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Cohen, Harold  

Timothy Stott

(b London, May 1, 1928; d Encinitas, CA, Apr 27, 2016).

English painter, active also in the USA. Born into a Polish-Russian émigré family in 1928, Cohen enrolled at the Slade School of Art, London, in 1948, graduating in 1951 with a Diploma in Fine Art. He taught art history at Camberwell School of Art (1952–1954) and fine art at University of Nottingham (1956–1959), Slade School (1961–1965), and Coventry College of Art (1965–1968). In 1968 he joined the Visual Arts Department at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) at a time of widespread pedagogical and curricular experiment, attaining a professorship in 1971. He retired from this role in 1994 and became founding director of UCSD’s Center for Research in Computing and the Arts in La Jolla.

His first solo exhibition took place at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, in 1951, followed by several shows at Gimpel Fils and other major galleries in London from 1954 on. His abstract, biomorphic paintings and prints featured widely in the constructivist revival of the late 1950s. In the catalog for ...


Conrad, Tony  

Scott Davis

[Schmalz, Anthony]

(b Concord, NH, Mar 7, 1940; d Cheektowaga, NY, Apr 9, 2016).

American composer, multimedia artist, and teacher. Tony Conrad was a pioneer of minimalist music, visual art, film, and video and media arts. While studying mathematics at Harvard University (1957–1962), Conrad encountered experimental composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage. Through a meeting with the composer La Monte Young, Conrad began making word scores resulting in early works, including This Piece Is Its Name (1961), which became early examples of the interdisciplinary medium.

Moving to downtown New York City in 1962, Conrad immersed himself in the city’s diverse group of artists, musicians, and underground filmmakers, including Robert Morris, Walter de Maria, and the Fluxus group. Throughout the mid-1960s Conrad collaborated with La Monte Young, John Cale (b 1942), Angus MacLise (1938–1979), and Marian Zazeela (b 1940) in the Theatre of Eternal Music. The collective, led by Young, utilized unique tunings, high volume, and sustained tones to produce durational compositions. The group would exert a profound influence upon minimalist music and visual arts through both their theoretical aims and formal innovations....


Hill Museum & Manuscript Library  

Theresa Vann

American library in Saint John’s University, Collegeville, MN, founded in 1965. The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML; formerly the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library) contains over 115,000 microfilm and digital images of medieval, Renaissance, early modern and Eastern Christian manuscripts. To fulfil its mission of preserving endangered manuscripts and making them more accessible to scholars, HMML photographs entire manuscript libraries that lack the resources to preserve their own collections, are inaccessible to researchers, or are in immediate danger of destruction. Until 2003, HMML photographed entire manuscripts on black and white microfilm and shot selected illuminations in colour. When the Library switched to digital photography in 2003, it shot entire volumes in colour and recorded codicological information.

The vast majority of HMML’s holdings reproduce texts predating 1600. Nearly half of HMML’s Western manuscripts derive from libraries in Austria and Germany, but HMML also houses significant collections from Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, and England. The Maltese collections are particularly important and include the Archives of the Knights of Malta. HMML has photographed collections of Eastern Christian manuscripts since the 1970s, and its collections of Armenian, Syriac, and Christian Arabic manuscripts are becoming the most significant resource for the study of Eastern Christian manuscripts in the world. HMML has by far the world’s largest collection of Ethiopian manuscripts preserved on microfilm and in digital form....


John Cage’s Experimental Composition Class  

Julia E. Robinson

American experimental music class held by John Cage in New York. Although Cage had been faculty at the New School for Social Research (called the University in Exile in the period of and immediately after World War II, and subsequently, The New School University) since the early 1950s, team-teaching with his early mentor Henry Cowell (1897–1965), his critical tenure there was 1956–1960. It was in these years that his own work was hitting its greatest strides, and his dynamic classes reflected as much. The class focused on Cage’s most exploratory moves in music, not only his own trajectory—informed by Marcel Duchamp, Zen, and the international postwar avant-garde scene—but also new developments at Darmstadt (whether he was for them or against them), the world epicenter for exploratory musical work, which was driven by a younger generation mostly engaged with new sound technology.

Cage’s pedagogical modus operandi was surprising, in part due to his strikingly “low-tech” means. He was known for exemplifying the spatialization of sound, and its capacity for constant change, by such methods as placing a pencil—rubber eraser pointing down—between the strings of the New School classroom piano, to show students how, via direct alterations to the source, sound could be ...


Marshall, Kerry James  

Dennis Raverty

(b Birmingham, AL, Oct 17, 1955).

African American painter, writer, film production designer, and multimedia installation artist. Marshall’s works portray idealized subjects derived from African American experience in large-scale, multiple-figure paintings and installations that share many characteristics with European history painting in the “grand manner” of Peter Paul Rubens, Benjamin West, Jacques-Louis David, and the 19th-century academic tradition. This “high culture” Euro-American tradition is juxtaposed with elements of African American vernacular culture in order to reinsert African American subjects and aesthetics into the larger mainstream of America’s artistic and cultural history—a history from which, the artist believes, blacks have been largely excluded.

Marshall was born in Birmingham, AL, one of the most segregated cities in the United States at that time, and the site of civil rights demonstrations in the early 1960s. He moved with his parents in 1963 to Nickerson Gardens public housing project in Watts, CA, just a few years before the riots there. Consequently, the struggles of the civil rights movement profoundly affected him and are a major theme in his mature work....


Visual culture  

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....