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Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Jerusalem, May 18, 1945).

Israeli conceptual artist. He emerged as an artist, in the 1970s, without having had any formal education, addressing disparate concerns germane to conceptual art. The series Five Finger Excercise, begun in 1973, looked at the idea of sameness and uniqueness in art by covering canvases with the artist’s fingerprints. Towards the end of the decade he began to settle on a core of related themes and concerns that continued to preoccupy him. Fascinated by Modernist art’s pursuit of formalism, Toren sought metaphors for the way in which art cannibalizes itself; in so doing he has addressed issues relating to representation in art. In the series Neither a Painting nor a Chair (1979–80; see exh. cat. 1990–91, p. 15) Toren used shavings of wood from a demolished chair as pigment for a series of ten paintings reconstituting the chair as an image. A similar series begun in 1983, Of The Times...

Article

Midori Yoshimoto

(b Tokyo, April 5, 1967).

Japanese sculptor, installation and video artist . Torimitsu received a BFA in sculpture at Tama Art University (1994) and, soon after her university graduation, she completed Miyata Jiro, a life-size robot of a stereotypical Japanese businessman, and made it crawl on the pavements of various districts in Tokyo. Perhaps because of its candid critique of Japanese corporate culture, businessmen in Marunouchi district pretended not to look at the robot, while it attracted large crowds elsewhere. In order to study varying reactions to her robot in different social settings, Torimitsu moved to New York in 1996, to participate in the P.S.1 International Program. For the American premier of Miyata Jiro that year, on Wall Street and near the Rockefeller Center, Torimitsu dressed as a nurse to redirect the robot’s movement or recharge its battery. Her New York performances were so well received that Torimitsu subsequently acquired opportunities to do the same in Amsterdam, Graz, London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Sydney....

Article

(b St Austell, Cornwall, Feb 13, 1945).

English sculptor, installation artist and draughtsman. He grew up on his parents’ farm in Cornwall and attended the Falmouth School of Art (1962–3), afterwards studying sculpture at the Birmingham College of Art (1963–6) and the Royal College of Art, London. He then travelled widely, his experience of different countries and cultures providing inspiration and material for his art. His approach was often similar to that of the exponents of land art, such as Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, showing an interest in temporally based, site-specific works. An early work, the Spring Recordings (1971), consist of many copies of an audio-cassette recording of natural sounds of the English countryside, heard on his walks, lined up in a row on minimal shelving along the wall of the gallery. Hungarian Gypsies (1972) combined photographs and text. Many of his works from 1980 comprise images drawn on the walls of museums, galleries, old churches and ruined buildings, a notable example being ...

Article

Nina Lübbren

(b Schwerte, Nov 13, 1952).

German conceptual artist. She studied from 1974 to 1978 at the Werkkunstschule, Cologne, which was then heavily influenced by Joseph Beuys. In the early 1980s she came into contact with the Mülheimer Freiheit, a Cologne-based group of painters that included Walter Dahn (b 1954) and Jiří Georg Dokoupil, and she exhibited at the Cologne gallery of Monika Sprüth, who at that time showed only women artists. In 1985 Trockel produced her first ‘knitting pictures’, consisting of lengths of machine-knitted woollen material stretched on to frames. The material is patterned with computer-generated geometrical motifs or recognizable logos, for example the hammer-and-sickle motif of the Soviet Union ironically superimposed on a background of red-and-white stripes that recall the US flag (Untitled, 1986; see 1991–2 exh. cat., pl. 9). The knitted works are ironic comments on the traditionally feminine occupation of knitting placed in a context of mass production. Other works by Trockel also have a feminist theme. A piece consisting of a steel cube fitted with six hot plates in two parallel diagonal lines (...

Article

Celia Stahr

(b Phoenix, AZ, Aug 26, 1954).

Native American (Seminole–Muskogee–Diné (Navajo)) photographer, video and installation artist . While living on a Navajo reservation in the 1960s, Tsinhnahjinnie was prompted to think about the power of images after looking at A House of Human Bondage, which showed the poor living conditions that black South Africans were subjected to under the apartheid system, photographs that reminded her of the bleak existence of Native Americans. This led her to attend the Institute of American Indian Art from 1975 to 1978. She received a BFA from the California College of the Arts (1981) and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine (2002). She went on to teach at the University of California, Davis.

Realizing that Native Americans had been defined by photographs taken by non-Natives, Tsinhnahjinnie wanted to create photographs of Native Americans from an insider’s perspective; to reclaim her own culture, history and identity. In 1988...

Article

Tunga  

Adrian Locke

[De Barros Carvalho e Mello Mourão, Antonio José ]

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

Brazilian conceptual artist. He graduated 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 Brazilian artists Cildo Meireles, José Resende (b 1945) and Waltercio Caldas (b 1946); Meireles and Tunga also founded another art journal together, A parte do fogo, in 1980. Tunga produced installation work involving both animate and inanimate objects, and also uses 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’). Large scale and repetition dominate Tunga’s work, which forms an alliance between the natural and the industrial. The result is often the presentation of seemingly desolate industrial landscapes where the initial appearance of sterility is off-set by natural elements that challenge the viewer’s perception. The presence of these organic elements gives life to the industrial forms, forcing the viewer to confront the reality of Brazil’s struggle to marry industrial development with environmental preservation. Huge plates of steel and magnets merge with what appear to be long, thick plaits of hair, a recurrent theme in his work. This hair is often real, attached to the heads of living people or, as in the ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Guildford, June 7, 1967).

British sculptor and conceptual artist. For his 1991 MFA show at the Royal College of Art in London, he showed a single work: a blue ceramic English Heritage plaque affixed to the wall of an otherwise empty studio and bearing the text ‘Borough of Kensington Gavin Turk Sculptor Worked Here 1989–91’. For this iconoclastic gesture he was denied his degree. Beginning his career paradoxically with his own demise and posthumous recognition set the tone for his subsequent work, which dealt with the cult of personality and the construction of artistic myth. A key aspect of this is his questioning of originality and artistic tradition. Robert Morris Untitled 1965–72 (1990; London, priv. col.), consisting of four mirror cubes each 0.76 m high, replicates a minimalist sculpture by the American artist Robert Morris. Turk’s version, however, introduces colouring and tarnishing to suggest ageing. By suggesting the effects of time, the formalist principles and quest for perfection of the original are criticized....

Article

Sarah Lack

(b Bogotá, Colombia, March 16, 1956).

British painter and sculptor of Colombian birth. She studied at the Academia Arjona, Madrid (1975–7) and the Bath Academy (1978–81). Her paintings and installations are concerned with architecture as a bearer of meaning and as a symbol of stability revealing how the everyday is rapidly changing. Pool Painting at Burrell’s Wharf in London (acrylic on plaster and board, oil on steel, 1991) dematerializes interior architecture into planes of colour. In a collaborative work with the architects McGurn, Logan, Duncan & Opfer, at 9–15 Bellgrove Street (light fittings, glass filters, 1996), Turnbull added other dimensions to architecture that went beyond prescriptive meaning: the glass windows of a stairwell in a Glasgow housing block were transformed into a series of coloured panes of light and reflections at night. Similarly Houses Into Flats (2000) is a series of 28 paintings in acrylic on canvas based on original building plans taken from books, maps and the internet. As an archaeologist reads ancient building plans in order to understand lost civilizations, so Turnbull invites the viewer to analyse the plans. Commenting on the globalization and cyclic nature of modern society, Turnbull alludes to both public and private buildings, from past centuries as well as the present; the varied references have included a 16th century villa, Calcutta Zoo, a North African oasis and an American apartment. Turnbull has received the Pollock-Krainer Foundation award (New York, ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Los Angeles, May 6, 1943).

American installation artist. He studied psychology and mathematics at Pomona College, Claremont, CA (1962–5), and then took a course in fine art at the University of California, Irvine (1965–6). His first projects were carried out at the Mendote Hotel, Ocean Park, CA, which he rented as a studio and exhibition space from 1966 to 1972. Here, using cross-projected halogen lights, Turrell created illuminated geometrical shapes that interacted with the bare interior and with the world outside. In Shallow Space Constructions (1968; exh. New York, Whitney, 1980) he used screened partitions, allowing a radiant effusion of concealed light to create an artificially flattened effect within the given space. In his many subsequent installations Turrell was concerned to revivify the viewer’s perception of the world, using fixed durations of light and colour to convey the experience of ‘touching with sight’. Many of his projects went beyond the confines of galleries and museums. In ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Rahway, NJ, July 12, 1941).

American draughtsman, sculptor, and installation artist. He was a student at Trinity College, Hartford, CT (1959–63), and at the Cooper Union, New York (1963–4), and he worked for a time as assistant to Agnes Martin, who became a lifelong friend. His oeuvre is varied, crossing style and media lines and ranging from a cutting of string on the wall to works on paper to multimedia installations. Most works measure under 250 mm but have a large impact, while larger works and installations also exhibit the same dynamic-yet-quiet sensibility. Ultimately, his work defies categorization, except as a lifelong exploration of art’s possibilities. His first works, small monochrome reliefs, were followed by such sculptural works as Paper Cubes (1963), comprising a group of small (72×72×72 mm) paper objects penetrated with geometric slots. These were followed in turn by a number of painted works in wood (e.g. ...

Article

Kimberley Chandler

(b Ipswich, Dec 19, 1968).

English ceramic artist, researcher, and curator. Twomey studied ceramics at Edinburgh College of Art (1991–4) before going on to do an MA in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art, London (1994–6). In 2011 she became an AHRC Research Fellow at the University of Westminster, London. Twomey is a leading figure in the applied arts; along with ceramists such as Edmund de Waal and Keith Harrison, she is an advocate for craft as commensurable in significance to the wider visual arts. Her practice can be understood as ‘post-studio ceramics’, as her work engages with clay, yet often at a critical distance. Twomey’s work negotiates the realms of performance, serial production, and transience, and often involves site-specific installations. She is especially concerned with the affective relations that bind people and things, and how objects can enable a dialogue with the viewer (‘it is about an articulated use of the constructs that surround clay materials’; see ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Ulverston, Cumbria, Aug 23, 1969).

English installation artist and conceptual artist. He studied at Carlisle College of Art (1989–90) and University of Brighton (1990–93). In the mid-1990s he began exhibiting work that was notionally the product of proposals and specifications derived from what he called the Artmachine, a computerized system of rules and processes conceived of as a repository of all human knowledge. One such project, part of a series called Bastardised Artmachine Iterations, was called Pringle Portrait Pack for a Replenishable Totem Stack (1997; see 1999 exh. cat.): consisting of a makeshift totem pole bearing random portraits, it was described by Tyson as an approximation of the Artmachine’s proposal for something endless. As interested in science and technology as in art, Tyson produced art in a spirit of experimentation, devising systems and projects so grandiose that they become comical. This was most clearly exemplified in the series Studio Wall Drawings...

Article

Chika Okeke

(b Lagos, 1965).

Nigerian photographer, painter and installation artist , active in the USA. He attended Hunter College, City University of New York. In the 1980s he worked mainly as a painter but also collaborated with such New York artists as Carrie May Weems and Lyle Ashton Harris. In 1993 he developed his photographic work, dealing with issues of representation and urban life, particularly race, gender and sexual identity. His self-portraits, in which he wears women’s cosmetics, comment on assumptions about what constitutes gender identity, as in Woman in Egyptian Art (1996). They also reference the costume and make-up of Igbo ‘female’ masquerades, which are normally danced by men ( see Igbo §2 ). He also uses self-portraiture to criticize American culture. In his Cover Girl series (1994–9), for instance, he designed mock magazine covers for Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Condé Naste Traveller, making himself the cover girl. The ‘articles’ in these imaginary journals frequently address the West’s relation to Africa, for example, ‘Hysteria Over the Death of the Noble Savage’. Thus the ...

Article

Susan T. Goodman

(b Tel Aviv, 1939).

Israeli sculptor, painter, draughtsman, printmaker and conceptual artist. He studied at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem and in 1965 at Central School for Arts and Crafts in London. After painting abstract pictures in an expressionist technique he began to make etchings and (from the early 1970s) drawings. He also became involved in land art and conceptual art projects, some of them politically oriented, such as the Messer-Metzer Project in 1972, which involved an exchange of earth between an Arab village and an Israeli kibbutz. On some of these projects he collaborated with other artists, among them Moshe Gershuni and Avital Geva.

From 1978 Ullman evoked graves, archaeological excavations or trenches both in drawings and in sculptures in earth such as Lot’s Wife (1984), a six-foot deep pit dug in Har Sedom, Israel. As Israel’s representative at the Venice Biennale in 1980 he showed a large work, the ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Caracas, Venezuela, May 23, 1960).

Venezuelan artist active in the USA. He studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York, graduating in 1983. In his early works he printed enlarged weave patterns onto canvas and other materials, giving a synthetic look to his mock modernist paintings and sculptures, as in Double Single Bed (laminated process inks on canvas and wood with mattresses, 1986; London, Saatchi Gal.). Here it is the title and the print on the rectangular units that gives domestic resonance to the apparently Minimalist form. In a series made in 1990, Vaisman incorporated cartoon imagery into commercial reproductions of medieval tapestries, creating ridiculous, ‘bad taste’ compositions; in one such work, The Crusaders (1990; see 1990 exh. cat.), Mickey Mouse and friends join soldiers as they go into battle. In the mid-1990s he took this idea of humorous juxtaposition further with the Turkey series, for which he dressed up stuffed turkeys in a variety of costumes and skins so that they took hybrid form, presenting cultural identity as only so many options. In ...

Article

Lajos Németh

(b Zalaegerszeg, Aug 1908; d Budakeszi, Sept 7, 1941).

Hungarian painter, draughtsman, collagist and printmaker. He studied in 1927–30 at the Art School in Budapest under István Csók. At this stage he was committed to Constructivism, left-wing political ideas and the Munka-kört (workers’ circle), run by Lajos Kassák. From 1930 to 1934 he lived in Paris, where Cubism and Surrealism impressed him, but his greatest interest was Soviet avant-garde film, which influenced the politically committed Surrealist simultaneous photomontages that he made in Paris. In 1935–6 he worked in the Szentendre colony, near Budapest, and in Szigetmonostor with Dezső Korniss: the artistic programme they worked out there was a visual version of Béla Bartók’s musical theory. Through the painterly transformation of the material and spiritual remnants of peasant culture, Vajda wanted to construct a modern art style that reconciled the icons of eastern European art with the western avant-garde. Using elements of Constructivism and Surrealism, and building on the principle of simultaneity, he made drawings and coloured collages using forms drawn from Serbian Orthodox Church traditions and modern trends. In ...

Article

Daniel Robbins

(b Angoûleme, April 4, 1885; d Paris, March 25, 1937).

French painter, collagist, draughtsman and stage designer. A few years younger than most of the Cubists with whom he became associated, he received a traditional art education at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1906 to 1910. He did not participate in any of the manifestations of Cubism that took place before World War I. His interest in the movement appears to have developed under the influence of Albert Gleizes, who painted his portrait while both served near the front in the 167th regiment at Toul in 1914–15. By 1916 Valmier was making small and very delicate collages markedly different from those of Picasso, Braque or Gris, composed of minutely fragmented surfaces.

In 1919 Valmier signed a contract with the dealer Léonce Rosenberg, for whose Bulletin de l’effort moderne he later designed a cover. Rosenberg gave him his first one-man exhibition at his Galerie de l’Effort Moderne, Paris, in ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Château-Arnoux-Saint-Anbon, 20 April, 1941).

French conceptual artist . With no formal art education, Venet began making his first serious work while doing military service, painting with his feet using materials such as tar and bodily fluids. Considering these works too expressive, Venet began to apply the tar to his surfaces in a much more systematic and objective fashion, as in his Gourdon (1963; see 1999 book, p. 33). Impressed by other artists working in the Nouveaux Réalisme style, Venet made works, such as Relief Carton (1964; Grenoble; Grenoble Mus.) that used discarded industrial material, such as flattened cardboard. Having visited New York and been influenced by the prevalent Minimalist style, Venet began using pre-fabricated materials in an unadulterated fashion as in Tubes (1966; see 1999 book, p. 90). Venet moved to New York in 1967, producing conceptual art that used systems, often based on ideas from science, such as his diagram work ...

Article

Susie Lingham

(b Singapore, Nov 7, 1959).

Singapore-born installation artist, active in Australia . A recipient of numerous scholarships, Victor graduated from the University of Western Sydney with a BA Honours (1997) and an MA Honours (2000). Victor’s career ranged from prize-winning painter in the late 1980s, to ‘subversive’ in the early 1990s, and eventually to internationally esteemed artist with prestigious public art commissions to her name. Victor’s themes revolve around a critique of power and its subversion, sexuality and desire, notions of abjection and the cultural aftermath of post-colonialism in South-east Asia. Her work operates from a sophisticated, idiosyncratic aesthetic that runs counter to the dematerializing, technological trend of contemporary conceptual art. A key feature in her works is movement, achieved through mechanisms, engaging the viewer both physiologically and psychologically. The dynamic conflation of theatrical images, sumptuous materiality, movement, and multi-tiered concepts epitomizes Victor’s oeuvre.

As artistic director of 5th Passage Artists Ltd, an initiative established in Singapore (...

Article

Adrian Locke

(b La Plata, 1927; d La Plata, 1997).

Argentine conceptualist artist.He studied at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes of the Universidad Nacional de la Plata before moving to Paris (1953–4), where he befriended the Venezuelan artist Jesús Soto. Until the end of the 1950s Vigo’s work centred around heterodox objects, graduating to the construction of his máquinas inútiles (‘useless objects’) by 1957. To this end Vigo has been seen as the precursor of visual poetry and concept art, especially with his Señalmientos (‘Designations’). Vigo was active in the founding and publication of various art journals, including W.C. (which produced five editions); D.R.K.W. 60 (three editions); Diagonal cero in 1964 (28 editions); and Hexágono (13 editions). In 1967 he published Baroque Mathematical Poems in Paris. In 1969 Vigo organized the Exposición Internacional de Novísima Poesía/69 at the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella of Buenos Aires, a multi-media show involving artists from around the world. In 1970...