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Article

Anthony W. Lee

(b Gee Village [now Chu Village], Guangdong Province, China, Feb 22, 1906; d New York, NY, June 5, 1963).

American painter, poet, essayist and inventor. Gee traveled to San Francisco in 1921, joining his father, a merchant in Chinatown. In 1925 he enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) where he took classes with Otis Oldfield (1890–1969) and Gottardo Piazzoni and experimented for the first time in oils. A year later he co-founded two separate art collectives, the Modern Gallery, comprised mostly of white artists with substantial European-based training, and the Chinese Revolutionary Artists’ Club, comprised exclusively of young Chinese immigrants. The differences between the groups reflected an ongoing tension in Gee’s professional and political ambitions between the search for newer forms of modern art and the desire to ennoble a diasporic Chinese sensibility. He initially developed a style of short, choppy brushwork and the juxtaposition of hot and cold colors, and subjects based on the people, streets and goods of Chinatown. He would later call this practice “Diamondism.”...

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

[emerging art markets]

Since the 1980s art markets have developed rapidly outside of Europe and the USA. In the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) this development has been particularly dynamic. With aggregate sales estimated at €11.5 billion, China is the second largest market for art and antiques in the world after the USA (McAndrew 2014). Works of art made by modern and contemporary artists from all four countries regularly fetch more than $1 million at auction.

The rise of the BRICs has coincided with the global integration of what used to be local art markets: demand for and supply of particular artists or artistic movements may now be dispersed across the globe. The boom which global art markets have witnessed in the new millennium can be attributed partially to new buyers from countries like China and Russia developing an interest in art, both old and new. In describing the emergence of the BRICs, the focus in this article will be on modern and contemporary art, since that is where market development has been most significant, both qualitatively and quantitatively....

Article

American artists’ collective and support network formed in New York in 1990 by Ken Chu, Bing Lee and cultural critic, curator, and artist Margo Machida. The artists hoped to develop a network of artists and to document and build a discourse on Asian American art. The group disbanded in 2001.

The original members of the group included Tomie Arai, Ken Chu, Karin Higa, Arlan Huang (b 1948), Byron Kim, Colin Lee (b 1953), Bing Lee, Janet Lin, Mei-Lin Liu, Margo Machida, Stephanie Mar, Yong Soon Min, Helen Oji, Eugenie Tsai, and Garson Yu. This small group of artists, arts administrators and critics began by gathering in members’ apartments, but membership quickly grew to over 200 strong, which made it necessary for Godzilla’s meetings to be held in alternative art spaces throughout the city including Artists Space, The Drawing Center, and Art in General. Artists who later joined Godzilla included Allan deSouza (...

Article

Alan M. Fern

(b Nagasaki, Nov 8, 1867; d St Petersburg, FL, Nov 21, 1944).

American writer and lecturer of Japanese birth. He was born to a Japanese mother and German father and brought up by relatives in Hamburg and, from 1882, in Philadelphia, where he studied art. Under the influence of the poet Walt Whitman, he decided to become a writer. Later he worked as a journalist in Boston, where he launched a literary magazine. When publication ceased, he moved to New York and began his freelance career.

Hartmann’s first article for Camera Notes was published in 1898 by Alfred Stieglitz, and he made regular contributions to Camera Work until 1904, but thereafter he published wherever he could and became a lecturer. He was one of the best-known spokesmen for photography in America, criticizing any work that did not make use of the fundamental qualities of the medium. A severe judge of early American painting, he singled out only Gilbert Stuart and John Vanderlyn for praise. Among later 19th-century American painters he preferred followers of the Barbizon school. His impact as a critic had lessened by the 1920s, although his views on the standards of 20th-century painting and photography attracted renewed attention in the 1970s....

Article

Milo Cleveland Beach

(b Bombay, 1902; d New York, 1971).

American dealer of Indian birth. Following the decline of the family textile business, his father, Munchersa Heeramaneck, became an antiquities dealer and shrewdly developed a speciality in Chinese ceramics. As a youth, Nasli was assigned to the New Delhi office, but in 1922 he was sent to Paris to study and open a branch. He soon moved to New York, which became the final location for Heeramaneck Galleries. In 1939 Heeramaneck married Alice Arvine, an American portrait painter from New Haven, and she became an active partner in the business. They were responsible for the acquisition of many great works of Indian, Tibetan and Nepali sculpture, Mughal and Rajput painting, Ancient Near Eastern and Islamic art, and Central Asian (including nomadic) art by major American museums. They also formed a comprehensive private collection of South Asian art, including superlative paintings and sculptures from the Himalayan regions, and a smaller collection of ancient Near Eastern and Islamic art, both purchased by the ...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

American ceramic factory. Homer Laughlin first produced white ironstone in 1873 with his brother Shakespeare, as Laughlin Brothers. The partnership was dissolved in 1877, and Homer Laughlin established the Homer Laughlin China Co. Semi-vitreous dinnerware made for hotels was added as a major product in the 1890s, and in 1896 the firm was formally incorporated. Laughlin retired two years later, but the firm continued to use its new name. By 1905 the company had three potteries in East Liverpool, OH, with a capacity of 36 kilns. Expansion of the operation continued in Newell, WV, and in 1929 all the manufacturing was consolidated there in five potteries. ‘Fiesta’, ‘Harlequin’ and ‘Eggshell’ were among the most popular domestic lines produced between 1935 and 1960. By the late 20th century the firm was one of the largest potteries in the world, producing domestic cooking- and dinnerware and hotelware.

W. C. Gates jr and ...

Article

Horst  

[Horst P ; Bohrmann, Horst Paul Albert ]

(b Weissenfels, Aug 14, 1906; d Palm Beach, FL, Nov 18, 1999).

American photographer of German birth. After briefly studying Chinese in Frankfurt am Main and then working for a firm of importers, he entered the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg, where from 1926 to 1928 he designed and made furniture. Following this he went to work as an architectural assistant to Le Corbusier in Paris. There he met George Hoyningen-Huene, who worked as a photographer for Vogue, and through him Cecil Beaton. In 1931 he himself began working as a photographer for Vogue, at first producing images influenced by Hoyningen-Huene. His photographs soon achieved an individual style, however, characterized by their striking light effects and sensual use of the models. In 1932 he spent several months working for American Vogue in New York, but his employment was terminated before the end of his six-month contract. He immigrated in 1935 to the USA, again working as a photographer for American Vogue while continuing to contribute to the French edition until the late 1940s. He spent much of his time in New York and Paris, meeting celebrities such as the film director Luchino Visconti and the fashion designer Coco Chanel....

Article

Melissa Chiu

(b Anyang, Jan 23, 1965).

Chinese performance artist, active also in the USA . Zhang studied art at Henan University and the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. In the early 1990s he moved to Da Shan Zi (also known as Beijing’s East Village), an area on the outskirts of the city inhabited by a community of artists and itinerant workers from all over the country. Along with his peers, Zhu Ming (b 1972) and Ma Liuming (b 1969), he began to stage performances that became a central part of the activities of the artist community. Zhang is considered one of the pre-eminent performance artists of his generation in China.

In the mid-1990s, performances such as 12 Square Metres (1994), 65KG (1994) and To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain (1995) became synonymous with experimental art practice in China. In 12 Square Metres (...

Article

Kohtaro Iizawa

(b San Francisco, CA, June 14, 1921; d Tokyo, Feb 6, 2012).

Japanese photographer, active also in the USA. He was brought up in Japan and in 1939 returned to the USA, where he studied agriculture and architecture before photography. In 1952 he graduated from the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, where he had studied under Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind, and in 1953 he returned to Japan. He published works in Japanese photography magazines and a collection of his own photographs, Aru hi, aru tokoro (‘Someday, somewhere’; Tokyo, 1958). At the same time he photographed the Katsura Detached Palace in Kyoto, one of the great buildings of the 17th century, publishing the results as Katsura (Tokyo, 1960). This collection, which showed the influence of Callahan and Siskind, involved a new way of interpreting the traditional beauty of Japan and was somewhat shocking to the Japanese. His uncompromising style had a strong influence on the photographers working in the Vivo (Esperanto: ‘life’) group, especially Ikko Narahara, Eikoh Hosoe and Kikuji Kawada. Again resident in Chicago from ...

Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

Technique for imitating Asian Lacquer. Once Dutch and Portuguese traders imported lacquer ware from the Far East after 1700, Europeans became fascinated by this technique. Originating in ancient China, it spread to Japan where it is still practiced in the 21st century. The process involved the application of up to a hundred coats of lacquer produced from the sap of the Rhus vernicifera tree, native to China, Malaya, and Japan. Despite attempts to discover the secret, Europeans could not duplicate the process. Since the sap quickly congeals it did not travel well and was toxic like poison ivy.

In 1688 A Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing by John Stalker and George Parker explained how to imitate the process by applying shellac dissolved in alcohol over a gessoed surface (see Stalker and Parker). Black was the most common color but red, white, blue, green, yellow, olive brown, and imitation tortoise shell (black streaked with vermillion) were also known. After designs were drawn on the surface, a mixture of red clay or sawdust, whiting, and gum arabic was daubed into the outlines and the raised images were sculpted with engraving tools and then colored with metal dust. A variation called ...

Article

Mayching Kao

[ Wang Chi-ch’ien ; C. C. Wang ; ming Jiquan ]

(b Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, Feb 14, 1907; d New York, NY, July 3, 2003).

Chinese painter, calligrapher, collector, and connoisseur, active in the USA. Wang studied Chinese painting and connoisseurship first with Gu Linshi (1865–1933) in Suzhou and subsequently with Wu Hufan (1894–1968) in Shanghai, where he gained access to major painting collections, including that of the Palace Museum. In 1947 he toured the USA and two years later settled in New York. Thereafter he did much to promote the study of Chinese painting in the USA and was often invited to lecture at universities and to advise museums and collectors. Exhibitions of his work were held in prestigious institutions in both Asia and the USA. In keeping with his study of traditional Chinese paintings, in his early work Wang followed the orthodox masters ( see Orthodox school ) and continued the elegant styles of the later literati tradition ( see China, People’s Republic of §V 4., (ii) ). Living in New York put him in contact with trends in modern Western art. Finding parallels between Western abstract art and traditional Chinese painting with its emphasis on spiritual expression, from ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(fl 1732–67).

American portrait painter, japanner and engraver, active in Boston. His workshop on Ann Street advertised ‘Japaning, Gilding, Painting, Varnishing’; he also engraved maps, music and clock faces. A tall clock (c. 1749–56; Winterthur, DE, Du Pont Winterthur Mus.) japanned by Johnston is one of the finest surviving examples of japanned work in colonial America....

Article

Michelle Yun

(b Ithaca, NY, 1966).

American multimedia artist. A second generation Korean–American, Joo grew up in Minneapolis, MN, and studied briefly at Wesleyan University as a biology major. He took a two-year sabbatical to work at a seed science firm in Austria and subsequently received his BFA from Washington University, St. Louis, MO. In 1989, Joo went on to receive an MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art, in New Haven, CT, in 1991, after which he moved to New York.

Joo’s diverse body of work includes sculpture, video, installations and works on paper that deal with issues relating to cultural identity, the body and the relationship between science and art. His projects overlap thematically and formally as part of an ongoing series. Joo has variously implemented a wide range of materials, including monosodium glutamate, salt, taxidermy animals and even his own body, to explore the transformative moment that signals a change of state between matter and energy. Through this exchange, Joo seeks to illuminate the slippages in meaning of the subject within a prescribed cultural context. Time often functions as a cyclical and multilayered catalyst for transformation, exemplified best through his video installations such as ...

Article

Arthur Silberman

(b Shungopori, AZ, c. 1900; d Feb 28, 1986).

Native American Hopi painter. He was born into a farming family and educated in traditional Hopi customs. As a child he scratched images of kachinas (supernatural beings) on rocks in his father’s field. He continued to draw such images when he attended the Santa Fe Indian School (see Native North American art, §IV, 2), later claiming that he did so to relieve his loneliness and to remind him of home. In 1918 he joined the informal painting sessions given at the school by Elizabeth DeHuff (1887–1983). Kabotie became one of the first Hopi artists to gain national recognition when in 1920 his work was shown at the annual exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in New York City. He was at his most productive in the 1920s and 1930s, executing such works as the Snake Dance (watercolour, c. 1922–30; New York, N. Mus. Amer. Ind.). His descriptive manner of shading and modelling, close attention to detail, meticulous brushwork and sophisticated use of and emphasis on colour became distinctive features of later Hopi painting. Kabotie also used traditional Native American techniques, such as painting on hides. In ...

Article

Michelle Yun

(Akira)

(b Los Angeles, CA, 1972).

Fourth generation Japanese–American multimedia artist. Kaino received a BA from the University of California, Irvine, in 1993 and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego, in 1996. He was a co-founder with Daniel J. Martinez and Tracey Shiffman of the former Los Angeles artist-run non-profit exhibition space Deep River (1997–2002). In addition to his artistic practice, Kaino ran a web design company during the late 1990s and was formerly chief creative officer of Napster. He also co-founded Uber.com, an online multimedia site that operated from 2006 to 2008.

Kaino’s sculptures, media works and site-specific installations reference, recycle and sample tropes from popular culture to challenge hegemonic narratives. Influenced by the work of Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, Kaino looked to their example to develop projects that transmute cultural identity by re-contextualizing its production and exposing imbalances and inconsistencies in its structure. This concept is exemplified through the kinetic sculpture ...

Article

Akira Tatehata

(b Kariya, Aichi Prefect., Jan 2, 1933; d New York, June 2014).

Japanese painter, draughtsman, and conceptual artist, active in the USA. After graduating from Kariya High School in 1951, he moved to Tokyo, exhibiting at the Yomiuri Independent Exhibitions. His sensibility for a cold materialism became apparent in his series of drawings Bathroom, of dismembered grotesque nude bodies (1953–4; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.). Kawara went to Mexico in 1959 and travelled through Europe. He settled in New York in 1965. His renowned series of Date Paintings (from 1965), made in various cities on his travels, juxtapose a detail from a local newspaper with a simple record of the date in typographical letters and numbers on monochrome canvases using acrylic. The paintings’ principal meaning was that the artist and viewer shared the numbers that signified a date they both had lived. In the series of telegrams in the 1970s, which sent the message ‘I am still alive’ to his friends, he used the verification of his own existence as a statement in a medium whose abstraction, regardless of the artist’s hand, paradoxically gave his work a tense reality. His other work in book form, ...

Article

Joan Kee

(b La Jolla, CA, Sept 6, 1961).

American painter. Born of Korean parents, Kim studied English literature at Yale University where he received his degree in 1983. Following graduation, Kim studied painting at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture until 1986. He first gained visibility in the early 1990s for his early series of conceptual paintings that merged the formal vocabulary of canonical artistic practices, including hard-edge abstract painting and American minimalism, with references to racial and ethnic identity. Synecdoche (1991) is a grid consisting of hundreds of small quadrilateral canvases, each monochromatically painted in colours matching the skin tones of more than three hundred sitters. The work subtly yet visibly depicted the diversity of humankind within the modernist configuration of the grid. This duality between references to social and cultural implications and the utilization of a presumptively conservative mode of painting continued in similar-themed works such as Belly Paintings (1993) and ...

Article

Joan Kee

[Kim Sooja; Kim Soo-ja; Kim Soo Ja]

(b Daegu, April 24, 1957).

Korean mixed-media artist, active also in the USA. Kim studied painting at Hongik University, Seoul, graduating in 1984. That same year she received a scholarship to study art at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. During the mid-1980s Kim became interested in employing commonly used Korean textiles in her work. Distinctively patterned and coloured, the textiles offered different formal possibilities, and early works featured various swathes cut and sewn together to form large, continuous surfaces. In 1992 Kim was awarded a residency as part of the International Studio Program at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York. Inspired by the objects collected in her studio, Kim began to use the figure of the bottari, wrapped bundles used in Korea for the easy transport of goods, in installations such as Deductive Object (1994). She also began to experiment with performance and interactive works. In Sewing Into Walking...

Article

Kate Wight

(b Oakland, CA, March 31, 1911; d New York, NY, May 12, 2000).

American painter of Chinese descent. Best known for his watercolor paintings and work in the Hollywood film industry, Kingman’s work is considered influential in developing the “California Style” school of painting.

Kingman, born Dong Moy Shu, traveled to Hong Kong with his family at the age of 5 and began his formal education at the Bok Jai School. There he was given the school name “King Man,” which means “scenery” and “composition” in Cantonese. He later combined the two names. Kingman’s education continued at the Chan Sun Wen School, where he studied calligraphy and painting. In his late teens he returned to Oakland and in 1929 Kingman attended the Fox Morgan Art School, where his focus turned primarily to watercolor painting.

In 1936 Kingman gained success and national recognition with a solo exhibition at the San Francisco Art Association. Kingman’s work was largely watercolor paintings, which depicted landscapes and urban environments. Throughout the late 1930s Kingman painted over 500 works as an artist in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and served as an artist with the US Army during World War II. In the years after the war Kingman settled in Brooklyn, NY, and was an instructor at Columbia University and Hunter College. He was also a founding faculty member of the Famous Artists Painting School of Westport, CT....