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Article

(b Paris, July 11, 1906; d Paris, June 1974).

French writer and collagist. He spent his childhood in Argentina, moving to Paris at the age of 16. He greatly admired Dada, which was by then largely exhausted in Paris. In 1928 he collaborated with Henri d’Arche on the film La Perle and soon after became involved in Surrealism, joining the group in 1930. He met many of its members, including André Breton, Paul Eluard, Miró and Yves Tanguy, who regularly gathered at his bookshop in the Boulevard Montparnasse. He was mainly occupied as a poet and writer, though he also took part in other Surrealist activities such as producing collages. He participated in the Surrealist exhibition at the Galerie Pierre Colle in Paris (1933) and also in the International Surrealist Exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries, London (1936). During his association with Surrealism, Hugnet became one of the movement’s chief apologists. He contributed articles to the catalogue of the ...

Article

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

Courtney Gerber

(b Greenville, MI, Aug 6, 1945).

American painter and installation artist. She studied first at the Memphis Academy of Art (1965), then at the University of the Americas, Mexico City (1966–7) and finally at the St Martin’s School of Art, London (1968–9). She had her first solo exhibition in 1977 at the Holly Solomon Gallery in New York. Jaudon completed numerous permanent public art commissions and her paintings are represented in collections throughout the USA and Europe. In the 1970s Jaudon was linked most closely to the pattern and decoration movement (P&D). Her participation in this movement demonstrated her engagement with issues that were also understood as being at the core of the contemporaneous feminist art movement: disrupting the modernist definition of fine art as non-decorative, strictly formal, and, generally, produced by white men from Western cultures. In the painting Bellefontaine (1976; see 1996 exh. cat., p. 52), Jaudon fused modernism’s geometric abstraction with the interlacing curves and angles found in Islamic or Celtic ornamentation from the Middle Ages. She consciously takes care that the Western idiom of abstract painting does not overpower the non-Western decorative motifs, so that they coexist in a cross-cultural, non-hierarchical collaboration....

Article

Abigail Winograd

Following World War II, artists across Latin America embraced the newly emerging language of optical and kinetic art—art movements concerned primarily with the vagaries of visual perception and bodily spectatorial engagement. Kinetic artists throughout the Americas sought out these new visual languages to more accurately describe and reflect upon the changes occurring in postwar societies. They appeared at the forefront of a growing international movement that coalesced in part around the Galerie Denis René in Paris and in a series of exhibitions titled New Tendencies that took place in Zagreb between 1961 and 1973.

Movement has long been central to the development of abstraction in Latin America. Joaquín Torres-García, a seminal figure in Latin American modernism and founder of Taller Torres García, began producing interactive wooden sculptures in the 1920s while still living abroad in Paris, a practice continued upon his return to his native Uruguay in 1934. Torres-García’s sculptures influenced a group of artists in Argentina who would go on to found the movement ...

Article

Adrian Locke

(b São Paulo, 1961).

Brazilian printmaker and conceptual artist. She was introduced to contemporary art and artists from an early age by her collector parents, Fulvia and Adolfo Leirner. She went on to study art at the College of Fine Arts, Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado, São Paulo, between 1979 and 1984, and at the Licenciatura in 1984; she returned to teach at the Fundação from 1987 to 1989. From the 1980s Leirner made sculptures and installations using such products of modern life as devalued bank notes, airline tickets, cigarette packages and shopping bags. This involved a process by which these mundane items are removed from circulation and placed into the art world, often in a conscious inversion of the work of the Brazilian conceptualist Cildo Meireles. To this end Leirner remade Meireles’s Zero Cruzeiro (1978) and the work of another Brazilian artist, Dinheiro para treinmento (‘Money for training’; 1977) by Waltercio Caldas (...

Article

Aleca Le Blanc

(de Almeida)

(b Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, 1971).

Brazilian installation artist. Lucas studied at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), where she earned her BA (1993) and MFA (1999). She received her PhD in 2008 from the Escola de Comunicações e Artes at the Universidade de São Paulo (ECA-USP). Lucas’s projects confuse the distinction between public and private space, often questioning conventions associated with the display of art, including architecture, audience, and the permanence of the art object. In one of her best-known installations, Falha (2003), she covered the gallery floor with large panels of raw plywood connected with hinges. Viewers were encouraged to walk on top and pull open the large and unwieldy panels, propping them open at various angles to create new configurations. This installation refuted expectations that art works be made of refined materials and relegated to walls or pedestals. This mutable and temporary architecture inviting immersive participation bore a strong formal connection to Brazilian Neo-Concrete artist ...

Article

Lelia Delgado

(b Caracas, June 16, 1948).

Venezuelan painter, installation artist and printmaker. He studied fine art at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas ‘Cristóbal Rojas’ in Caracas. From 1970 Lucena lived in Milan and took part in salons and biennial exhibitions in Europe. In 1980 he held his first one-man show in Venezuela at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Caracas. His work includes a series of experiments involving the spectator, whereby environments were created aimed at demonstrating the falsehood of daily visual appearances, simultaneously using both real and illusory weights, masses, colours and temperatures. He also distinguished himself with the quality of his graphic design for a series of books for the Fundación Boulton in Caracas.

Proposiciones de Víctor Lucena, 1969–1980 (exh. cat. by A. Boulton, Caracas, Mus. A. Contemp., 1980)

Venezuela, §IV, 3: Painting, graphic arts and sculpture, after c 1900...

Article

Susan Snodgrass

(b Madrid, Spain, 1961).

Chicago-based American sculptor also working in photography, video and installation. 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 1992–3. 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 prestigious career that includes collaborative modes of working, as well as individual works sited within the museum or gallery. For Manglano-Ovalle, culture encompasses a broad network of systems—artistic, political, environmental, scientific—in constant dialogue, negotiated by both artist and viewer....

Article

Sérgio B. Martins

(b São Paulo, 1960).

Brazilian multimedia artist and photographer. Mano graduated in 1984 from the Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo de Santos, São Paulo. In the late 1980s he was part of a group of photographers hired by newspaper Folha de São Paulo as part of an effort to renew its photojournalism. Between 1992 and 1998 Mano formed, alongside Eli Sudbrack (b 1968), Everton Ballardin, and José Fujocka Neto (b 1969), the group Panoramas da Imagens, which organized exhibitions and symposia discussing photography theory and practice. While Mano never abandoned photography, his work gradually began to encompass other media. He is better known for works in public space addressing urban experience, social practices, and landscape.

Mano’s earliest major work was detetor de ausências (1994), commissioned for the second edition of Arte/Cidade—an urban intervention project conceived by philosopher and curator Nelson Brissac Peixoto. It consisted of two military-grade reflectors whose light beams intersected with a flyover at pedestrian level, thus engulfing vehicles and passersby. Like ...

Article

Robin Adèle Greeley

(b Culiacán, Sinaloa, 1963).

Mexican multimedia and installation artist. A key figure in the generation of Mexican artists that emerged in the 1990s, Margolles studied forensic medicine and communication sciences at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, and was a founding member of the death metal band and performance collective, Semefo (1990–1999), before commencing her independent artistic career. Margolles’s aesthetics consistently focus on the social violence revealed by death, using her experiences as a forensic technician in Mexico City’s morgue to probe the brutality structurally inherent in contemporary urban society.

Margolles’s trajectory can be roughly divided into three periods: her membership in Semefo; her solo work using the city morgue as her studio; and, subsequently, her aesthetic responses to the unfettered violence induced by Mexico’s drug wars.

In Semefo (which took its name from the acronym for Servicio Médico Forense [“Forensic Medical Service”: the city morgue]), Margolles and her colleagues staged macabre art-action performances filled with blood, excrement, entrails, and dead animals, aimed at transgressing the boundaries of the body. These grotesque manifestations sought to explore the transformations experienced by bodies after death, or what Semefo called the “life of the corpse” (...

Article

Rodrigo Moura

(b São Paulo, 1974).

Brazilian multimedia and installation artist. Matheus graduated from the Escola de Comunicações e Artes of the Universidad de São Paulo, where he was a student of Ana Maria Tavares (b 1958), in 2011. This training gave him an analytical approach in relation to the art object and its place in the art system and society, and in the interest he shared with Tavares for display strategies, the use of unorthodox artistic materials, and the scrutiny of Modernist architecture. Among his first major projects was an intervention in the commercial gallery of the Copan building, an important architectural complex designed by Oscar Niemeyer and built in the city center of São Paulo between 1951 and 1966. In collaboration with fellow artists Ana Luiza Dias Batista (b 1978) and Eurico Lopes (b 1968), the project Plano Copan (2002) created a fictionalized presentation of commercial businesses in the fields of stationery, games, medical devices, and real estate consulting, occupying retail space and the building foyer with signs, vitrines, furniture, and items on display for sale. From this experience, Matheus developed other projects with fictional business identities, for example Engeoplan, a design company responsible for the creation of a smoking room that occupied the interior of the gallery in his solo exhibition at Paço das Artes (São Paulo, ...

Article

Denise Carvalho

(b Rio de Janeiro, 1948).

Brazilian interventionist, multimedia, installation and conceptual artist, considered the most influential contemporary artist of his country. While international critics have compared his work with North American Minimalism and Conceptual art, Meireles insisted that art should be seductive. He studied at the National School of Fine Arts and at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. Coming of age at a time of the military dictatorship in Brazil (1964–85), he circumvented strict state censorship with a series of interventionist works, adding politically charged texts and reinserting the works back into circulation.

Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Coca-Cola Project (1970) included Coca-Cola bottles with the added text ‘Yankees. Go Home!’ In Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Cédula Project (1970), the same message was printed on one dollar bills, and on the current Brazilian currency, the Cruzeiro. Some bills also queried ‘Who killed Herzog?’ referring to a Brazilian journalist who died while in police custody. Meireles’ series utilizes a mechanistic process of capitalistic insertion and circulation, adding phrases that question the methods and policies of the dictatorship. ...

Article

Celia Stahr

(b Santa Clara, CA, July 10, 1943).

American Chicana installation artist and art educator. Mesa-Bains received a BA in painting from San José State University (1966), an MA in interdisciplinary education from San Francisco State University (1971), and an MA and PhD in clinical psychology from the Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA (1983). She became the director of the Visual and Public Art Department, California State University, Monterey Bay, a position she held until her retirement in May 2006.

At the age of five, Mesa-Bains knew that she wanted to be an artist. Observing her grandmother tending to her altares (home altars) and her godmother tending her capillas (yard shrines) influenced Mesa-Bains’s use of altares for her artistic expression. Altares allowed her to explore Latina history within a patriarchal system because altares are a female response to the male-dominated rituals within Catholicism. Domesticana, an important concept for her artwork, is a feminized version of ...

Article

Joan Kee

(b Taichung, Feb 16, 1964).

Taiwanese conceptual artist, active also in the USA. Lee spent his childhood in Taichung, where he studied Chan Buddhism from the age of eight. At 12, Lee spent time among Taiwanese expatriates in the Dominican Republic, and two years later moved to the USA, where he later studied biology at the University of Washington, Seattle. He transferred, however, to the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA, where he focused on architecture and textiles (1993). During this time, Lee made work that originated from personal memories, such as One Hundred Days with Lily (1995), which he started after his grandmother’s death. This work was a long-term endeavour documenting the life cycle of a lily that Lee took with him as he went about his daily activities in San Francisco.

After graduating from Oakland, Lee went on to receive a master’s degree in sculpture from the Yale School of Art. At Yale, Lee expanded upon his interest in interpersonal communication, which resulted in the production of works such as ...

Article

Lisa Blackmore

(b Geneva, May 12, 1969).

Venezuelan multimedia artist and photographer of Swiss birth. Molina-Pantin received his BFA from Concordia University in Montreal in 1994 and his MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1997. His mostly photographic work turns on a critical and ironic exploration of landscape, political iconographies, global commodities, and socio-economic crises.

Molina-Pantin mainly uses straight photography (that is, without digital montage), while also addressing meta-photographic concerns, such as the relationship between photography and the archive, technologies of display, and the visual culture of consumerism. Through Tourist possessions (1995), EuroDisney landscapes (1995), and Apocalyptic Landscapes (1996), to the later series Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (2006–2007), his work hinged on the production and consumption of iconic capitals and tourist spots. In such works, Molina-Pantin often knowingly assumed the role of a tourist photographer whose experience of place is rooted in the desire to collect scenographic vistas of sites such as the Eiffel Tower or St Mark’s Square in Venice, thus dialoging with standard tropes from the history of photography. In other series he has engaged the landscape on more explicitly geopolitical and critical terms, presenting cartographic and border views in ...

Article

Daniel Montero

(b Mexico City, 1948).

Mexican performance and installation artist. Muñoz studied painting at the Escuela de Pintura y Escultura “La Esmeralda” in Mexico City. Although he began working as a painter and engraver, his constant questioning of artistic practice connected with the reality of life and social conflicts in Mexico. His art is intended to relate to life and Muñoz used various artistic processes such as performance, installation, and the art object to achieve that aim. In 1976, with Carlos Finck, José Antonio Hernández, and Felipe Ehrenberg, he founded the group Proceso Pentágono. Lourdes Grobet, Miguel Ehrenberg, Carlos Aguirre, Rowena Morales, and Rafael Doniz were also members. Their works often deal with repression, torture, and the disappearance of people on political grounds in Mexico and Latin America.

Muñoz’s work, both individual and collective, uses simple but powerful elements in which objects and bodies are bonded by a tense and complex relationship, sometimes involving urban space as a fundamental element. In his action ...

Article

Denise Carvalho

[Saboia de Albuquerque ]

(b Rio de Janeiro, July 2, 1964).

Brazilian sculptor, multimedia and installation artist. Neto attended the School of Visual Art of Parque Lage and the Museum of Modern Art, both in Rio de Janeiro. His large-scale installations not only appeal to our visual and tactile senses, but also to our sense of smell, filling rooms with aromatic spices. Pastel, biomorphic forms create fairy tale, nurturing landscapes, inviting the child in every visitor to explore.

Neto has used stretchable, transparent fabric, from which he created hanging tubes, weighed down by sand or spices, such as turmeric, cloves, saffron or cumin. Leviathan Thot (2006; see image page for more views), a site-specific installation of polyamide created for the Paris Festival d’Automne, which was located at the central nave of the Panthéon, where his organic shapes played against the building’s Neo-classical architecture. The Creature, Malmö Experience (2006), at the Malmö Konsthall, in Sweden, was a labyrinthine landscape of organic shapes and scents. In this topological arena of lights and passageways, viewers’ perceptions were purposely disrupted as they traversed a space of biomorphic structures. For ...

Article

Denise Carvalho

(b Belo Horizonte, Nov 12, 1967).

Brazilian painter, interventionist, installation, conceptual and video artist. She studied at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and at the Royal College of Art in London. Some of her works invite comparisons with an earlier artist from the same city, Lygia Clark, as well as with fellow Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica.

Central themes in Neuenschwander’s work include relationships and communication—or lack thereof—and the role of chance and uncertainty. Gallery visitors were often welcome to participate in her works. In I Wish Your Wish (2003; exhibited at the Carnegie International in 2008; see image page for more views), hundreds of participants were asked about their wishes, which were then silkscreened on colourful ribbons and exhibited in the gallery. Visitors then tied ribbons on their wrists, leaving a wish behind; the wish would come true only when the worn ribbon fell off, an idea based on a popular tradition of votive exchange. In ...

Article

Francesca Ferrari

(b Goiânia, Góias, Feb 22, 1950; d London, Jun 20, 1998).

Brazilian sculptor, installation artist, and draftsman active in the UK. Nogueira was born in the central state of Goiás in 1950. After studying journalism and communication at the University of Brasília and photography at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, in 1975 Nogueira visited her brother in London and ended up settling in the metropolis. Like many Latin American artists who left their countries to avoid the persecution and censorship of oppressive governments, Nogueira found in London an artistic effervescence and a cosmopolitan atmosphere that Brazil’s military dictatorship did not encourage. Nonetheless, a sense of instability would pervade Nogueira’s oeuvre, echoing her experience of the dramatic political shifts in Brazil as well as her condition as an expatriate.

With the encouragement of her friend Ana-Maria Pacheco, who had left Brazil to study art in London in 1973, Nogueira attended the Chelsea School of Art from 1976 to 1979 and the Central School of Arts and Design, gaining her MFA in 1980. At this early stage of her artistic career Nogueira experimented with gestural, almost expressionistic paintings centered on human and animal bodies, but she also created jewelry by assembling objects that she found on the floor of her studio. This latter practice laid the foundation for the sculptures and installations through which Nogueira became an internationally acclaimed artist in the decade between 1987 and her untimely death from cancer in 1998....

Article

Annie Dell’Aria

(b Santurce, Puerto Rico, Jun 10, 1955).

American sculptor and installation artist. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Osorio came to New York in 1975 and earned a BSc in sociology from Lehman College, Bronx, in 1978. He then earned an MA in art education from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1985. Osorio spent much of his early years in New York as a social worker in Puerto Rican neighborhoods in the South Bronx, an experience that would inform both his aesthetic style and his artistic involvement with Latin American communities.

Osorio worked primarily in Assemblage sculpture, which led to more elaborate and ornate multimedia installations. From the mid-1980s, his practice was characterized by an overabundance of kitschy objects and a keen eye for the intricacies of Nuyorican (New York–Puerto Rican) material culture and family life. In 1985, a turning point in his stylistic development, he created La Bicicleta (The Bicycle) (New York, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts), which references the vehicular decoration of street peddlers in Puerto Rico in the 1950s and 1960s. This hanging bicycle covered with flowers, ribbons, plastic trees, Kewpie dolls, and many other cheap adornments was rendered useless as a mode of transportation and made entirely sculptural. Osorio’s later installations maintained this attention to vernacular decoration, but were more narrative in their investigation of urban Latino communities. For the ...