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Article

Amer, Ghada  

Chika Okeke-Agulu

(b Cairo, May 22, 1963).

American painter, sculptor, fibre and installation artist of Egyptian birth. Amer, one of the few young artists of African origin to gain prominence in the late 1990s international art scene, studied painting in France at the Villa Arson EPIAR, Nice (MFA, 1989), and the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Art Plastique, Paris (1991). She subsequently moved to New York. She is best known for her canvases in which paint and embroidery are combined to explore themes of love, desire, sexuality, and women’s identity in a patriarchal world. Amer’s use of Embroidery, historically regarded as a genteel female craft, to create images of women fulfilling their sexual desires without inhibition, recalls the provocations and strategies of 1970s Western feminist art. However, her work also reflects her alarm at the incremental curbing of women’s social and political freedoms in her native Egypt following the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, especially after the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser ended in ...

Article

Bertholle, Jean  

French, 20th century, male.

Born 26 June 1909, in Dijon; died 6 December 1996, in Paris.

Painter, collage artist, engraver, draughtsman. Wall decorations, designs for mosaics, stained glass windows, tapestries, stage costumes and sets.

A pupil at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyons in 1930, Bertholle studied in Paris from 1932-1934, and subsequently attended classes run by the painter Roger Bissière at the Académie Ranson, where he met his friends and associates Manessier, Etienne-Martin, Le Moal and Véra Pagava. He was artistic director of the Gien porcelain factory from 1943-1957, and taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1965-1980. He was a member of the Institut de France, a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur and a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Initially an admirer of Puvis de Chavannes, whose work he had encountered at the city museum in Lyons, Bertholle later discovered Manet (at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1932), and through the latter, Van Gogh and Renoir. Following his early, highly-coloured Expressionist period, Bertholle was greatly influenced by the Flemish fantasies of Breughel and Heironymus Bosch, and ultimately by the Surrealists - as may be seen in his painting of the ...

Article

Clark, Lygia  

Denise Carvalho

(b Belo Horizonte, Oct 23, 1920; d Rio de Janeiro, Apr 25, 1988).

Brazilian painter, sculptor, interactive artist, and art therapist. She was a cofounder in 1959 of the Neo-Concrete movement, whose members laid the foundation for much of Brazilian contemporary art. The Neo-Concretists broke with the rigidity of the rationalism of Concrete art and advocated a more sensorial, interactive art. Lygia Clark and her creative soul-mate, Hélio Oiticica, created participatory works that challenged not only longstanding artistic dogmas, but also the role of the art object itself, as well as the role of the artist, the spectator, and the art institution. Their most groundbreaking works required the viewer to be part of the artwork and thereby experience it sensorially, all of which made their work difficult to categorize. Clark came to see even her exhibitions at major art events as meaningless, and her emphasis on person-to-person dialogue eventually led her into art therapy. Without a therapeutic license, she devoted her last decades solely to treating patients with her own form of art therapy....

Article

Shonibare, Yinka  

Andrew Cross

revised by Mary Chou

(b London Aug 9, 1962).

British sculptor, painter and installation artist. Born to Nigerian parents, he grew up in Nigeria before returning to England to study Fine Art in London at Byam Shaw School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College where he completed his MFA. Shonibare’s West African heritage has been at the heart of his work since he started exhibiting in 1988, when he began using ‘Dutch-wax’ dyed fabrics, commonly found in Western Africa, both for wall-mounted works (as pseudo paintings) and for sculpted figures. Generally perceived as ‘authentic’African cloth, the tradition of Batik originated in Indonesia, and was appropriated by the Dutch who colonized the country. Manufactured in Holland and Britain, the cloth was then shipped to West Africa where it became the dress of the working class in nations such as Nigeria. Shonibare used the material as a way of deconstructing the more complex histories that determine these and other images of ethnicity. As such, he has been described as a ‘post-cultural hybrid’ or the ‘quintessential postcolonial artist’ by critics as well as the artist himself....

Article

Simonds-Gooding, Maria  

Irish, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1939, in India, to an Irish mother and an English father.

Painter (mixed media), tapestry maker, engraver.

Maria Simonds-Gooding's family returned from India in 1947 and settled in County Kerry. She studied at the National College of Art in Dublin, the Centre de Peinture in Brussels and at Bath Academy in Corsham, England. In ...

Article

Weaver, Kenneth  

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1961, in West Palm Beach (Florida).

Painter, installation artist, performance artist. Figures.

Keneth Weaver is based in New York. In the 1970s, he created the series Sexual Positions. In the wake of Warhol, he works on the mechanical reproduction of images, but ascribes some of his know-how to the 19th-century Romantic tradition. He has taken part in collective exhibitions in New York and has shown his works in solo exhibitions, notably in ...