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Article

Canadian First Nations (We Wai Kai/Cape Mudge Band), 21st century, male.

Born 1975, in Richmond (British Columbia).

Painter, sculptor, printmaker, photographer.

The aesthetic of Sonny Assu (Liǥwilda’x̱w/Laich-kwil-tach) is a confluence of Northwest Coast formline motifs and popular Western culture. He is well versed in the traditional Kwakwaka’wakw arts of drum, blanket and basket making and uses these as the starting place of many of his artworks. Drawing on a pop sensibility, mass-media culture is used as a conduit to explore and expose these Kwakwaka’wakw traditions as well as the artist’s own mixed heritage. By bringing these seemingly desperate elements together, Assu’s works challenge popular notions of authenticity regarding Indigenous people and their art. Moreover, while the works may appear whimsical at first glance, they offer a sharp critique of Western society’s culture of consumption as it relates to colonisation, both historical and ongoing, in North America....

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Portsmouth, June 19, 1937).

English painter, sculptor, photographer and printmaker. He studied painting and lithography at Yeovil School of Art in Somerset (1953–7), Guildford College of Art (1957–9) and the Royal College of Art, London (1959–62), where he was one of the students associated with Pop art. Like R. B. Kitaj and David Hockney, Boshier juxtaposed contrasting styles within his paintings, but he favoured topical subject-matter such as the space race, political events and the Americanization of Europe. The satirical edge of such paintings as Identi-kit Man (1962; London, Tate), which pictured the threat posed by advertising to individual identity, was prompted by his reading of Marshall McLuhan, Vance Packard and other commentators. In the autumn of 1962 Boshier went to India on a one-year scholarship, producing paintings based on Indian symbolism (accidentally destr.). Returning to England he adopted a hard-edged geometric style, often using shaped canvases, abandoning overt figuration but continuing to allude through form to architectural structures and to the grid plans of cities....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 18 November 1933, in McPherson (Kansas).

Painter, draughtsman, printmaker, collage artist, assemblage artist, sculptor, film maker.

Pop Art, Funk Art.

Bruce Conner studied at Wichita University; at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln where he received a BFA in 1956; at Brooklyn Art School (...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1935, in Cincinnati.

Painter (gouache), watercolourist, assemblage artist, happenings artist, draughtsman, lithographer, photographer.

Neo-Dadaism, Pop Art.

Jim Dine spent his childhood in his father’s painting and plumbing tool shop. He studied at the University of Cincinnati and then at Ohio University, leaving with a Bachelor of Arts in 1957. He also followed courses at Boston Museum School. In 1958 he settled in New York, participating in the birth of Pop Art and, more especially, Happening Art, participating in avant-garde group exhibitions. However, this allegiance to Pop Art has to be moderated to some extent; even though historically he lived this experience, he always added a somewhat poetic, sentimental nuance and retained an attachment to pictorial problems, something that brought him closer to another artist who found himself isolated during this period: Cy Twombly....

Article

Reena Jana

(b Cologne, Germany, 1969).

American mixed-media artist of German birth and Asian descent. Ezawa studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1990–94) before moving to San Francisco in 1994. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (1995) and an MFA from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (2003). Ezawa is not a photographer, but his work centers around photography; he has used a variety of media, from digital animations to paper collages and aquatint prints, to revisit some of the world’s most familiar, infamous and historically significant news photographs, television broadcasts and motion-picture stills (see The Simpson Verdict). All of Ezawa’s work utilizes the artist’s signature style of flat, simple renderings that are cartoonlike and also suggest the streamlined and colorful style of Pop artist Katz, Alex.

Ezawa’s project, The History of Photography Remix (2004–6), exemplifies his approach to exploring the power of photographs as a mirror of reality and yet also a force that can manipulate memories of events and people. The project consists of images appropriated from art history textbooks, such as American photographer Cindy Sherman’s ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1 June 1937, in Nashville (Tennessee).

Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, performance artist, environmental artist, installation artist, film maker.

Neo-Dadaism, Pop Art.

Born Charles Rogers Grooms, the red-headed Red Grooms studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1955...

Article

Vanina Costa

(b St Brieuc, Côtes-du-Nord, Nov 9, 1926; d Paris, Oct 28, 2005).

French décollagist, photographer and sculptor. He began taking photographs in 1944 and in the following year, while studying sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Rennes, met the French artist Jacques de la Villeglé (b 1926) with whom he worked collaboratively from 1950 to 1953. In 1949 Hains produced his first pictures using the technique of Décollage, ripping off the successive layers of posters found on city walls (for illustration see Nouveau Réalisme and Untitled, 1990). Although the emphasis in these works is often on abstract qualities of texture and colour, he had a particular eye for fragments of text and for their political implications, as in Peace in Algeria (375×325 mm, 1956; Paris, Ginette Dufrêne priv. col., see 1986 exh. cat., p. 151). These works were first shown in 1957 alongside those of de la Villeglé, in an exhibition, Loi du 29 juillet 1881 (Paris, Gal. Colette Allendy), named after the law banning the display of posters; they led to his becoming one of the founder members of ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Bradford, July 9, 1937).

English painter, printmaker, photographer, and stage designer. Perhaps the most popular and versatile British artist of the 20th century, Hockney made apparent his facility as a draughtsman while studying at Bradford School of Art between 1953 and 1957, producing portraits and observations of his surroundings under the influence of the Euston Road School and of Stanley Spencer. From 1957 to 1959 he worked in hospitals as a conscientious objector to fulfil the requirements of national service. On beginning a three-year postgraduate course at the Royal College of Art, London, in 1959, he turned first to the discipline of drawing from life in two elaborate studies of a skeleton before working briefly in an abstract idiom inspired by the paintings of Alan Davie.

Encouraged by a fellow student, R. B. Kitaj, Hockney soon sought ways of reintegrating a personal subject-matter into his art while remaining faithful to his newly acquired modernism. He began tentatively by copying fragments of poems on to his paintings, encouraging a close scrutiny of the surface and creating a specific identity for the painted marks through the alliance of word and image. These cryptic messages soon gave way to open declarations in a series of paintings produced in ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1955, in York (Pennsylvania).

Assemblage artist, installation artist, photographer, mixed media. Multimedia.

Neo-Conceptual Art (Neo-Geo), Appropriation Art, Neo-Pop Art.

Jeff Koons trained for three years at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and subsequently at the Art Institute of Chicago. He lives and works in New York, Germany and Italy. Before embarking on an artistic career he worked on Wall Street as a commodities broker, and his artwork and his conception of the role of the artist remain suffused with ideas and concepts drawn from this earlier experience: the artist survives by supplying commodities to a specific market, governed by the laws of consumerism, speculation and marketing....

Article

Belgian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1947, in Zottegem.

Collage artist, draughtsman, engraver, photographer, video artist. Cartoons for tapestries.

Neo-Pop Art.

Danny Matthys has created vast collages, verging on Pop Art, in which he has integrated any materials he could find, including textiles, plastics, nylon and wood. He has taken part in collective exhibitions in Ghent and Knokke-le-Zoute and has had solo exhibitions in Ghent....

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

American group of artists active in the 1950s and 1960s who were part of a movement that was reacting to Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism and conceptual art by choosing to represent traditional subjects of nudes, portraiture, still lifes, landscapes and urban street scenes that often were plain and ordinary. The rise of consumerism and mass production inspired New Realist artists who returned to representing subjects as everyday and common visual encounters and experiences. The New Realist movement is in contrast to earlier forms of realism practiced by European artists whose works embody idealism or romanticize the commonality of the subject. New Realism is also associated with the emergence of Photorealism, where the camera captured the momentary fleeting naturalism of the subject. A common approach characteristically unifying New Realist artworks is the notion of the presence of the subject, which is understood as the representation of a neutral peripheral visual experience that exposes the subject prior to its discovery as a cognitive translation, intellectual or emotional response. Paintings and drawings present the perception of the real in a direct, clear and straightforward way using conventional drawing and painting techniques, and classical compositional approaches. Subjects are acutely observed and revealed with precise attention to detail and technical draftsmanship to disclose the detached presence of the subject itself....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1949, in the Panama Canal zone.

Painter, photographer.

Neo-Conceptual Art, Appropriation Art (Simulationism), Neo-Pop Art.

Richard Prince used the technique of 'appropriation' that was popular in the 1980s with those who were influenced by Post-Modernist ideas. In his photographs, which made him famous, he takes new pictures of existing advertising images, deleting the text of the commercial advertisement. In this way he isolates the persona of such characters as the famous ...

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

Anne Livet

(b Omaha, NE, Dec 16, 1937).

American painter and photographer. While still at school in Oklahoma City, he developed an interest in Surrealism. Moving to Los Angeles in 1956, Ruscha came to prominence there in the late 1950s when he began making small collages similar to those of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. Soon he began to refine his collages, isolating and recombining words and images in increasingly subtle and unique ways. Because he drew upon sources from the real world and embraced the vulgar techniques and imagery of commercial culture, his work is associated with Pop art. However, unlike some Pop painters, Ruscha seldom seemed to be making art about other art. Ruscha used unconventional materials in his graphic work of the late 1960s and 1970s: he drew with gunpowder and painted and printed with foodstuffs and with a variety of organic substances such as blood and the medicine Pepto-Bismol. He was well known for his depiction of words and phrases (e.g. ...

Article

Martin Heller

(b Basle, May 16, 1945).

Swiss painter, conceptual artist and installation artist. After training as a photographer he had his first successes exhibiting works on panels derived from Pop art (1967–9). These were followed by further conceptual works and installations. In 1969 he had his first one-man show at the Galerie Toni Gerber, Berne, and made important contributions to the exhibitions When Attitudes Become Form, held in 1969 at the Kunsthalle, Berne, and Documenta 5 in Kassel, Germany, in 1972. In 1971 he began to paint while continuing to produce three-dimensional objects (e.g. Amore; see 1986 exh. cat.). In these early works his affinity with popular and dilettante aesthetics, kitsch, trivia, and ‘do-it-yourself’ bricolage is evident. As a summation of such interests, in 1976–8 he created Apocalypso, an enormous picture on fabric that he considered a kind of ‘world view’. In the 1980s Schnyder systematically expanded and intensified his knowledge of painting and revived such traditional genres as animal painting and, particularly, landscape painting. Several small-scale series (e.g. ...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 1938, in San Marino.

Painter, collage artist, photomontage artist. Scenes with figures.

Pop Art.

Giangiacomo Spadari settled in Milan in 1961 with the intention of becoming an artist. He has often been associated with the French artist Bernard Rancillac, but the similarities between them are technical rather than ideological. They both use a procedure, derived from photography, of projection and solarisation of images taken from the news media. The shadows are greatly accentuated, creating vibrant contrasts between the dark and the light areas. Colours are enhanced to the point where they become almost unbearable. Spadari tries to provoke and persuade the viewer, presenting associative images that are always comprehensible even if not strictly faithful to reality. This use of associations recalls Heartfield's use of photomontage; and Spadari makes clear references to the work of this artist in some of his works, sometimes re-using elements borrowed from Heartfield....

Article

Spanish, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1958, in Bilbao.

Painter, photographer.

Pop Art.

Ugalde studied architecture, fine art and philosophy in Madrid. He then won a scholarship to stay in New York in 1986, where he lived until 1989. He now lives and works in Madrid. He is strongly influenced by Pop Art, incorporating people and scenes from comic strips, hieroglyphs and landscapes into his pictorial space. He subsequently photographed 'anything which grabbed (his) attention, deserted streets, retired villagers, tumbledown houses', to evoke contemporary rural Spain. He adds large splashes of white or grey paint and sticks parts of postcards, images of animals or people from comic strips to the images obtained. In ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 6 August 1928, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; died 22 February 1987, in New York.

Painter, draughtsman, printmaker, illustrator, photographer, filmmaker, writer, collector. Figures, portraits, still lifes.

Pop art, Copy art.

Andy Warhol was the son of Slovak immigrants who settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the 1920s. His father, a miner, died in 1942 after three years of illness, and his mother only spoke broken English. Despite his very humble origins, he graduated from the Institute of Applied Arts in Pittsburgh in 1949 and went to New York. There he enjoyed a successful career as an advertising artist and a poster artist. He also produced drawings of shoes for the magazine ...