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Article

Mary Chou

(b Bethlehem, 1970).

Palestinian conceptual artist. Jacir’s works use a variety of media including film, photography, installation, performance, video, sound, sculpture and painting. Jacir was raised in Saudi Arabia and attended high school in Rome, Italy. She received her BA from the University of Dallas, Irving, TX in 1992, her MFA from the Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN in 1994, and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program from 1998 to 1999. She became a professor at the International Academy of Art, Palestine in Ramallah in 2007. Jacir’s conceptual works explore the physical and psychological effects of social and political displacement and exile, primarily how they affect the Palestinian community. Her work investigated the impact of Israeli action on the Palestinian people and countered representations of Palestinians in the press as primarily militant. Jacir often collaborated with members of the Palestinian community, both local and international, in the creation of her works....

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Airdrie, nr Glasgow, April 28, 1964).

Scottish sculptor and musician. He studied at Glasgow School of Art (1990–94) and emerged in the late 1990s along with a number of conceptual artists associated with Glasgow. While his work was guided intellectually by the legacies of Conceptualism, Situationism and Minimalism, he was also clearly affected by his involvement with rock music. In one of his best-known pieces, Zobop (1999; see 2000 exh. cat.), which was shown in various venues, Lambie covered the floors of galleries in concentric patterns of coloured vinyl tape; the resulting forms depended on the shape of the gallery in which the work was installed. With its zany, psychedelic air, and allusions to LP cover designs, the piece transforms the art gallery into something akin to a disco; in these respects it ostensibly shuns any intellectual content, while nevertheless relating to the heritage of Minimalism and in particular to that movement’s development of horizontal forms in sculpture. In ...

Article

Kristine Stiles

(b Zambesi River, nr Victoria Falls, Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe], Feb 23, 1921; d London, Jan 1, 2006).

British painter, sculptor, conceptual artist, performance artist, video and film maker, of Rhodesian birth. He studied at the Chelsea School of Art, London, from 1946 to 1950. His concern from 1954 was not with the production of art objects as an end in itself but with various processes and consequently with the recording in three dimensions of sequences of events and of patterns of knowledge. In 1958 he introduced torn, overpainted and partly burnt books into assemblages such as Burial of Count Orgaz (1958; London, Tate), followed in 1964 by the first of a series of SKOOB Towers (from ‘books’ spelt backwards), constructed from stacks of venerated tomes such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, which he ignited and burnt. The destruction and parody of systems of knowledge implied in Latham’s work was apparent in 1966, when he organized a party at which guests chewed pages of Clement Greenberg’s book Art and Culture...

Article

Pierre-François Galpin

(b Cincinnati, OH, May 21, 1937).

Pierre-François Galpin

American sculptor, performance and installation artist, and curator.

Marioni was a key figure in the conceptual art movement in the San Francisco Bay Area throughout the 1970s. After attending Cincinnati Art Academy from 1955 to 1959, he moved to San Francisco. Marioni created a large body of work exhibited around the world and in museums’ collections, and promoted fellow artists’ works through exhibitions and magazines. From 1968 to 1971 he was the curator of the Richmond Art Center in Richmond, CA, a northern suburb of San Francisco.

Marioni’s pioneering artworks included One Second Sculpture (1969), an art action in which he released a tightly coiled metal tape-measure into the air, letting it spread to then fall on the ground; the action and its result, between performance, sculpture, and time-based art, encompassed Marioni’s notion of ‘idea-oriented art’. His signature piece The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Los Angeles, CA, Aug 4, 1944).

American sculptor. He did not have a formal art education. McCollum has stated that formative influence in his work included the Fluxus movement of the 1960s and the work of conceptual artists, such as Sol LeWitt and Daniel Buren. In 1975 he moved to New York. Departing from the notion of a work of art as a rare object of unique value, he introduced a procedure of studio manufacture of precast models made in unlimited editions. The series of Perfect Vehicles (exh. New York, Cash–Newhouse Gal., 1986) comprised small versions, cast in solid enhanced plaster (Hydrocal), of larger vessels that were sealed and painted in Moorglo on concrete, and first shown in the 1988 Venice Bienniale. Over 10,000 Individual Works (exh. New York, John Weber Gal., 1987) comprised precise rows of miniature units moulded from found objects, painted in enamel on solid-cast Hydrocal. McCollum scrupulously avoided aspects of ironical parody typical of Pop art. His works were not presented as decorative accessories or social commentary but as physical signs of the mechanical drives of existence—of repetitious behaviour and patterns of market-based relationships. For his ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Leicester, Feb 4, 1969).

English sculptor and painter, active in the USA. Monk came to prominence in the late 1990s for work situated, highly self-consciously, within the tradition of conceptual art. Taking up various strategies that had become popular in the 1960s, such as wall paintings, monochromes, ephemeral sculpture, and photography, his work has been consistently preoccupied with being part of the second generation of the movement. Hence the photographic series None of the Buildings on Sunset Strip reprised Ed Ruscha’s series of 1966, All of the Buildings on Sunset Strip: Monk’s images merely show the turn-offs on the road. While this is intended as a witty homage, it also betrays an anxiety about how to draw on work that was never intended to serve as a model or basis for a continuing movement. This preoccupation with development and appropriation has been furthered in other ways in Monk’s art: in the exhibition at Yvon Lambert, Paris, in ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Ossining, NY, Aug 3, 1936; d Chicago, April 30, 1977).

American conceptual artist, draughtsman, and sculptor. She trained but never practised as a nurse. In 1960 she took her first art classes at the Jacksonville Museum, Jacksonville, FL. Morton then attended the University of Rhode Island, Kingston (1965–8), where she received her BFA, and the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia (MFA, 1970). Having first exhibited at the McLennon Community College, Waco, TX, in 1969, in 1970 she showed work in the Contemporary American Sculpture Annual at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In 1972 Morton moved to New York. In her work she explored an interdisciplinary approach in installations. She acknowledged the influences of Morris family §(2), Bruce Nauman, Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois, Claes Oldenburg, and Richard Artschwager. Her formal concerns centred on spaces, enclosures, and boundaries, and included pictures, found objects, sculptures, and her signature trait—delineations of spaces with dotted lines, usually tape, on gallery walls and floors in loosely ordered arrangements. In many of her installations there are strong mythological and metaphorical suggestions, evocative of Native American ceremonies, mysterious rituals, and Japanese gardens. Her installation ...

Article

Ewa Mikina

(b Kielczewice, nr Lublin, July 5, 1949).

Polish sculptor and conceptual artist. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, from 1971 to 1976. Her works Procession (1974), featuring sowings of motherwort on a suit of clothes, Cradle (1975), on the flat of the hand, and on a 70 m Easter tapestry or carpet for the church in her native Kielczewice (1974), are meditative in character and draw on the fundamental laws of nature and the elements, the life-giving qualities of water and the transformational power of the sun’s light. Sculpture for the Earth (1974; Ubbenboga, Sweden) contains a hemisphere hollowed out in the earth, juxtaposed with a hemispherical mound. Negative and positive are reiterated in cross-section by graphic Yin and Yang symbols. In the next Sculpture for the Earth (begun 1976) a simple geometric quadrilateral encloses the source of a river; two of its sides pass into the side of a mountain, while the other two form a clay wall. The essence of ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

Reviser Mary Chou

(b Tokyo, 1962).

Japanese painter and sculptor. He studied at Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music (BFA 1986, MFA 1988, PhD 1993). Murakami began to gain recognition as a sculptor in the early 1990s. Drawing on Minimalism and conceptual art, his work often explored the clash between contemporary Japanese and American culture. Sea Breeze (1992), which was made in response to an island location, consists of a large trailer with shutters that open to emit a powerful light; it suggests something of the aggressive, sardonic character of his work, as well as the influence of commercial display. In the late 1990s Murakami gained more recognition as a painter, and began to blend abstraction and cartoon imagery in highly coloured images painted in flat space. Some works are abstract: Cream (1998) depicts a long skein of blue-white seminal fluid flying across a pink backdrop. Others, such as ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Stockton-on-Tees, Dec 24, 1973).

English sculptor. He studied in London at Chelsea College of Art and Design (1994–7) and came to prominence in the late 1990s with art combining conceptual elements with a popular and often comic edge. Animal (see 1999 exh. cat., p. 99) brings these aspects together in characteristic fashion: a polyurethane resin model, it is most immediately recognizable as a medical diagram of internal organs, yet the shape of the figure suggests that it derives from the cartoon character Snoopy. It is typical of Musgrave’s work in its humorous and sometimes perplexing contrast of different forms and codes of representation. Similar interests inform the series of drawings entitled Doodles (1996–9): these were produced by first making roughly sculpted plasticine models, which were then translated into photocopied images, and subsequently into meticulous biro drawings; the result was a series of dark and almost sinister images of the poorly crafted models. Through this series he drew attention to the power of basic reproductive techniques to transform the quality of ordinary objects, and in so doing to make poetry out of everyday life. In according value to cheap and popular materials in this way, Musgrave shares much with his contemporaries in Britiain. Similar qualities are suggested by ...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(b Fort Wayne, IN, Dec 6, 1941).

American conceptual artist. Recognized as one of the most influential, innovative, and provocative 20th century American artists, Nauman extended the media of sculpture, film, video, photography, and sound with performance and spatial explorations. Nauman attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1960 to 1964, with early studies in mathematics and physics, which broadened to the study of art under Italo Scanga (1932–2001). He received a master’s degree in Fine Art from the University of California, Davis in 1966 under William T. Wiley, Robert Arneson, Frank Owen (b 1939), and Stephen Kaltenbach (b 1940) and honorary degrees from the San Francisco Art Institute (1989) and California Institute of Art (2000). In 1966 he began to teach at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Nauman’s interactive artworks and performances explore the syntactical nuances of language, text, and figurative gesture to create material culture and in-between places, which often result in a heightened sense of physical and emotional awareness. Nauman’s artistic explorations of spatial perception, bodily consciousness, physical and mental activity, and linguistic manipulation were demonstrated in interactive spatial compositions that accentuated various relationships between the human body and built environments. Early works included body castings and holographic self-images with subsequent works situating the viewer within their own mental and bodily perceptions. In ...

Article

Karen M. Fraser

(b Hyogo Prefecture, 1945).

Japanese photographer, sculptor, and conceptual artist. He studied at Kyoto City University of Fine Arts, where he earned a BFA in 1967 and an MFA in 1969. Nomura was initially trained as a sculptor. In his MFA thesis project, Tardiology (1969), Nomura explored the idea of non-permanent sculptural form, creating an eight-metre tall cardboard sculpture and then using photographs to record the changes in form as the boxes gradually collapsed under their own weight. From that point on photography was one of his primary media. Nomura was interested in investigating processes of scientific and natural phenomena with a particular focus on the passage of time. He used photographs to capture movement and changes over time and to make previously unseen things visible. Many of his projects were created over lengthy periods, with photographs being taken daily or monthly and for years. In his 1991 Analemma series (The Analemma ’91-Noon...

Article

Matthew Gale

(b Vergato, nr Bologna, Nov 24, 1943).

Italian painter, sculptor, conceptual artist and film maker. His first one-man show (1970; Milan, Gal. S Fedele) reflected his awareness of Arte Povera in the multifarious cut-outs of corrugated cardboard and rubber. Ontani’s major occupation was, however, enacting ritualized performances, as in the fire-walking film Fuochino (1972) shown at the Venice Biennale of 1972. In common with several contemporaries, he transformed himself, updating artistic quotations as a critique of past culture; he assumed a pose from David’s Rape of the Sabines in the punningly entitled Rattondo David (‘Raping David’, photographic tondo, 700 mm, 1974; see 1991 exh. cat., p. 43) to comment upon this process, as well as the retrospective sanitization of European culture. In performances at the Galleria L’Attico, Rome (with Jannis Kounellis, Francesco Clemente and others), Ontani acted out emblematic characters, from Don Quixote (1974) to Dracula (1975). In addition to such referential photographs as ...

Article

Ađalsteinn Ingólfsson

(b EskifjörÐur, Dec 25, 1929).

Icelandic stage designer, sculptor, printmaker, performance artist and conceptual artist. He studied stage design in Birmingham, Reykjavík and Vienna (1949–56) and was periodically engaged in stage design for Reykjavík theatres from 1956 to 1975. In the late 1950s he became disillusioned with traditional theatre and began to think in terms of proto-happenings or visual tableaux. None of these went beyond the planning stage, but they were undoubtedly precursors of the ‘collage’ plays (random collections of dialogue from literature as well as ephemeral printed material) and performances that Pálsson organized with his students in Reykjavík, the Netherlands and Norway in the 1980s.

Pálsson’s interest in the visual arts was fuelled by his friendship with Dieter Roth. Though their concerns were essentially very different, they shared an ironic, even aggressive attitude to art and an interest in ephemeral or fragile materials. During the 1960s Pálsson’s work was mostly neo-Dadaist: for example the mimeographed prints of ...

Article

Matthew Gale

[Giuseppe]

(b Bari, Oct 19, 1935; d Rome, Sept 11, 1968).

Italian sculptor, conceptual artist and stage designer. He was profoundly influenced by his childhood in occupied Tiranë, Albania (1940–41), and in coastal Polignano. After a period at the Liceo Artistico, Naples, he studied scenography at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Rome (1955–9), where he met Jannis Kounellis. After graduating Pascali supported himself as a graphic designer and television set designer (1960–64). This commercial work allowed him to experiment with large-scale projects while maintaining his contacts with Kounellis, Mario Schifano and others, although he refrained from exhibiting. Pascali’s first one-man show was at Galleria La Tartaruga, Rome (1965). While influenced by Enrico Castellani’s abstract works, such shaped and formed canvases as Red Lips, Homage to Billie Holiday (1964; Turin, Gal. Civ. A. Mod.) reflected the humour and concern with contemporary culture found in American Pop art, which had featured in the Venice Biennale of ...

Article

Nancy Ring

(b Turin, April 3, 1947).

Italian sculptor and conceptual artist. He created his earliest works in a forest outside Garessio in 1968. He marked his presence there with an iron hand gripping a tree trunk (see 1978 exh. cat., p. 33); trees pierced by nails and laced with metal wire; and a plaster slab measuring his width and height and the depth of a brook. The works revealed his interest in establishing points of contact between man and nature. A member of the Arte Povera group, he continued throughout his career to explore the connections between natural and cultural forms. In 12-meter Tree (1969; Stockholm, Mod. Mus.), one of a series, he carefully carved into a beam of wood to recover the original form of a tree, leaving part of the beam untouched to signify its status as a manmade object.

In the early 1970s Penone used his body as his principal subject, projecting images drawn from the surface of his skin on to plaster casts of his face or on to wall surfaces (see ...

Article

Matthew Gale

(b Bari, June 14, 1938).

Italian sculptor, performance designer and conceptual artist. He abandoned architectural studies in Naples in the late 1950s to immerse himself in Rosicrucianism. In Rome, Pisani undertook conceptual analyses of the work of Robert Motherwell (1960–65) and of Marcel Duchamp (1965–70). The results were first seen in 1970 in the show Maschile, femminile e androgino: Incesto e cannibalismo in Marcel Duchamp (Rome, Gal. Salita), in which he presented such psychoanalytically informed objects as Chocolate Cast of Suzanne Duchamp (1965; see 1970 exh. cat., p. 19). Pisani won the Premio Pino Pascali (1970) and began to participate in Arte Povera and to collaborate with Michelangelo Pistoletto. He drew parallels between artistic and alchemical activity, placing himself alongside Duchamp, Yves Klein and Joseph Beuys; the latter was the subject of the repetitive performance piece The Rabbit Does Not Like Joseph Beuys (1975; Rome, Gal. Sperone). The symbolic cruciform structure of the performance ...

Article

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

Francis Summers

(b Midland, MI, Aug 8, 1952).

American painter, draughtsman, sculptor and conceptual artist. Rejecting the notion of a signature style, he instead occupies other styles in a chameleon-like way. Rather than taking codified notions of ‘pop’ culture as was done by the previous generation of American artists, or appropriating wholesale images or objects, in the manner of the New York Neo-Geo artists, Shaw has developed a methodology of mimicking styles and incorporating them into his encyclopaedically deranged projects. His primary interest seems to be in the overlooked creative production of the American public at large, as is attested to by his collection of thrift-store paintings, which he showed in both galleries and museums.

Inspired by the cut-up technique used by the American novelist William S. Burroughs, in his first major project, My Mirage (1986–91), Shaw used a fragmented and hallucinatory narrative to chart the changing psyche of his alter-ego Billy, charting his development from adolescence, through his discovery of sex and drugs, to his subsequent fall and finally to his rebirth through organized religion. In this project, Shaw kept each of the works to a standardized size (17×14 in.) in order to give cohesion to images produced in a wide variety of styles. Such works as ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Macclesfield, Ches, Sept 18, 1968).

English conceptual artist, draughtsman, photographer, sculptor, painter and installation artist. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art between 1988 and 1991, graduating with a BFA. The concentration in the course on environmental art influenced Shrigley in his presentation of absurd sculptures and notices, as in Leisure Centre (1991; see M. Bracewell, p. 50). Here a small white box with the words ‘Leisure Centre’ written on it is pictured apparently abandoned on a piece of parkland by a road. During the 1990s Shrigley attracted particular attention with his drawings, some of which he published in small runs through his own Armpit Press ( see fig. ). His drawings and accompanying texts are a surreal mixture of mundane observations, ridiculous rules and regulations and violent encounters. These range from a quiz to distinguish television sets from microwaves, which he published in his artist’s book Err (London, 1996), to a comic strip about putting a man in a sack and burning him, under the title ...