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Article

Carol Magee

(b Dec 8, 1956).

Ethiopian painter, installation artist, graphic designer, and writer, active in the USA. She grew up in Addis Ababa in a family of painters before moving to the USA. She graduated from Howard University, Washington, DC, with a BFA in painting (1975) and returned in 1994 for an MFA. Her early works, based on dreams or visions, have richly textured surfaces. In the 1980s she abandoned her early palette of reds, ochres, and greens for one of purples and blues. Later paintings depict an urban environment and frequently evoke the feeling of dislocation and nostalgia that comes from living in a country that is not one’s own. Her use of themes and motifs from myriad cultures (including those of Ethiopia and Latin America) comes out of her experiences as a diasporic subject as well as the lives of the women around her. Her pieces often tell their stories, as in the Dream Dancers series (...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1 February 1960, in New York.

Sculptor, assemblage artist, graphic artist.

Nayland Blake studied at Bard College, Annandale on Hudson, NY, receiving his BFA there. In 1984 he obtained a MFA from the California Institute of Arts in Valencia, CA. Blake is a conceptual artist, concentrating primarily on themes of racial, sexual and personal identities, with emphasis on the threat of AIDS and the gay identity. His early works, such as ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1942, in Salem (Arkansas); died 25 May 1994.

Draughtsman, painter, graphic artist, assemblage artist, illustrator, set designer.

Joe Brainard was born in Salem but grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where his family had moved when he was still a young boy. His father was an amateur painter and draughtsman and his grandfather a poet, and Brainard's artistic talent showed early when he began winning local competitions. In high school he met the aspiring poets Ron Padgett and Dick Gallup, with whom he founded ...

Article

(b Brooklyn, NY, Nov 4, 1940).

American graphic designer, installation artist and design educator. De Bretteville attended Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, NY, and was included in the school’s Art Squad by teacher and artist Leon Friend, who submitted his students’ work to national competitions. She received a prestigious Alex Award, named after the designer Alex Steinweiss, also a former member of the Art Squad. She received a BA in art history from Barnard College, New York in 1962 and received her MFA in the graphic design program at Yale University’s School of Art in 1964. She joined the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and founded the first design programme for women in 1970. In 1981 she founded the communication design programme at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles (now the Otis College of Art and Design), which was at the time affiliated with the Parsons School of Design in New York. In ...

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

Margaret Barlow

(b Hazelton, PA, April 17, 1947).

American photographer and conceptual artist. She studied at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (BA 1969, MFA 1973). Biographical information on Levine is limited, since she has refused to participate in ‘myth-making’ associated with art production. She first gained critical attention in the early 1980s, when she was associated with Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo, David Salle and others known as Appropriationists for drawing on existing imagery from ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture. Her works have been interpreted as a commentary on the death of Modernism and its ideals, notions of artistic originality, the authenticity and autonomy of the art object and its status as a commodity. In Untitled (after Walker Evans) (10×8 photograph, 1981) Levine re-photographed a reproduction of a photograph by Evans. Such works articulated her fascination with the photographic process and its reproduction, while raising poststructuralist discourses on authorship, originality and history, from which they partly derive (...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1950, in New York.

Collage artist, assemblage artist.

Cole Morgan is a fine-arts graduate of New Mexico University. He attended the Centre of Graphic Art in Florence and taught drawing and painting in Dublin 1974-1975. He produces collages on a uniform coloured background, using cards and sundry papers to produce primitive shapes that invite meditation....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in New York City.

Born 18 September 1951, in Santa Monica (California).

Sculptor, installation artist, performance artist, poster artist.

Computer Art (Virtual Art).

Matt Mullican attended the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, where he studied with the conceptual artist John Baldessari, obtaining a BFA in ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1955.

Painter, installation artist.

Sabina Ott took part in the group show What is a Geographic Space? held in the Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, in 1995. The installation she exhibited consisted of an abstract picture, a number of painted female busts on pedestals, and white lines (not parallel) drawn on the floor. In an adjacent room, she had made a replica of the exhibition's hanging plan with a video screen at its centre showing pictures of her trip to Ayers Rock in Central Australia. The whole installation functioned like interactive cartography involving several living spaces....

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 18 January 1954, in Nuremberg, Germany.

Sculptor (mixed media), graphic artist.

Kiki Smith was born in Germany, but grew up in New Jersey. Her father was the sculptor Tony Smith, and as a child she helped him make cardboard models for his geometric models, thereby learning about Formalism and Minimalism. She studied at Hartford Art School (1974–1976), and has also trained in industrial baking and as an Emergency Medical Technician. She has lived in New York since 1976 and was associated with Collaborative Projects Inc. there through the early 1980s. Influences on her work include Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois and Lee Bontecou....

Article

(b Newark, NJ, April 10, 1938).

American painter, printmaker, and conceptual artist. She wanted to become an artist from an early age. She studied graphic art at the Pratt Institute, New York (1956–8), and painting and comparative literature at Boston University (1958–60). Steir noted her teachers Richard Lindner and Philip Guston and her studies of Voltaire and Leibniz as highly influential on her work. Her wide visual vocabulary stems from her foundation in graphics and illustration at Pratt. In the early 1960s she worked as a freelance book-cover designer, and as art director at publishers Harper & Row, New York (1965–9), simultaneously pursuing her own painting. Her first mature works were exhibited in solo shows at the Graham Gallery and Paley & Lowe, New York (1972). They are characterized by grids, informalized colour or tonal charts and scales, painterly marks, letters, numbers, signs, and the rendering of such simple motifs as birds, shells, flowers, mountains, and clouds. In the late 1970s Steir was on the board of the feminist magazines ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Lakewood, Ohio, 1930; d Paris, May 7, 2014).

American painter, sculptor and conceptual artist. Although notoriously reluctant to reveal biographical details including her date or place of birth, she went on record as having studied at a remarkable number of institutions including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Students’ League in New York, the University of Iowa, the University of Zurich and Columbia University in New York. She quickly rose to notoriety in the late 1960s for her appropriation of famous images by contemporary Pop artists. Her choice of artistic models was carefully made, as the Pop artists had themselves mimicked the appearance of found objects and ready-made images from advertising, commercial art and photography. One of her first such works was a copy of Jasper Johns’s Flag exhibited at a group exhibition in 1965; in 1966 she held a solo exhibition consisting entirely of reproductions of screenprinted paintings from Andy Warhol’s ...