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Article

Native American (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation), 20th–21st century, male.

Born 1946, in Montana.

Printmaker, photographer, conceptual artist, installation artist.

Corwin Clairmont, or ‘Corky’, received his MFA from California State University, Los Angeles in 1971. His early work, concerning social and environmental issues, earned him a Ford Foundation Grant (...

Article

James Smalls

(b Somerville, NJ, 1955).

African American sculptor, printmaker, and conceptual artist. He grew up in New Jersey and attended the Boston University School of Fine Arts, the School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League of New York City. Cole is best known for assembling and transforming ordinary domestic objects, such as irons, ironing boards, high-heeled shoes, lawn jockeys, hair dryers, bicycle parts and other discarded appliances and hardware into imaginative and powerful configurations and installations embedded with references to the African American experience and inspired by West African religion, mythology and culture. Visual puns and verbal play characterized his works, thereby creating layered meanings. The objects he chose were often discarded mass-produced American products that had themselves acquired an alternate history through their previous handling and use.

In 1989, he became attracted to the motif of the steam iron both for its form and for its perceived embodiment of the experience and history of the unknown persons who had previously used it. He referred to the earliest versions of these irons as ‘Household Gods’ and ‘Domestic Demons’. With them, he engaged with ideas utilizing not only the found object but also the repetitive scorch mark of the iron arranged in either purely decorative patterns or in such ways as to suggest a face or African mask (...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1954, in Wichita (Kansas).

Engraver, screen printer.

Conceptual Art.

Hachivi Edgar's prints are often trenchant denunciations of what he sees as the inherent violence of American society. He was among the American artists invited to exhibit at the Salon de la Jeune Gravure Contemporaine in Paris in ...

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

Maeve Coudrelle

(b São Paulo, 1961).

Brazilian installation artist and sculptor. She studied at the private college Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP), São Paulo, from 1979 to 1984, earning her Licenciatura Plena there. Leirner is known for her compelling accumulations of consumer objects, which she organized and assembled into installations.

Leirner was introduced to contemporary art at an early age by her parents, Fúlvia and Adolfo Leirner, who had a large art collection that included Brazilian Constructivist work. During her time at FAAP, instructors there included Nelson Leirner (her uncle; b 1932), Julio Plaza (1938–2003), Regina Silveira (b 1939), and Walter Zanini (1925–2013). In 1981 she traveled to New York and Europe, where her interest in conceptual art, Minimalism, and Arte Povera developed. The next year, she had her first solo exhibition at the Galeria Tenda in São Paulo, where she showed Imagens objetuais (Objectual Images, 1982), a series of collages comprised of cord, wire, and paper. The series’ title highlights the ambiguity of the work of art, which is at once an image—a representation of something—and an object—a physical thing....

Article

Denise Carvalho

(b Rio de Janeiro, 1948).

Brazilian interventionist, multimedia, installation and conceptual artist, considered the most influential contemporary artist of his country. While international critics have compared his work with North American Minimalism and Conceptual art, Meireles insisted that art should be seductive. He studied at the National School of Fine Arts and at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. Coming of age at a time of the military dictatorship in Brazil (1964–85), he circumvented strict state censorship with a series of interventionist works, adding politically charged texts and reinserting the works back into circulation.

Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Coca-Cola Project (1970) included Coca-Cola bottles with the added text ‘Yankees. Go Home!’ In Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Cédula Project (1970), the same message was printed on one dollar bills, and on the current Brazilian currency, the Cruzeiro. Some bills also queried ‘Who killed Herzog?’ referring to a Brazilian journalist who died while in police custody. Meireles’ series utilizes a mechanistic process of capitalistic insertion and circulation, adding phrases that question the methods and policies of the dictatorship. ...

Article

American, 20th–21st century, female.

Born 1960, in Brooklyn (New York).

Engraver, photographer, mixed media, installation artist.

Conceptual Art, Identity Art.

Lorna Simpson is an African American artist who combines texts and photographs of black women to explore the experience of African American women in contemporary society. The artist also makes sound installations.

Simpson studied at the University of San Diego and then at the New York School of Visual Arts. She began as a photo-journalist and her work has retained a connection between photograph and text. Simpson’s work portrays the black female body, and its frequent encounters with micro-aggressions and projected stereotypes of black female sexuality. In the series Guarded Conditions (1989–1990), which includes a photograph of a black woman dressed in a large nightshirt or cotton dress, the model is shown six times, while a text printed as a caption alternates the words ‘sex attack’ with the words ‘skin attacks’, inferring that the woman has been sexually attacked because of the colour of her skin and that the condition of being a black woman predisposes her to becoming a rape victim....

Article

Canadian, 20th–21st century, male.

Active in USA 1964–1972.

Born 10 December 1928, in Toronto.

Painter, sculptor, collage artist, lithographer, video installation artist. Artists’ books.

Conceptual Art.

Michael James Snow was a student at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto from 1948 and graduated in 1953. He spent time in Europe in 1954–1955. He also made a name for himself as a jazz musician. He mainly chooses the most ordinary subjects and objects from everyday life, which he empties of their usual significance in order to transmute them by making their place in space and time perceptible. His early works were figurative, interiors and figures. However, from 1961, he particularly exploited the theme of the ...