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Article

Aizenberg, Roberto  

Horacio Safons

(b Federal, Entre Ríos, Aug 22, 1928; d Buenos Aires, Feb 19, 1996).

Argentine painter, draftsman, and collagist. He studied under Juan Batlle Planas from 1950 to 1953 and quickly established the terms of his work, rooted ideologically in Surrealism and indebted in particular to the work of René Magritte and Giorgio de Chirico. All the elements of his mature art are evident in an early painting, Burning of the Hasidic School in Minsk in 1713 (1954; artist’s col.): architecture, space, light, and ordered series. He developed an essentially intellectual approach, working in a variety of media (paintings, drawings, gouaches, and collages) in rigorous sequences and picturing objects in cold impersonal light that confers on them a sense of distant majesty. The most common motif is that of a geometric, almost abstract, structure, often in the form of a tower pierced by rows of large plain windows. Aizenberg’s work, while far removed from the Surrealist presumption of achieving a synthesis of wakefulness and dream, acquires its strength through the ordering of the unreal and the strange in the search for a transcendent essence capable of perturbing and jolting the viewer by bringing into play the archetypes of silence and solitude....

Article

Alÿs, Francis  

Francis Summers

revised by Martin R. Patrick

(b Antwerp, Aug 22, 1959).

Belgian-born interdisciplinary artist, active in Mexico. He studied architecture at the Institut d’Architecture de Tournai in Belgium (1978–83) and at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice (1983–6). Alÿs moved to Mexico in 1987 and his art practice initially concentrated on Mexico City as a laboratory of urban living, often documented in the form of evocative, conceptually layered photographs, sculptures, and videos. In the slide series Ambulantes (Pushing and Pulling) (1992–2002), Alÿs photographed street vendors and workers as they passed by carting a wide variety of goods within a ten-block vicinity of his studio. For his project entitled The Liar, The Copy of the Liar (1997) Alÿs created small images of suited men inspired by the commercial sign painters of Mexico City, and subsequently commissioned from them larger versions in their own styles. In this process Alÿs deferred authorship into a semantic chain. Hovering between the banal and the surreal, these works have an uncanny theme, of individuals observed in situations that defy explanation....

Article

Bedel, Jacques  

Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Painter, sculptor, mixed media, architect.

Bedel's works are metaphorical. In relief to varying degrees, he combines shiny metal with dull organic materials to create models that resemble towns, while privileging the evocation of the book form. He gives poetic expression to his pessimistic preoccupations concerning the future of humanity....

Article

Bueno, Mauricio  

Cecilia Suárez

(b Quito, Sept 8, 1939).

Ecuadorean painter, graphic designer, sculptor, installation artist, architect, and teacher. He studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Bogotá, Colombia. He worked for the Graham Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC, and received a grant to attend the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, where he worked with György Kepes. Later he became a professor at the arts faculty of the Universidad Central, Quito. Bueno worked first in graphic design before going on to experiment with the incorporation of technology into art, using laser beams, mechanical pumps, plastic, glass, and such elements as water, fire, and air, for example in 49 Tubes, exhibited at the Bienal de Arte Coltejer in Medellín in 1972. He also combined visual art with music in such works as Flame Orchards, with music by Paul Earls, which won joint first prize with Kepes in the same exhibition. Exploration into ecological and environmental art led him to experiment with the idea of an aerial view of the urban landscape incorporating military camouflage sheets....

Article

Burton, Mildred  

Jorge Glusberg

(b Paraná, Entre Ríos, Dec 28, 1942).

Argentine painter, draftsman, and collagist. She studied at the Escuela Provincial de Artes Visuales in Paraná and at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes “Ernesto de la Cárcova” in Buenos Aires. Taking the cue for her well-crafted works from Surrealism but concentrating her attention on fortuitous encounters in everyday life, she fluctuated between a meticulously detailed photographic realism and an artificial imagery of old porcelain dolls and turn-of-the-century postcards, posters, and advertising handbills. Generally working in series, she combined the sinister and the humorous, sometimes in a single work, as in Sublime Portrait of my Mother (1978; see Glusberg 1985, 455), a frontal view of a masked woman with a vacant and enigmatic smile. An early triptych, the Family of the Condemned (1974), is in the national collection in Buenos Aires (Mus. N. B.A.).

Glusberg, J. Del Pop-art a la Nueva Imagen. Buenos Aires, 1985, pp. 455–458....

Article

Carpinteros, Los  

Blanca Serrano Ortiz de Solórzano

Cuban artist collective founded in 1992 in Havana. Their work examines the concurrent semiotics of bricolage and their relationship to contemporary art, design, and architecture. The collective is composed of Marco Antonio Castillo Valdés (b 1971) and Dagoberto Rodríguez Sánchez (b 1969); Alexandre Jesús Arrechea Zambrano (b 1970) was part of the collective until 2003. The artists graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA), Havana, the Cuban national graduate school of arts, in 1994. At ISA they studied painting with Flavio Garciandía (b 1954), and participated in the art students group Desde Una Pragmática Pedagógica (From a Pragmatic Pedagogy) created by René Francisco Rodríguez (b 1960), which explored different avenues for the merging of art and life, and allowed the artists to take carpentry classes. The artists’ collective was given its name by their colleagues because of their engagement with manual trades and repurposing of objects....

Article

Eduardo, Jorge  

Brazilian, 20th century, male.

Born 1936, in Rio de Janeiro.

Painter (mixed media). Scenes with figures, landscapes, urban landscapes, seascapes.

Jorge Eduardo began studying architecture in 1956 at the university of Rio de Janeiro and received his degree in 1960. He was also a self-taught artist and continued to paint. It was not until ...

Article

Fanzeres, Evany  

Brazilian, 20th century, female.

Born 1940, in Rio de Janeiro.

Painter, sculptor, mixed media.

In 1957 and 1958 Evany Fanzeres studied history of art, drawing and architecture at the fine arts institute in Rio de Janeiro. In 1961 she spent time in Great Britain and later travelled to Germany where, in Düsseldorf, in ...

Article

Grinspum, Ester  

Brazilian, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1955, in Recife.

Sculptor, installation artist, draughtswoman. Architectural integration.

Ester Grinspum's first vase-shaped sculptures were an early exploration of the open-closed, full-empty relationship found in her piece Free Access ( Einfang), a monumental cavern that invites the viewer to enter and explore the shadow within. Her drawings, composed of thin sheets of very fine paper, offer the same type of experience but through transparency.Ester Grinspum has taken part in numerous collective exhibitions, including: 20th São Paulo Biennale (...

Article

Jaar, Alfredo  

Sarah Urist Green

revised by Julia Detchon

(b Santiago, Chile, Feb 5, 1956).

Chilean architect, public interventionist, installation artist, photographer, and filmmaker, active in the USA. He first studied architecture at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, then filmmaking at the Instituto Chileno-Norteamericano de Cultura, Santiago, concluding in 1981. Throughout his career, Jaar’s works have taken many forms in order to address global themes of injustice and illuminate structures of power. In over fifty projects he termed “public interventions,” Jaar conducted extensive research around the world to create site-specific works that reflect political and social realities near and far from his sites of exhibition. He created works—in gallery spaces and in public, often engaging spectator involvement—that present images critically and confront the social and political interests they serve.

Jaar’s first public intervention was Studies on Happiness (1979–1981), a three-year series of performances and exhibitions in which he asked the question, “Are you happy?” of people in the streets of Santiago. Inspired by ...

Article

La Vega, Jorge de  

Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Born 1930, in Buenos Aires; died 1971.

Painter (mixed media), engraver, illustrator.

Nueva Figuración.

La Vega began by studying architecture. A self-taught painter, he was also a musician, poet and, in addition, an advertising agent. He travelled to Europe, notably France, lived for two years in the USA and studied at Cornell University....

Article

Lorente, Rafael  

Uruguayan, 20th century, male.

Born 1940, in Montevideo.

Painter, collage artist.

Rafael Lorente studied at the Montevideo faculty of architecture from 1965 to 1968. In 1964 he was awarded first prize in a poster competition and in 1974 he travelled to Europe and Paris with a bursary....

Article

Manglano-Ovalle, Iñigo  

Susan Snodgrass

(b Madrid, 1961).

Chicago-based American sculptor, photographer, video artist, installation artist of Spanish birth. He received a BA in art and art history and a BA in Latin American and Spanish literature from Williams College in 1983. In 1989 he earned a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Manglano-Ovalle’s hybrid practice emerged with Tele-vecindario: A Street-Level Video Block Party, a public art project created for Culture in Action, a community-based art program in Chicago in 1992–1993. Working with Latino youth in Chicago’s West Town community, an area often challenged by substandard housing, drugs, and gang violence, the artist facilitated a multimedia portrait of their lives in which these youth constructed their own images and concept of self. Issues of identity, community, and migration, as they relate to both cultural and geographic borders, have been explored throughout his career that includes collaborative modes of working, as well as individual works sited within the museum or gallery. For Manglano-Ovalle, culture encompassed a broad network of systems—artistic, political, environmental, scientific—in constant dialogue, negotiated by both artist and viewer....

Article

Reinoso, Pablo  

Argentinian, French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 8 March 1955, in Buenos Aires.

Sculptor, installation artist.

Pablo Reinoso studied architecture at Buenos Aires University from 1973 to 1976. He now lives in Paris, where he wears a number of hats: as artistic director for the Givenchy perfume house and as a consultant to the French luxury consumer goods manufacturer Moët-Hennessy Louis Vuitton, in addition to running his own independent design consultancy, lecturing on corporate branding and being active in the world of theatre. Reinoso's sculptures are comprised of canvases inflated by air from heating ducts. As metaphors for the human form, they juxtapose transience and permanence, empty space and artefact....

Article

Salcedo, Bernardo  

Colombian, 20th century, male.

Born 12 August 1941, in Bogotá.

Painter, assemblage artist.

Bernardo Salcedo studied architecture at the national university of Colombia in Bogotá, where he later taught. He travelled regularly in Italy and Spain from 1970, in France in 1974 and in Great Britain in ...

Article

Salcedo, Bernardo  

Eduardo Serrano

(b Bogotá, Aug 12, 1941).

Colombian sculptor, collagist, and conceptual artist. He studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá from 1959 to 1965 and began at this time to make collages influenced by Pop art. In 1966 he made the first of his Boxes, painted in strong flat colors, often red or yellow, to which he affixed industrial elements such as telephone handsets. Soon afterwards he began to make only white boxes, using the color to complement the mystery of the objects they contained, such as the heads, arms, and legs of dolls, machine parts, wooden eggs, and domestic objects; the penetrating humor and arbitrariness with which he juxtaposed such things recalled the spirit of Dada.

In the 1970s Salcedo became involved for a time with conceptual art in mordantly critical and irreverent works, such as The National Coat of Arms (1973; Bogotá, Mus. A. Mod.). He subsequently returned, however, to sculptural objects, bringing together two or more previously unconnected elements into an unsuspected poetic unity when assembled. These in turn gave way to works concerned with the representation of water, for example a group of saw-blades aligned in wavelike patterns or rectangles of glass arranged to resemble rain. Some of these included human figures, bringing to bear a sense of solitude and anxiety that added to their poetry and suggestiveness....

Article

Tiscornia, Ana  

Daniel R. Quiles

(b Montevideo, Nov 24, 1951).

Uruguayan architect, sculptor, photographer, installation artist, curator, and art critic. In the late 1970s, she studied architecture at the Universidad de la República, Montevideo, and in the early 1980s visual art at the Taller de Artes Plásticas Guillermo Fernández and the Club de Grabado, Montevideo. The latter served as a gathering place for political artists after the dictatorship (1973–1985) closed the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes; Tiscornia ultimately became Secretary General of the Club, serving until 1988. Between 1975 and 1990 she worked in the architect Pola Glikberg’s studio designing domestic and office interiors as well as converting existing spaces for new functions, techniques, and subject matter that would later inflect her artistic practice. Tiscornia’s interplay between artistic and discursive production, spanning the fields of architecture, art, curatorial work, and academia, aligns her with other interdisciplinary practitioners in contemporary Latin American art such as her countryman Luis Camnitzer and Cuban American artist, critic, and curator Coco Fusco....

Article

Tunga  

Adrian Locke

revised by Iliana Cepero

[De Barros Carvalho e Mello Mourão, Antonio José]

(b Palmares, Pernambuco, Feb 8, 1952; d Rio de Janeiro, Jun 6, 2016).

Brazilian conceptual, installation, video, and performance artist. He earned a degree in architecture from the Universidade Santa Ursula, Rio de Janeiro in 1974. In 1976 he co-founded and edited the alternative art journal Malasartes, along with fellow artists Cildo Meireles, José Resende (b 1945), and Waltercio Caldas (b 1946); Meireles and Tunga founded another art journal together, A parte do fogo, in 1980. Tunga produced installation work involving objects, film, and video, as in the 1980 Dois irmões (“Two Brothers”) project and in his collaboration with Arthur Omar, O nervo de prata (“The Silver Needle”). Tunga’s multidisciplinary work encompassed various fields of knowledge, from paleontology and zoology to psychology and physics. Inspired by the Constructivist and Surrealist traditions, and by the ideas laid out in Oswald de Andrade’s Anthropofagite manifesto, Tunga parodied the scientific methods of these disciplines to subvert Cartesian logic and notions of reason. His highly symbolic pieces used a repertoire of motifs (bones, molars, hair, hammocks, skulls, nets, tubes, lamps) and materials (such as iron, wire, and glass) that he recycled throughout his career. For example, huge plates of steel and magnets merged with what appear to be long, thick plaits of hair. This hair, often real, was attached to the heads of living people or, as in the ...

Article

Tunga  

Brazilian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 8 February 1952, in Palmares (Pernambuco).

Sculptor, installation artist.

Tunga trained as an architect. As in Arte Povera, Tunga's work is meant to be close to life. He draws his materials from everyday life and works with familiar objects ranging from bowls and thimbles, to heavy materials like iron, copper or other metal plates and copper wire, as well as organic matter like hair, and more recently with blown glass. Tunga then integrates another dimension by adding literary, philosophical and scientific references. From accumulations and excesses Tunga builds up an original personal fiction, which destabilises perception, confuses scales and multiplies the connections between the objects, materials and the more anatomical shapes and colours and, in so doing transports the viewer to an imaginary phantasmagorical world. After ...