese domestic objects (chamber pots, furniture such as chairs and tables, Buddha statues, abaci), and traditional medicine. These references demonstrate a residual effect of his Chinese upbringing—he lived in China until he was 31—as well as a sense of displacement as an immigrant in France and an attempt to come to grips with being a contemporary artist living and working in the West, but not sharing that region’s culture, history and traditions. For Chen, the incorporation of Chinese references in his work were essential as a matter of defining who he was as an artist, while at the same time articulating the uniqueness of his experience....