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Article

Susan S. Weininger

(b Havana, Nov 18, 1948; d New York, Sept 8, 1985).

American sculptor, performance artist, video artist, and painter of Cuban birth. From the age of 13, when she was sent to the USA from Cuba by her parents, she lived in orphanages and foster homes in Iowa. Her sense of exile and the separation from her family proved strong motivating forces on her later work. After completing an MA in painting at the University of Iowa in 1972, she entered the university’s new Multimedia and Video Art programme, in which she was free to experiment and develop a unique formal language, gaining an MFA in 1977.

In the 1970s Mendieta began to create ‘earth-body sculptures’ outdoors in Iowa, using the primal materials of blood, earth, fire, and water, having first executed performances that she documented in photographs or black-and-white films. In the Silueta series she traced or sculpted the image of her body on the ground, using ignited gunpowder, leaves, grass, mud, stones, other natural elements, or cloth; ...

Article

Matthias Ulrich

(b Lubin, Poland, Sept 11, 1967).

Polish draughtsman, sculptor, video, performance, and mixed media artist, active in the USA. She grew up in Sweden, where she studied Communications at Schillerska/Gothenburg University in Gothenburg from 1986 to 1987. After moving to New York, Mir earned her BFA for Media Arts at the School of Visual Arts in 1992, and from 1994 to 1996 she studied Cultural Anthropology at the New School for Social Research.

Mir’s practice as an artist refers to popular culture in general, focusing on images and ideas that influence and represent social reality, and investigating popular myths and technologies such as the cinematographic representation of images. The journey to the moon, for example, symbolizing the dominance of the United States during the Cold War, receives through Mir’s appropriation in First Woman on the Moon (1999) a critical reflection, taking into consideration patriarchal power structures as well as the apparent staging of reality through mass media. In her work ...

Article

D. C. Barrett

(b Cholet, Maine-et-Loire, April 30, 1926; d Cholet, Maine-et-Loire, May 11, 2016).

French painter, sculptor and stage designer. A self-taught artist, he began his career in 1952, painting endless repetitions of tirets (Fr.: ‘hyphens’), which formed optically vibrating patterns. In the late 1950s he began series of trames, grids of small squares (see From Yellow to Purple, 1956), then of lines drawn on paper and finally of aluminium rods. In works such as 8 Grids (1958; Paris, Pompidou) the vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines at times form circles, creating the sparkling effect of a galaxy. In more sculptural works such as Sphere-grid (1962; priv. col., see 1986 exh. cat., p. 83) straight metal rods form a sphere that revolves when hung.

Morellet was a founder-member of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV) in 1960. Besides contributing experiments with lines and spaces, like other members of GRAV he worked with optical effects, light and movement, producing grids of randomly flashing light bulbs, and from ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

dele jegede

revised by Kristina Borrman

(b Idumuje-Ugboko, Delta State, Dec 20, 1935).

Nigerian painter, sculptor, architect, and set designer. Nwoko’s works of art and architecture have been understood as exhibiting the tensions between modernism and indigenous design. Nwoko’s own published discussions of the political history of Nigeria and his recommendations for improvements in education, medicine, environmental conservation, and mechanical engineering have inspired art histories that describe him as not only an artist–architect but as an advocate for social reform.

Nwoko was one of the first of his generation of contemporary Nigerian artists to study fine arts at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria (1957–61). During his time as a student in Nigeria, Nwoko (along with classmate Uche Okeke) designed the Pavilion of Arts and Crafts, Lagos, in celebration of Nigerian Independence (1960). After his graduation, Nwoko won a scholarship from the Congress for Cultural Freedom to study scenic design at the Centre Français du Théâtre. Nwoko continued his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, choosing to add the disciplines of fresco painting and architectural decoration to his educational programme....

Article

Andreas Franzke

[Winkler, Ralf]

(b Dresden, Oct 5, 1939).

German painter, draughtsman, sculptor, film maker, writer and musician. Having painted from the age of ten, in 1955 he made repeated applications to study at the academies in Dresden and East Berlin but was turned down. He served a one-year apprenticeship as a draughtsman in 1956 before working at a number of different jobs. As early as 1960 he began to paint stick figures and a range of standardized signs, extending this schematic language from 1963 with ideas derived from mathematics, cybernetics and theoretical physics. In such works as Large World Picture (poster paint on fibreboard, 1.72×2.6 m, 1965; Ludwig priv. col., on loan to Basle, Mus. Gegenwartskst), this simplified range of figures and forms, painted in such a way as to convey a spontaneous energy and intensity, is also used to present political and social concerns.

Penck formulated the basis of his mature style while living in East Berlin from ...

Article

Philip Ward-Jackson

[Jean-Jacques]

(b Geneva, May 23, 1790; d Bougival, June 4, 1852).

Swiss sculptor, painter and composer. Prompted by his early displays of artistic talent, Pradier’s parents placed him in the workshop of a jeweller, where he learnt engraving on metal. He attended drawing classes in Geneva, before leaving for Paris in 1807. By 1811 he was registered at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and subsequently entered its sculpture competitions as a pupil of François-Frédéric, Baron Lemot. A more significant contribution to his artistic formation around this time was the guidance of the painter François Gérard. Pradier won the Prix de Rome in 1813 and was resident at the French Academy in Rome, from 1814 until 1819. On his return to France, he showed at the Salon of 1819 a group Centaur and Bacchante (untraced) and a reclining Bacchante (marble; Rouen, Mus. B.-A.). The latter, borrowing an erotically significant torsion from the Antique Callipygean Venus, opens the series of sensuous Classical female subjects that were to become Pradier’s forte. In ...

Article

Piero Pacini

(b Modena, June 20, 1894; d Rome, June 17, 1956).

Italian painter, decorative artist, stage designer, architect, sculptor and writer. He studied at Lucca, Turin and Rome, where he briefly attended the Accademia di Belle Arti, and his work earned the appreciation of his teacher Duilio Cambellotti (b 1876). In 1912 he joined the studio of Giacomo Balla and belonged to a Futurist art collective through which he met the leaders of the movement. In April and May 1914 he exhibited with other Futurists at the Galleria Sprovieri in Rome and, shortly afterwards, in Prague. Figure+Window (1914; Rome, priv. col.; see Menna, 1967, fig.) exemplifies the experiments he was carrying out at the time. He was particularly interested in the use of combinations of different materials and in theoretical speculation, writing in 1915 the manifestos Scenografia e coreografia futurista, Scultura dei colori e totale and Architettura futurista.

Prampolini met Tristan Tzara in Rome in 1916 and took part in the international ...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Derpeczyn, Podolia, May 27, 1885; d Kraków, Feb 8, 1958).

Polish painter, sculptor and stage designer. In 1906–11 he studied painting at the studio of Teodor Axentowicz (d 1938) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, and he also visited France and Italy where he came into contact with the latest artistic currents. He began exhibiting, often abroad, in 1907, and from 1945 he had a painting studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.

Until c. 1922 Pronaszko was one of the main organizers and exponents of modern art in Poland. In 1917, along with his brother Andrzej Pronaszko (1888–1961) and Tytus Czyżewski, he staged in Kraków the first exhibition of Polish Expressionists (later the Formists) and was one of the chief theoreticians of that tendency. The influence of Cubism is clearly evident in his pictures from that period (e.g. Act, 1917; Kraków, N. Mus.). At this time Pronaszko also made sculptures, producing one of the most celebrated Formist works, the wood monument to ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(Milton Ernest)

(b Port Arthur, TX, Oct 22, 1925; d Captiva Island, FL, May 12, 2008).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, photographer, and performance artist. While too much of an individualist ever to be fully a part of any movement, he acted as an important bridge between Abstract Expressionism and Pop art and can be credited as one of the major influences in the return to favour of representational art in the USA. As iconoclastic in his invention of new techniques as in his wide-ranging iconography of modern life, he suggested new possibilities that continued to be exploited by younger artists throughout the latter decades of the 20th century.

Rauschenberg studied at Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design from 1947 to 1948 under the terms of the GI Bill before travelling to Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian for a period of about six months. On reading about the work of Josef Albers he returned to the USA to study from autumn 1948 to spring ...

Article

Helen A. Harrison

[Grossberg, Yitzroch Loiza]

(b New York, Aug 17, 1923; d Southampton, NY, Aug 14, 2002).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, poet and Musician. He was a jazz saxophonist before he was encouraged to take up painting by two artist friends, Jane Freilicher and Nell Blaine (b 1922), who shared his enthusiasm for jazz. After brief service in the US Army Air Corps during World War II (1942–3), he studied with Hans Hofmann from 1947–8 in New York and Provincetown, MA. He painted for a short period under the influence of the Abstract Expressionists but, after seeing Pierre Bonnard’s retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1948, he began to apply his facility for drawing to figurative subjects extracted from the intimate circumstances of his family life and everyday surroundings. The first such pictures, for example Interior, Woman at a Table (c. 1948; New York, Pat Cooper priv. col., see Harrison, p. 29), were stylistically very close to Bonnard’s work, but in such works as ...

Article

Salomé  

John-Paul Stonard

[ Cihlarz, Wolfgang Ludwig ]

(b Karlsruhe, Aug 24, 1954).

German painter, sculptor and performance artist. He studied under K. H. Hödicke at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin (1974–1980), and in 1981 worked at the PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, on a DAAD stipend. He later divided his time between Berlin, Los Angeles and Idaho. From the mid-1970s his paintings and performances focused on exhibitionism, eroticism and transvestism. The uninhibited directness of his approach can be seen in such early paintings as The Executioner and his Victim (2.35×1.8 m, synthetic resin on canvas, 1978; artist’s priv. col., see 1982 publication, p. 69), a sado-masochistic tableaux in which the artist depicts himself as victim. Other works that show explicit homoerotic content were displayed in West Berlin at the Galerie am Moritzplatz, co-founded by Salomé with Rainer Fetting, Helmut Middendorf and Bernd Zimmer, in 1977. Salomé’s vigorous and colourful style can be compared to that of his friend Fetting; their use of an expressionist approach resembling that of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner can be seen as part of a resurgence of a specifically ‘German’ style at a time when artists were becoming more able to interrogate their own national past. Although Salomé was closely associated with the Moritzplatz painters and was included with them in the exhibition ...

Article

Constance W. Glenn

(b Kastoria, Greece, Sept 14, 1936).

American painter, sculptor and photographer of Greek birth. He immigrated to West New York, NJ, in 1948 and graduated from Rutgers University in 1959. He participated in the earliest Happenings, and he studied art history with Meyer Schapiro and acting at the Stella Adler Studio Theater. In 1960 he created the first of his well-known boxes, for example Box No. 3, 1962–1963 (New York, Whitney). His choice of media ranged from the sensuous to the menacing, and he preferred opulent textures and colours. Tacks, pins and shards of glass encrusted such early works as Book #4 (Dante’s Inferno) (1962; New York, MOMA). Always self-referential, he first secreted a photograph of himself in early boxes and constructions. On moving to New York in 1964 he created another unconventional self-portrait: a gallery installation, Room, inspired by his claustrophobic New Jersey bedroom.

From 1969 Samaras began to produce photographs using his body as subject and metaphor in a series entitled ...

Article

Karin von Maur

(b Stuttgart, Sept 4, 1888; d Baden-Baden, April 13, 1943).

German painter, sculptor, choreographer and stage designer. After the death of his parents he lived with his sister at Göppingen, and in Stuttgart from 1903 to 1905 he served an apprenticeship at a workshop specializing in marquetry while attending classes at the Kunstgewerbeschule. He continued his studies on a bursary from 1906 to 1911 at the Kunstakademie in Stuttgart under the plein-air landscape painters Christian Landenberger (1862–1927) and Friedrich von Keller (1840–1914). In 1911–12 he lived in Berlin, where he produced paintings such as Hunting Lodge, Grunewald (1911; Stuttgart, Staatsgal.) and Self-portrait (1912; Stuttgart, Staatsgal.) under the influence of Cubism. After returning to Stuttgart, Schlemmer studied under Adolf Hölzel, whose theory of pictorial methods made him a pioneer of abstract art and who gathered around him an international circle of students that included Willi Baumeister and the Swiss artists Otto Meyer-Amden and Johannes Itten, with whom Schlemmer became friends....

Article

Celia Rabinovitch

(b Basle, July 20, 1900; d Sugar Loaf, NY, Jan 2, 1962).

American painter, printmaker, sculptor, stage designer and writer of Swiss birth. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Geneva (1920) and at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence (1927). From this training he drew upon two dominant influences, combining a predilection for the illusionistic deep space and the clear vibrant colour of the Italian tradition with the fantastic narratives explored by earlier Swiss artists such as Johann Heinrich Füseli, Ferdinand Hodler, Urs Graf and Niklaus Manuel Deutsch.

In 1929 Seligmann moved to Paris, where he remained until 1938 and where he became associated with Surrealists. While in Paris he also became a member of Abstraction–Création and an acquaintance of Le Corbusier as well as Hans Arp, whose example led him to explore deliberately ambiguous biomorphic imagery. Although he did not formally join the Surrealist movement until 1937, he participated in Surrealist exhibitions throughout the 1930s and made use of organic and fantastic forms, often fusing natural with artificial elements. His paintings and etchings of this period, distinguished by their high degree of finish, make striking use of masks and of dancing figures constructed of abstract forms. Their sense of play, secrecy and concealment recalls the animism of the fairy tale and the Gothic tradition of northern Europe. The element of drama, tension and struggle in the dance is particularly apparent in his depiction of multiple figures. He worked in white tempera on a reddish ground, glazing over that layer with transparent colour and black outline. The highlights were added at the end in keeping with a traditional systematic approach to the illusionistic depiction of space....

Article

Emily Braun

(b Sassari, Sardinia, May 12, 1885; d Milan, Aug 13, 1961).

Italian painter, sculptor, architect, stage designer and illustrator. He was brought up in Rome where his family moved in 1886. In 1902 Sironi enrolled in the Engineering Faculty of the University of Rome, but after a long illness abandoned his studies to devote himself to painting. In 1903 he attended the Scuola Libera del Nudo at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome and frequented the studio of Giacomo Balla. Following a short spell in Milan in 1905–6, he travelled to Paris in 1906 and shared a room with his close friend Umberto Boccioni. Several family and self-portraits painted in a divisionist technique (see Divisionism) date from this period. Sironi also visited Germany several times between 1908 and 1911, where he was exposed to contemporary Expressionist currents. He lived in Rome from 1909 until he moved to Milan in late 1914 or early 1915.

Sironi experimented with Futurism from ...

Article

Jenifer P. Borum

(b Pittsburgh, PA, 1958).

American painter and sculptor. Raised in the working-class East Liberty section of Pittsburgh, Stout was encouraged to make art by members of her family—her maternal uncle, a painter, and her grandfather, a blues musician. As a child, she took classes at the Carnegie Museum of Art, where she was introduced to African art, a significant formative experience for Stout, who would subsequently go on to engage the vernacular language of the African Diaspora in the Americas.

Stout earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 1980. After graduation, she worked in residency at the Afro-American Artists Residency at Northeastern University in Boston. After moving to Washington, DC, in 1985, she began the ongoing practice of mixed-media assemblage that was to become her mature work. By reclaiming objects and elements from urban diasporic material culture such as root medicines, spirit writing and healing oils, Stout created assemblages and environments that effectively transformed gallery and museum spaces into liminal sites that mapped cultural crossroads—contact points between Africa and the Americas, tradition and innovation, high art and vernacular culture....

Article

Whitney Chadwick

revised by Amy Lyford

(b Galesburg, IL, Aug 25, 1910; d New York, NY, Jan 31, 2012).

American painter, sculptor, illustrator, stage designer, and writer. She studied at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1932 before moving to New York, where she saw the exhibition Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism (1936–7; New York, MOMA) and was inspired to become a painter. After meeting Max Ernst in 1942 she became part of the group of exiled Surrealists living in New York during World War II; see Children’s Games (1942) and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (1943). Her first one-woman exhibition took place at the Julien Levy Gallery in 1944.

One of Tanning’s first Surrealist paintings was the self-portrait, Birthday (1942; Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.), influenced by the illusionistic Surrealism of René Magritte and Max Ernst that she had seen at the MOMA exhibition. To support herself in the 1940s, she worked as an advertising illustrator for Macy’s, and some of her paintings express an affinity with the conventions of fashion advertising (see ...

Article

Alan Bird

(Grigor’yevich)

(b Melitopol’, Ukraine, July 26, 1898; d Moscow, June 23, 1980).

Russian painter, graphic artist, stage designer and sculptor of Ukrainian birth. He was born into a Jewish family of carpenters. From childhood he was fascinated by itinerant showmen, puppeteers, gypsies and market traders who carried their wares in large baskets or their booths on their heads. From 1912 to 1917 he studied at the Kiev school of art. At the time of the 1917 revolution he was working in Alexandra Exter’s studio, where he met other young artists interested in the theatre, notably I. Rabinovich (1894–1961) and N. Shifrin (1892–1961). After service in the 12th Army he returned in 1919 to Melitopol’, where he created propaganda posters and cartoons for ROSTA (the Russian Telegraph Agency). In 1921 he went to Moscow and undertook some teaching in Vkhutemas (the Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops). He was a founder member of the Society of Easel Painters where, among other works, he exhibited ...

Article

(Jörgensen Hungerholt)

(b Kemi, 1927).

Finnish sculptor, painter, printmaker and stage designer. In 1938 his family moved to Sweden, where in 1945 Ultvedt enrolled at the Konsthögskola in Stockholm; the following year he attended Sven Erixson’s decorative art school in Stockholm. In 1947 and 1948 he visited Paris, and in 1950 he had his first one-man show at the Galleri Noa-Noa in Copenhagen. At this time he was producing drawings, watercolours and engravings. In 1954 he designed the décor for the ballet Spiralen, performed at the Konserthus in Stockholm. From the mid-1950s he turned to collage, welded-metal sculptures and wood-and-paper assemblages, producing such works as Pig Trough (1958; see 1988 exh. cat., p. 16), a rectilinear object made from fragments of wood. In the early 1960s he made a number of shallow relief works using open layers of wood, as in Mobile (1961; Stockholm, Mod. Mus.). From the same period were a number of installations using wood, wire and other materials that were loosely assembled and often included moving parts, as in that for the ...