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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

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 19 November 1960, in L’Anse (Michigan).

Book artist, poet, performance artist, publisher, educator. Artists’ books, wallpaper.

Conceptual Art.

Sally Alatalo completed her undergraduate degree in fine art at Kansas City Art Institute in 1982 and her master’s degree in fine art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in ...

Article

Mexican, 20th century, male.

Born 1936, in Mexico.

Artist. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art.

Alcaraz-Laus was noticed at the Biennale des Jeunes in Paris in 1971. Under the title Double 1, he presented an encounter between a dancer and that dancer's image, a conceptual production revolving around the theme of the body and its representation, one that was in favour at that time....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1943, in Los Angeles; died 14 October 2012.

Painter.

Conceptual Art.

Michael Asher studied at the University of California, Irvine, and now lives and works in Los Angeles and in Venice. Like many Conceptual artists, he addresses the issue of how artefacts are presented and viewed, and negates the role of the artist. With his contribution to ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 17 June 1931, in National City (California).

Painter, video artist, photographer. Artist’s books.

Conceptual Art.

John Baldessari lives and works in Santa Monica, California. At the end of the 1950s, he decided to abandon painting and burned his pictures. He has stated that he profoundly disagreed with art in general, and therefore decided to give people what they understood best: written language and photography....

Article

Elisabeth Roark

(b National City, CA, July 17, 1931).

American conceptual artist . After studying art at San Diego State College (1949–53) and the Otis Art Institute (1957–9), among other institutions, he began to develop his painting style, soon incorporating letters, words, and photographs in his works. By 1966 he was using photographs and text, or simply hand-lettered text, on canvas as in Semi-close-up of Girl by Geranium … (1966–8; Basle, Kstmus.). From 1970 he worked in printmaking, film, video, installation, sculpture, and photography. His work is characterized by a consciousness of language evident in his use of puns, semantics based on the structuralism of Claude Lévi-Strauss, and the incorporation of material drawn from popular culture. All are apparent in Blasted Allegories (1978; New York, Sonnabend Gal.), a series combining Polaroids of television images captioned and arranged to suggest an unusual syntax. Baldessari differed from other conceptual artists in his humour and commitment to visual images, often obscured by flat, brightly coloured geometric and organic shapes including round forms that he likened to bullet holes. Baldessari dramatized the ordinary, although beneath the apparent simplicity of his words and images lie multiple connotations....

Article

Brazilian, 20th century, male.

Installation artist.

Conceptual Art.

Barrio participated in the debate on Neo-Constructivism that took place during the 1960s in Brazil. He has favoured poetic elements since then. He has taken part in collective exhibitions, such as the São Paulo Biennale in 1996...

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Cartagena, Oct 27, 1945).

Colombian painter, sculptor and conceptual artist. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes of the University of Atlántico in Barranquilla, Colombia, from 1958 to 1960, and in Italy from 1966 to 1967 at the University of Perugia. In 1966, under the influence of Pop art, he made the first of a series of collages combining cut-outs of well-known individuals and comic strips with drawn elements. Two years later he added frosty effects and velvet flowers to his interpretations in black and red ink of figures with distorted bodies and the faces of film stars. In 1969 he began to present these in increasingly three-dimensional boxes or glass cases, accompanied by clouds of cotton wool, plastic figures and other additions that combined to make up fantastic or nostalgic scenes, dream-like and surrealist in appearance and tone.

Barrios was among those who introduced conceptual art to Colombia, for example by publishing in newspapers a series of ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1936, in New York.

Painter.

Conceptual Art.

Robert Barry was a student of Robert Motherwell at Hunter College until 1963, and began exhibiting in New York in 1964. In his early pictures, Robert Barry introduced the environment: 'I am becoming concerned about the whole situation, instead of simply making a painting', he said. When he exhibited at Bradford College (Massachusetts) in ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 1941, in Long Beach (California).

Painter (mixed media).

Minimal Art, Conceptual Art, New Image.

Jennifer Bartlett grew up in Long Beach, and the ocean has always been a constant in her work. Her early work is midway between Minimalist and Conceptualist. Starting with a pattern of small dots screenprinted onto a series of identical steel plaques, she painted dotted lines in enamel, the number of dots in each line being calculated on the basis of a strict mathematical scheme. The concept of series was already prominent in this early phase. In the series entitled ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 11 February 1942, in Hamburg (Pennsylvania).

Painter (mixed media).

Conceptual Art.

Bill Beckley began teaching at the New York School of Visual Arts in 1978. In 1979, he began to include painted panels in his photographic work. Later, he took salvaged items that he kept in his studio and worked them into his paintings. He began taking part in group exhibitions in ...

Article

Canadian, 20th century, male.

Born 1945, in Ottawa.

Sculptor.

Conceptual Art.

Karl Beveridge studied under the sculptors Robert Hedrick at Ontario College of Art and Arthur Handy at the New School of Art, Toronto. Using such modern synthetic materials as polyethylene and acrylic, Beveridge creates sculptures that are in symbiosis with contemporary life. He began to show his work in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1940, in Pittsburgh.

Painter (mixed media), watercolourist, engraver, draughtsman.

Conceptual Art, Copy Art.

Mel Bochner studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. He settled in New York in 1964.

He stood out among the exponents of Conceptual Art in his use of writing systems as a primary material for artistic expression, especially figures or series. There is a similarity between certain works by Bochner and some of those of Berlewi, but whereas Berlewi, in the 1920s, used stencils to repeat geometrical structures in mechanical fashion, Mel Bochner, in the 1960s, drew his geometrical figures by hand, although they were also based on the repetition of the same element, usually the point. For a period of a few years, Bochner's interest in the problem of the representation of writing and the word led him to construct installations. From ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Pittsburgh, PA, Aug 23, 1940).

American conceptual artist, draughtsman, painter, and writer. He studied painting at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh (BFA, 1962). In 1964 Bochner moved to New York. His first exhibition (1966), described by Benjamin Buchloch as the first conceptual art exhibition, was held at the Visual Arts Gallery, School of Visual Arts, New York, and titled Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to be Viewed as Art. In his work he investigated the relation between thinking and seeing. In his first mature works (1966), which are both conceptual and perceptual in basis and philosophical in content, he was interested to eliminate the ‘object’ in art and to communicate his own feelings and personal experience, and he did not wish to accept established art-historical conventions. He also experimented with word-drawings (see fig.) and number systems. For his Measurement series (late 1960s) he used black tape and Letraset to create line drawings accompanied by measurements directly on to walls, effectively making large-scale diagrams of the rooms in which they were installed. Bochner continued to make series of installational line drawings into the 1970s and 1980s, but from ...

Article

Manuel Cirauqui

(b Mexico City, 1981).

Mexican conceptual artist. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Bonillas started his career before, and instead of, undertaking an official fine arts education. Widely and internationally exhibited before he reached age 20, his work began with highly analytical studies of ordinary photographic procedures such as printing (in his foundational piece, Trabajos fotográficos, 1998) or pressing the shutter (Diez cámaras documentadas acústicamente, 1998).

Bonillas’s work investigates the materiality and semiotic depth of the photographic medium in a somewhat topographic manner: starting, and never ending, in a periphery that stands ambiguously as both the material margins of photography as well as its self-reflective dimension. However, the “peripheral” nature of Bonillas’s inquiry quickly reveals itself as a strategy to address core aspects of a medium whose substance lies, precisely, on its surface. As the artist exerts infinite variations on generic aspects of the photographic practice, alternately related to structure and meaning (primary colors, family photographs, erasures, captioning, fiction, archival habits, etc.), he delivers a paradox with each of his works. In them, background becomes foreground, face becomes pigment, anecdote becomes the main theme, stain becomes signature, and vice versa....

Article

French, 20th century, female.

Died 15 July 1995.

Installation artist.

Conceptual Art.

Sylvia Bossu was the artist in residence at the studios of the American Center in the Cité des Arts in 1991-1992. As the heir, like so many others, to Marcel Duchamp, Sylvia Bossu used the idiom of ...

Article

Chilean, 20th century, male.

Born 1935.

Painter.

Conceptual Art.

Brugnoli originated the earliest manifestations of Conceptual Art in Chile from 1960 to 1970, creating the group Studio of the Visual Arts, which aimed to address man and his social identity by producing works that had everyday objects at their centre....

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

Brazilian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1946.

Painter (mixed media), sculptor.

Conceptual Art.

Waltercio Caldas Junior has taken part in group exhibitions including the Art from Brazil in New York exhibition shown in various museums and galleries in 1995 and the São Paulo Biennale in ...

Article

Julia Detchon

(b Lübeck, 1937).

Uruguayan conceptual artist, critic, educator, and curator of German birth, active in the USA. Of Jewish ancestry, he fled with his family to Uruguay in 1939. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1953–1957 and 1959–1962, working with students to reform the school’s curriculum. In 1961, a Guggenheim fellowship took him to New York to study printmaking. Though he retained his Uruguayan citizenship, he settled permanently in New York, where he taught at the Pratt Graphics Art Center; co-founded the New York Graphic Workshop in 1964 with Liliana Porter (b 1941) and José Guillermo Castillo (1938–1999); and in 1971 helped establish New York’s Museo Latinoamericano and its subsequent splinter group, the Movimiento de Independencia Cultural de Latino América. From the 1970s, political repression in Latin America inspired a series of conceptual installations that addressed such issues as language, identity, freedom, political violence, and the role of art. For Camnitzer, the task of the artist was to identify and express the problems that surrounded him, transforming art into a political instrument. His questioning of traditional values applied not only to the themes of his work, but to its material form; employing objects of little intrinsic value, he rejected traditional notions of art as beautiful and of commercial worth....