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Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 24 January 1940, in New York.

Painter, sculptor, performance artist, video artist. Multimedia.

Body Art, Conceptual Art.

Vito Acconci was born in the Bronx, New York and lives and works in Brooklyn. He studied at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts and at the University of Iowa. He has taught in various art schools and universities and in particular at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University and the Parsons School of Design in New York....

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1966, in Marseilles.

Installation artist, sculptor, action artist, photographer.

Conceptual Art.

Boris Achour, who was a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, received a three-month extra-mural bursary from the Villa Médicis that he spent in Los Angeles in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1932, in Detroit; died May 1997, in Cairo.

Installation artist, performance artist, sculptor, draughtsman.

Conceptual Art.

Using a variety of different forms of expression, including installations, writing, performance, photographs and sculpture, James Lee Byars has created a highly personal collection of work. In the 1950s he focused on comparing oriental civilisation and western mystical thought, notably with folding sculptures which he unfolded in public. He went on to subvert objects by creating them in precious or unusual materials such as gold leaf or marble. He made several visits to Japan from ...

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

British, 20th century, male.

Gilbert born in 1943 in the Dolomites, George born in 1942 in Totnes (Devon).

Installation artists, performance artists, sculptors, photographers, film producers. Videos, multimedia.

Conceptual Art, Body Art.

Gilbert studied at the Hallein Art School and the Munich academy of art. George studied at Dartington Hall College of Arts and in Oxford. They continued their studies at St Martins School of Art in London, where they met in 1967 and decided to work as a pair in 1969. They won the Tate Gallery's Turner Prize in 1986. Calling into question the traditional idea of sculpture as taught by Caro, in 1969 these two artists declared themselves to be ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1942, in Urbana (Illinois).

Installation artist, performance artist, sculptor, photographer. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art, Body Art.

Dan Graham lives and works in New York, where he has achieved renown as a gallery owner (he opened the John Daniels Gallery in the 1960s), art theorist (championing Minimal Art) and artist. The closure of his gallery for financial reasons caused Dan Graham to question the economic and social purpose of 'gallery art'. Influenced by Pop Art, which introduced an element of social realism to his work, Graham gradually rejected the concept of artistic autonomy promoted by the American Minimalists. Drawing on his experience of the commercial and economic realities of the art world, he realised that the value of a work of art is above all determined by the extent to which it is reproduced. He began to publicise his own work by reproducing it on inserts in, for example, the art and rock press and women's magazines, rather than by holding exhibitions in commercial galleries. His exploration of art, the means of reproduction and 'mediatisation' continued with the distribution of his own series of photographs of tract-houses (pre-fabricated, mass-produced American suburban homes): ...

Article

Horacio Safons

(b Buenos Aires, Jan 14, 1915; d Barcelona, Oct 14, 1965).

Argentine painter, sculptor, performance artist, conceptual artist, poet and illustrator. After studying in Buenos Aires at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes and with Cecilia Marcovich and Tomás Maldonado, he quickly established a reputation for his scandalous views, attracting extreme disapproval and equally strong support. After delivering a lecture at the Juan Cristóbal bookshop, Buenos Aires, entitled ‘Alberto Greco y los pájaros’ he was briefly imprisoned for his ‘Communism and subversive acts’. On his release in the same year he travelled to Paris on a French government grant, selling drawings and watercolours in the cafés and studying painting with Fernand Léger and printmaking with Johnny Friedlaender. Between 1956 and 1958 he lived in São Paulo, where he became aware of Art informel; he painted in this style in the late 1950s and early 1960s (Glusberg, pp. 284–5).

As early as 1959, when he had returned from São Paulo to Buenos Aires, Greco had expressed his corrosive vision of society through the form of his work. In his shows he exhibited tree trunks and rags for cleaning window gratings or floors. He moved again to Paris in ...

Article

Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Born 1936, in Junín (Province of Buenos Aires); died 2002.

Sculptor, assemblage artist, installation artist, performance artist. Still-lifes.

Conceptual Art.

Victor Grippo was influenced by the 'poor theatre' promoted by Grotowski at a conference in Argentina and specialised in creating boxes attached to walls and particularly tables. These range from desks covered in quotations from Argentinian writers to farmers', carpenters' and stonemasons' tables, dining tables with crockery and food and in particular potatoes, which are a recurring motif in his work, sometimes associated with electricity....

Article

Native American (Cheyenne and Arapaho), 20th–21st century, male.

Born 22 November, 1954, in Wichita (Kansas).

Painter, draughtsman, sculptor, printmaker, installation artist, conceptual artist, educator.

Edgar Heap of Birds is one of the most distinguished North American indigenous artists of his generation. His works reveal a distinctly critical and historical awareness of the ways that American Indian peoples, their histories and their viewpoints have been ignored and written over under colonialism. He has received numerous honours, presenting his work in competition for the United States Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale (...

Article

Mary Chou

(b Bethlehem, 1970).

Palestinian conceptual artist. Jacir’s works use a variety of media including film, photography, installation, performance, video, sound, sculpture and painting. Jacir was raised in Saudi Arabia and attended high school in Rome, Italy. She received her BA from the University of Dallas, Irving, TX in 1992, her MFA from the Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN in 1994, and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program from 1998 to 1999. She became a professor at the International Academy of Art, Palestine in Ramallah in 2007. Jacir’s conceptual works explore the physical and psychological effects of social and political displacement and exile, primarily how they affect the Palestinian community. Her work investigated the impact of Israeli action on the Palestinian people and countered representations of Palestinians in the press as primarily militant. Jacir often collaborated with members of the Palestinian community, both local and international, in the creation of her works....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 28 April 1928, in Nice; died 6 June 1962, in Paris.

Painter, performance artist, sculptor, mixed media.

Conceptual Art, Body Art.

Nouveaux Réalistes group.

Yves Klein was the son of the Dutch Figurative painter Frederick Klein and the Abstract painter Marie Raymond. He was a self-taught artist. In Nice in ...

Article

Croat, 20th century, male.

Born 1921, in Petrinja.

Sculptor, draughtsman, installation artist, performance artist. Multimedia.

Neo-Dadaism, Conceptual Art.

Gorgona Group.

Ivan Kozaric trained at the school of fine art in Zagreb and after an initial stay in Paris where he frequently returned, he started producing work in ...

Article

Kristine Stiles

(b Zambesi River, nr Victoria Falls, Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe], Feb 23, 1921; d London, Jan 1, 2006).

British painter, sculptor, conceptual artist, performance artist, video and film maker, of Rhodesian birth. He studied at the Chelsea School of Art, London, from 1946 to 1950. His concern from 1954 was not with the production of art objects as an end in itself but with various processes and consequently with the recording in three dimensions of sequences of events and of patterns of knowledge. In 1958 he introduced torn, overpainted and partly burnt books into assemblages such as Burial of Count Orgaz (1958; London, Tate), followed in 1964 by the first of a series of SKOOB Towers (from ‘books’ spelt backwards), constructed from stacks of venerated tomes such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, which he ignited and burnt. The destruction and parody of systems of knowledge implied in Latham’s work was apparent in 1966, when he organized a party at which guests chewed pages of Clement Greenberg’s book Art and Culture...

Article

Pierre-François Galpin

(b Cincinnati, OH, May 21, 1937).

Pierre-François Galpin

American sculptor, performance and installation artist, and curator.

Marioni was a key figure in the conceptual art movement in the San Francisco Bay Area throughout the 1970s. After attending Cincinnati Art Academy from 1955 to 1959, he moved to San Francisco. Marioni created a large body of work exhibited around the world and in museums’ collections, and promoted fellow artists’ works through exhibitions and magazines. From 1968 to 1971 he was the curator of the Richmond Art Center in Richmond, CA, a northern suburb of San Francisco.

Marioni’s pioneering artworks included One Second Sculpture (1969), an art action in which he released a tightly coiled metal tape-measure into the air, letting it spread to then fall on the ground; the action and its result, between performance, sculpture, and time-based art, encompassed Marioni’s notion of ‘idea-oriented art’. His signature piece The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 6 November 1944, in Glasgow.

Performance artist, painter, sculptor, installation artist, printmaker, ceramicist.

Conceptual Art, Land Art.

Bruce McLean studied at Glasgow School of Art (1961-1963), and at St Martins School of Art in London (1963-1966) under Anthony Caro, Phillip King and William Tucker. He has taught at the Croydon School of Art (...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1935, in Mechelen.

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

Conceptual Art, Art Sociologique (Sociological Art).

Plus Kern Group.

Guy Mees studied at the Academie voor Schone Kunsten and at the Nationaal Hoger Instituut in Antwerp, and was a signatory in ...

Article

Czechoslovak, 20th century, male.

Born 1934, in Zilina.

Sculptor of assemblages, happenings artist, environmental artist.

Conceptual Art.

Alex Mlynarcik was a pupil at the school of fine arts in Bratislava and then at the academy of fine arts in Prague from 1959 to 1965. In Paris he was particularly active during the student uprisings of the Sorbonne in May ...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 20 April 1939, in Florence.

Painter, sculptor, performance artist, installation artist.

Conceptual Art, Sound Poetry.

Nannucci became involved with the notions of 'virtual poetry' and 'concrete poetry' from 1961and went on to explore the boundaries and relationships between the written word and painting. He was not content merely to take words at their face value but instead experimented with their visual content and their potential for typographical manipulation. He made use of double meanings in an attempt to establish a relationship between image and meaning. One example is the word 'corner', which Nannucci visualises as forming a corner. He was particularly interested in research into form, light and movement; to this end, he used variable coloured light sources, in much the same way as Garcia-Rossi....

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(b Fort Wayne, IN, Dec 6, 1941).

American conceptual artist. Recognized as one of the most influential, innovative, and provocative 20th century American artists, Nauman extended the media of sculpture, film, video, photography, and sound with performance and spatial explorations. Nauman attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1960 to 1964, with early studies in mathematics and physics, which broadened to the study of art under Italo Scanga (1932–2001). He received a master’s degree in Fine Art from the University of California, Davis in 1966 under William T. Wiley, Robert Arneson, Frank Owen (b 1939), and Stephen Kaltenbach (b 1940) and honorary degrees from the San Francisco Art Institute (1989) and California Institute of Art (2000). In 1966 he began to teach at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Nauman’s interactive artworks and performances explore the syntactical nuances of language, text, and figurative gesture to create material culture and in-between places, which often result in a heightened sense of physical and emotional awareness. Nauman’s artistic explorations of spatial perception, bodily consciousness, physical and mental activity, and linguistic manipulation were demonstrated in interactive spatial compositions that accentuated various relationships between the human body and built environments. Early works included body castings and holographic self-images with subsequent works situating the viewer within their own mental and bodily perceptions. In ...

Article

Ađalsteinn Ingólfsson

(b EskifjörÐur, Dec 25, 1929).

Icelandic stage designer, sculptor, printmaker, performance artist and conceptual artist. He studied stage design in Birmingham, Reykjavík and Vienna (1949–56) and was periodically engaged in stage design for Reykjavík theatres from 1956 to 1975. In the late 1950s he became disillusioned with traditional theatre and began to think in terms of proto-happenings or visual tableaux. None of these went beyond the planning stage, but they were undoubtedly precursors of the ‘collage’ plays (random collections of dialogue from literature as well as ephemeral printed material) and performances that Pálsson organized with his students in Reykjavík, the Netherlands and Norway in the 1980s.

Pálsson’s interest in the visual arts was fuelled by his friendship with Dieter Roth. Though their concerns were essentially very different, they shared an ironic, even aggressive attitude to art and an interest in ephemeral or fragile materials. During the 1960s Pálsson’s work was mostly neo-Dadaist: for example the mimeographed prints of ...