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Article

Sarah Urist Green

(b Kabul, June 5, 1973).

Afghan video and performance artist and photographer, active also in the USA. After fleeing Soviet-occupied Kabul with her family in the late 1980s, Abdul lived as a refugee in Germany and India before moving to Southern California. She received a BA in Political Science and Philosophy at California State University, Fullerton, and an MFA at the University of California, Irvine, in 2000. Abdul first returned to a post-Taliban Afghanistan in 2001, where she encountered a place and people transformed by decades of violence and unrest. Since that time, Abdul has made work in Kabul and Los Angeles, staging herself in performances and creating performance-based video works and photography that explore ideas of home and the interconnection between architecture and identity.

Beginning in the late 1990s, Abdul made emotionally intense performance art informed by that of Yugoslavian artist Marina Abramović and Cuban-born American artist Ana Mendieta. At the time unable to travel to Afghanistan, Abdul created and documented performances in Los Angeles that probed her position as Afghan, female, Muslim, a refugee and a transnational artist. In ...

Article

Miwako Tezuka

(b Manila, Aug 19, 1973).

American installation artist of Filipino birth. Arcega was born in Manila and immigrated to the USA when he was ten years old. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from San Francisco Art Institute and, in 2009, earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Stanford University, California. While Arcega has worked with a variety of media, including sculpture and installation, he mainly focuses on language and creates visual and linguistic puns and satires that expose various social and political conflicts and problems resulting from globalization.

A tongue-in-cheek approach as an effective conceptual strategy has been used by a number of artists since Marcel Duchamp. In Arcega’s case, however, it relates more closely to the “format of jokes” that plays on unintended cultural misunderstandings between native English speakers and those for whom English is a second language. Ultimately, Arcega’s humor exposes the dark side of reality with frequent references to political and social issues. His installation ...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

[Friedman, André ]

(b Budapest, Oct 22, 1913; d Thai-Binh, Vietnam, May 25, 1954).

American photographer of Hungarian birth. Capa studied political science at Berlin University from 1931 to 1933. A self-taught photographer, as early as 1931 he worked as a photographic technician for the Ullstein publishing house and as a photographic assistant for Dephot (Deutscher Photodienst) cooperative photographic agency. In 1933 he emigrated to Paris, where he and his friend Gerda Pohorylles (1901–37) invented the American-sounding name Robert Capa, initially to publish photo-stories for which she wrote the text. This unsettled period in Paris offered numerous opportunities to work as a freelancer and to publish successfully. Although Lucien Vogel, the publisher of the magazine Vu, had revealed Capa’s use of a pseudonym, he kept the name and flew to Spain as a reporter on the Spanish Civil War. With Pohorylles (using the pseudonym Gerda Taro) he published Death in the Making, which contained his most famous photograph Death of a Spanish Loyalist...

Article

Miwako Tezuka

(b Kien Giang, Vietnam, Oct 9, 1977).

American photographer of Vietnamese birth. Danh’s family fled Vietnam as refugees when he was two years old and eventually immigrated to the USA in the early 1980s. In 2004 he received Master of Fine Arts from Stanford University, California. Danh worked with photography to excavate, revive, and preserve forgotten stories in history, particularly those of manmade atrocities such as the Vietnam War.

Photographic images of disasters, tragedies and figures associated with them have also been the focus of works by such artists as Andy Warhol and Christian Boltanski. Both of these artists use the power of photography to arrest the moment that triggers affective interpretation of pain and sorrow of the subjects of their work. However, Danh’s scientific experiments regarding the process of photography led him to develop a technique that he called “chlorophyll printing.” Danh took photographs found in old magazines and historical archives, created negatives out of them, placed them over still-growing plant leaves and then exposed them to sunlight (for several days or weeks) in order to activate photosynthesis. As the leaf gradually changes color, parts that are not blocked from the sunlight by the overlying negatives remain leafy green, causing an image to emerge in shapes of what had been captured in the original photographs. The leaf can then be encased in resin to preserve the image. For example, in his series ...

Article

Donna Stein

(b Hollywood, CA, June 21, 1941).

American photographer, educator, and author. She attended the University of California Los Angeles (1959–62), where she studied drawing and painting. She completed her education at San Francisco State University (BA 1963, MA 1966) where she studied with Jack Welpott (1923–2007), whom she married (1971–7). Dater’s perceptive portraits of women and men and challenging photographs of the nude secured her international reputation.

Her earliest self-portraits date from 1963, using her own image to consider issues of gender, sexuality and the female role in society as well as the hidden side of herself. In 1980, she took the first of 10 trips throughout the Southwest, creating a series of black-and-white self-portraits in the landscape. She also photographed herself in color creating staged tableaus, not unlike Cindy Sherman’s fictional archetypes that satirize iconic roles thrust upon women by society.

Dater has explored the interpretive portrait genre from the beginning of her career to the present. Living and working in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco during the 1960s, she was stimulated by feminism and other counter-culture movements (...

Article

Susan Kart

(b Nairobi, 1958).

Kenyan photographer, multimedia and performance artist, and teacher of Indian descent, active in the USA. DeSouza was born in Kenya to Indian parents. Raised in London from the age of 7, he called his background that of a ‘double colonial history’. DeSouza attended Goldsmiths College in London and the Bath Academy of Art, and although he has worked primarily in photography and as a writer on contemporary art, he has also branched out into performance art, digital painting, and textual and mixed media arts. He moved to the USA in 1992 and in 2012 became of Head of Photography at the University of California, Berkeley.

The primary themes in deSouza’s work are those of colonial encounter, seen in Indigena/Assimilado (1998), a photographic series of migrant workers in Los Angeles; migration, as explored in Threshold (1996–8), his early photographic series of airports empty of people; exile, which he explored in ...

Article

Vietnamese-American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1968, in Ha Tien, Vietnam.

Photographer, video artist, conceptual artist.

In 1978, Dinh Q. Lê fled Vietnam with his family to the United States, where he eventually gained U.S. citizenship. After completing his BA in fine arts at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in ...

Article

Michelle Yun

(b Manila, 1954).

Filipino filmmaker and photographer, active in the USA. Fuentes received a BA in Anthropology and Behavioral Science in 1974 from the De La Salle University in Manila. The following year he traveled to the United States to study at the Wharton School of Business, Philadelphia, PA, receiving an MBA in 1977. In 1981, he moved to Washington, DC to study Photography at the Corcoran School of Art under Mark Power. Fuentes subsequently received a Presidential Fellowship in 1991 from Temple University to pursue a MFA in Film and Video.

Fuentes began his artistic practice as a photographer and is best known in this medium for two series, Circle of Fear (1981–91) and Face Fusion (1986–9). These two bodies of work initially sprang from the artist’s feeling of disconnection towards both his Filipino roots and his adopted home in America. The Circle of Fear works incorporate a syncretic mix of Filipino folk culture with Western iconography to create fetishistic still lifes with a Post-modern gothic sensibility. ...

Article

Gensler  

Sara Stevens

American architectural firm started by Arthur Gensler Drue Gensler, and Jim Follett in 1965 in San Francisco, CA. M. Arthur Gensler jr (b Brooklyn, New York, 1935) attended Cornell University to study architecture (BArch, 1957). The firm began doing build-outs for retail stores and corporate offices, and initially established itself in the unglamorous area of interior architecture. Thirty years later and without mergers or acquisitions, it had grown to become one of the largest architecture firms in the world, having pioneered the global consultancy firm specializing in coordinated rollouts of multi-site building programmes. By 2012 the firm had over 3000 employees in over 40 offices. From the beginning, Art Gensler conceived of a global firm with multiple offices serving corporate clients whose businesses were becoming more international. Instead of the ‘starchitect’ model of his contemporaries such as I. M. Pei or Paul Rudolph, Gensler wanted an ego-free office that existed to serve client needs, not pursue a designer’s aesthetic agenda at the client’s expense. By adopting new web-based computing technologies and integrated design software in the early 1990s, the firm stayed well connected across their many offices and were more able than their competitors to manage large multi-site projects. Expanding from the services a traditional architecture firm offers, the company pushed into new areas well suited to their information technology and interiors expertise, such as organizational design, project management, and strategic facilities planning....

Article

Rory Spence

American architects and designers, also active in Australia and India. Marion Mahony Griffin (née Mahony) (b Chicago, 14 Feb 1871; d Chicago, 10 Aug 1961) worked together with her husband Walter Burley Griffin (b Maywood, IL, 24 Nov 1876; d Lucknow, 11 Feb 1937) after their marriage in 1911. She was the second woman to graduate in architecture (1894) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, and worked for Dwight Perkins (1867–1941) before joining Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio in 1895. There she produced many of the perspective drawings for Wright’s designs, including several of those used for the influential Wasmuth portfolio Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright (Berlin, 1910), which are among the finest architectural drawings of the 20th century. After Wright’s departure from Chicago in 1909, she assisted Hermann von Holst, who took over his practice. In Wright’s studio she also met Walter Burley Griffin, who had studied architecture (...

Article

Atteqa Ali

(b Aligarh, India, 1937).

Printmaker of Indian birth. Zarina, known professionally by her first name only, received a BSc from Aligarh’s Muslim University in 1958. She worked at Atelier 17 in Paris from 1964 to 1967 and studied woodblock printing in Tokyo. With her works she opens up discussions of dislocation, exile, partition and migration. These loaded topics are handled in lighter ways; her black-and-white pictures do not burden viewers with a lot of visual information. Instead, her imagery relies on the extended meanings of lines and shapes: borders, separation and units, among other things. Her semi-abstract, minimal style does not have the cool formalism that one might associate with the Minimalist movement. Perhaps because she often utilizes the woodblock technique, she softens hard edges and customizes the style to her needs. Her subject matter is, likewise, a personalized interpretation of larger concerns.

Zarina has traversed many boundaries in her life, and much of her oeuvre is about her personal journeys that are both actual and conceptual. She has lived in several places including India, Paris and New York and considers home to be an idea more than a physical structure. In her mind, home is a transitory site that moves along with you. Yet, she made a portfolio of prints, ...

Article

Sarah Cook and Marialaura Ghidini

[net art]

Sarah Cook and Marialaura Ghidini

Art that uses the Internet not only as its tool of production and distribution but also as its source material or medium, and exploits or reflects the Internet’s inherently connective characteristics. While not a distinct art form or style, Internet art has been discussed in connection to the history of media art, predominantly through studies of the screen (see Bosma, 2013; Manovich, 2001) and the way things are framed, including still or moving images (see Video art and New media art in India). Internet art exceeds this narrow definition and its lineage can be better understood in the context of telecommunications, with a focus on information exchange and its occurrences through networked channels of transmission and their inherent politics. Because of this it is linked to Conceptual art practices, including intermedia art, Fluxus, and Correspondence art (such as the work of Knowles, Alison...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(Rahman)

(b Dhaka, Bengal [now Bangladesh], April 3, 1929; d Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, March 27, 1982).

American civil engineer of Bangladeshi birth. Khan revolutionized the design of tall buildings in both steel and concrete through his innovation of tube structural systems which assisted in advancing the construction of modern super tall buildings in steel and concrete.

Khan studied at University of Calcutta’s Bengal Engineering College prior to receiving a Bachelor’s degree from University of Dhaka in 1951. In 1952 he received a Fulbright scholarship and a Pakistani Government Scholarship and attended the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana. Khan graduated in 1953 with a master’s degree in structural engineering and a second master’s degree in theoretical and applied mechanics and before returning to Pakistan to work with the Karachi Development Authority as an Executive Engineer. In 1955 Khan was back in Chicago joining the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), where he advanced to Participating Associate (1961), Associate Partner (...

Article

Reena Jana

(b Saigon, Vietnam, 1960).

Vietnamese-American photographer. In 1975, as the Vietnam War was ending, Lê came to the United States as a teenage refugee. She had lived through the war, which was photographed and filmed by the mainstream American news media and seen in all of its frank brutality by everyday citizens in magazines and on television. Lê’s work deals with the depiction and public perception of battle, but her images feature views of reenactments or training exercises, rather than actual combat violence. In these images, there is no bloodshed. Yet because they are captured on film, the photographs provoke the viewer to first read them as documentary images of war.

Her series Small Wars (1999–2002) features images of male volunteers who gather on weekends in Virginia to re-create battles from the Vietnam War. Some are Vietnam veterans, others civilians. They wear soldiers’ uniforms and use props—military tents, planes—that look authentic, but close observation reveals that the pine trees and other landscape details suggest the backdrop is in the United States—far removed from the jungles and rice paddies of Southeast Asia....

Article

Margo Machida

(b Saigon [now Ho Chi Minh City], Vietnam, March 23, 1954).

Vietnamese photographer and installation artist. Raised in Saigon, Pham joined the exodus of South Vietnamese refugees that began soon after the 1975 communist victory in her homeland. Settling in southern California, Pham studied art at California State University in Fullerton, ultimately receiving an MFA in photography (1986). She was appointed as a special faculty/visiting artist at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia (1989–92), and as a Rockefeller Fellow and instructor at the University of California in Los Angeles (1992–3). Her photographs have been widely exhibited at venues such as: Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan, the Asia Society Galleries in New York, Artists Space in New York, San Francisco Art Institute, Whatcom Museum of History and Art in Bellingham, WA, Washington Project for the Arts in Washington, DC, Photographic Resources Center at Boston University, Temple University in Philadelphia and university art galleries across California....

Article

Aparna Kumar

(b Hyderabad, 1972).

Aparna Kumar

Pakistani painter.

Qureshi began his artistic career at the National College of Arts (NCA) in Lahore, where he earned his BFA in 1993. As a student, Qureshi cultivated a keen interest in performance and theatre, and was an active member of the school’s puppetry and drama societies. He was also, however, drawn to painting and, at the encouragement of his teacher and famed miniaturist Bashir Ahmed (b 1954), eventually selected miniature painting as his specialty.

Qureshi’s training in miniature painting coincided with a period of renewed interest in the technique and its history at the NCA. He joined the Miniature department on the heels of Shahzia Sikander, a pioneering artist two years his senior, whose success as a miniaturist in both Pakistan and abroad challenged prevailing conceptions of the medium as kitsch and paved the way for a new generation of experimentation at the NCA.

Qureshi became a key figure in the revival and reinvention of miniature painting in Pakistan. He was, for instance, one of six Pakistani artists behind the ...

Article

Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Overbrook, PA, Dec 2, 1904; d Cambridge, MA, Oct 3, 1972).

American art historian and watercolourist. He was educated at St Paul’s School, Concord, NH, from 1918 to 1924 and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, in 1928. In 1930 he submitted at Harvard University his PhD thesis on Jaume Huguet and 15th-century painting in Catalonia, which was published in 1932. From 1930 until his death, Rowland continued to be based at Harvard, as a tutor from 1930 to 1941 and as an associate professor from 1941 to 1950. He served during World War II as a lieutenant commander in the US Naval Reserve. In 1950 he was appointed full professor and in 1960 became the Gleason Professor of Fine Arts. He also acted as a curator at the university’s Fogg Art Museum. In 1970 he served as the US delegate at the UNESCO Kushan Congress at Kabul. His paintings were exhibited in the 1940s and 1950s at galleries in Boston and Washington, and examples are to be found in the permanent collections of the Fogg Art Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; and the Art Museum, St Louis, MO. In ...

Article

Partha Mitter

(b Lahore, March 6, 1969).

Pakistani painter, active also in the USA. Sikander’s formative influences were her liberal family, schooling at a Catholic convent and travelling throughout Pakistan. She attended the National College of Arts in Lahore in 1989–92, followed by the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence in 1992–5. Sikander is an example of a transnational artist, whose evolving artistic expression kept pace with her own development as a political individual. With a precocious gift for drawing (see figs 1 and 2), she showed great versatility in her artistic media, from delicate miniatures and drawings inspired by numerology, to large-scale wall paintings, installations, performance art (with the dancer Sharmila Desai), digital animation and ceramics (see fig.). At the art school in Lahore she demonstrated her independence by specializing in miniature painting, widely dismissed at the time as kitsch, though some younger artists in Pakistan have subsequently followed her path. This solid grounding in traditional craftsmanship paradoxically offered her the wherewithal to engage with the predicament of modernity and its fractured identities. The genre opened up a dialogue between artistic, cultural and existential polarities: East and West, Muslim and Hindu, secular Mughal portraiture and Hindu religious mythology, narration and abstraction....

Article

Anis Farooqi

(b Goa, April 12, 1924; d Mumbai, March 28, 2002).

Indian painter and writer, active in Britain and the USA. After a difficult upbringing, he joined the Sir Jamshetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art, Bombay, in 1940 but was expelled in 1943. For a short period afterwards he was a member of the Communist Party of India and painted in a Social Realist idiom. In 1946–7 he initiated the Progressive Artists’ Group in Bombay, which promoted modernism in Indian art. By this time he had abandoned Social Realism and was influenced by European Expressionism. His work became known and in 1947 he won the award of the Bombay Art Society. In 1948 his work was represented in an exhibition of Indian art at Burlington House, London. The following year, after his paintings were removed from the Bombay Art Society and his flat was raided by the police to seize ‘obscene’ works, he decided to move to London, where he supported himself by painting and writing. Through Krishna Menon, the Indian High Commissioner to Britain, he received a commission to work on a series of murals in the Indian Students’ Bureau in London (since destr.); Menon also arranged an exhibition of his work at India House. In ...