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Article

Lucius Grisebach

(b Antwerp, Feb 5, 1940).

Belgian conceptual artist. He adopted the pseudonym Panamarenko at the outset of his artistic career. He studied at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp (1955–60), and at the National Hoger Instituut, Antwerp (1962–4). He was active in various Happenings in Antwerp between 1964 and 1966. With friends Hugo Heyrman (b 1942), Bernd Lohaus (b 1940) and Wout Vercammen (b 1938) among others, he produced a photocopied magazine called Happening News (c. 1964–6). From 1966 to 1968 he made what he called ‘poetic objects’, which included such quiet, contemplative works as Snow (leather bag, rubber boots, twigs and snow, 1966; priv. col., see 1978 exh. cat., p. 98) and Moths in Reeds (moths, reeds and motor, 1967; Naarden, Becht Col., see 1978 exh. cat., p. 103), and also a large, bicycle-driven structure, Aeroplane (aluminium and mixed media, 1967...

Article

Sérgio B. Martins

(b Tiradentes, Jul 11, 1980).

Brazilian multimedia artist. Early in his career, Rocha Pitta practiced mainly photography, but soon turned to projects in which original and found images become juxtaposed with materials as diverse as earth, stone, food, newspapers cutouts, car parts, and cement. His interest lay not in the substantive sculptural quality of materials, but rather in their capacity to signify circulation, apprehension, conversion, and communal use, depending on the situation. His work often pits the commodity form against different conceptions of use and display drawn from universes as diverse as police photographs and religious art.

Provisional Heritage (2010), exhibited both at Sprovieri Gallery, London, and at the 29th Bienal de São Paulo, comprises photographs and a film recording the pouring of the contents of cans of expired tomato soup and coffee drink found at an abandoned factory in East London. The liquids act as tokens of failed commodity circulation in an area that was itself caught between dereliction and real-estate speculation. Failed monumentality is also a recurrent topic in his work. ...

Article

Sérgio B. Martins

(b Paranavaí, Oct 9, 1967).

Brazilian video and installation artist. He received his MFA at Konstfack, University College of Art, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, Sweden. Redondo’s work employs different media in order to address the naturalization and reproduction of cultural memory in architecture, art, and vernacular practices. Video and film are constant techniques utilized in his practice. The latter has expanded from initial explorations of the construction of memory within family and friendship circles to the deconstruction of cultural myths that inform the reception of Brazilian Modernist architecture and culture. Redondo’s installations often involve silkscreened wooden panels and structures jointly conceived with his longstanding partner and collaborator, the Swedish designer Birger Lipinski.

In the video installation Kidnapping Images (2001; Stockholm, Konstfack), Redondo opposed a fragment of found footage of his deceased sister dancing with their father to a video of his family watching the whole film. With this juxtaposition he prompted the spectator to reflect on the conventions that rule image-making and social rituals of recollection. This tension between representation and loss is further probed in ...

Article

Aleca Le Blanc

(b Belo Horizonte, 1962).

Brazilian multimedia artist. Rennó grew up during Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964–85) and began her career while one of nation’s worst economic crises unfolded. She received degrees in architecture from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (1986), visual arts from the Escola Guignard (1987), both in Belo Horizonte, and a doctorate from the School of Communication at the University of São Paulo. In her photo-based practice, she resuscitated suppressed visual histories by mining libraries, archives, and museums for images that had been censored or abandoned. Interested in photojournalism and social documentary, Rennó produced artist books, photographic installations, and videos, generating new modes of circulation for the discarded negatives and photographs she retrieved. She also incorporated historical visual technologies into her installations: from magic lanterns to vintage slide projectors. In her 1994 series, Immemorial, Rennó constructed fictional portraits of workers who died during the construction of the capital city of ...

Article

J. Harwood

(b Barranquilla). Colombian painter and conceptual artist. Rodríguez trained in the Escuela de Bellas Artes at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá from 1964 to 1969. Between 1970 and 1972 she gained an MFA from Yale University, where she studied painting under Al Held and Lester Johnson. Although her early training was informed by Pop art, Rodríguez’s use of semi-abstract forms and bold contrasting colors, inspired by Colombia’s natural environment, often resulted in her work being stereotyped as “tropical.” The fantastic landscapes produced by the combining of these painted elements with added objects such as photographs or plastic toys earned her a reputation as a Surrealist. Within these imaginary landscapes mundane objects become magical, while the titles of such compositions hint at their deeper conceptual meaning. In later years, such additions figured more prominantly in Rodríguez’s canvases, as in Landscape with Red Live Tree (1990; Colchester, U. Essex, Coll. Latin Amer. A.), where the center of the work is occupied by a small cupboard containing a photograph of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, watched over by a plastic toucan’s beak. These objects also relate to the artist’s parallel production of Magic Boxes, small, brightly painted montages that recall the popular art of Colombia in their use of color. Both interior and exterior surfaces are adorned with an assortment of everyday objects through which these boxes emerge as both dreamlike worlds and reflections on the complexity of modern Latin American life....

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

Lelia Delgado

(b New York, March 1, 1940).

Venezuelan conceptual and performance artist. She studied psychology at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, and sat in on classes at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas Cristóbal Rojas (now the Escuela de Artes Visuales Cristóbal Rojas) in Caracas, at which she later taught (1983–94). In 1962–6 she studied art at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), graduating with a degree in Plastic Arts (1966). Sosa returned to Venezuela in 1966 and combined her work with investigations into the expressive possibilities of the body. She was a founder-member of the dance group Contradanza (1973–6) and performed in Las cosas que nos pasan in Caracas. From 1970 she was highly active as a teacher of expression through movement and the plastic arts. In her work (examples in Caracas, Mus. B.A. and Ciudad Bolívar, Mus.) she reflected upon the surface and space and on the body as an instrument for the comprehension of such space. Sosa also used the chair as a structure from which to ponder the world, space and the role of the spectator....

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Los Angeles, CA, Feb 10, 1938).

American conceptual artist, painter and draughtswoman. She studied at the Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles (1954–5), at the Instituto de Bellas Artes, Mexico City (1955–6), under Diego Rivera, and at the New School for Social Research, New York (1958–60). Her first exhibition was at Douglass College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (1973). As a child Stuart accompanied her father, an engineer, to survey and map water lines in the deserts of southern California. While working as a topographical draughtswoman and topographer for the Army Corps of Engineers she mapped the earth’s crust from Las Vegas, USA, to Korea. Stuart acknowledged the influence of such experiences on her work, which focuses on a celebration of human culture and its various artefacts, rituals, and monuments, often incorporating the arts of non-Western societies. Her early works took the form of large sculptural scrolls, made of paper impressed with site-specific earth and rocks, for example ...

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

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

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

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...

Article

Anne K. Swartz

(b Primavera, Paraguay, 1943).

American installation and performance artist, writer and educator of Paraguayan birth. Emigrating from Paraguay to the United States in 1961, Faith Wilding consistently examined the social role of women and their bodies as the subject of her art. She received her BA in English with honors from the University of Iowa, Iowa City. Wilding did postgraduate studies in Art and Art History at California State University, Fresno, where she met the artist Judy Chicago, who founded the first Feminist Art Program. Wilding completed her MFA at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and served as teaching assistant for the renowned Feminist Art Program (FAP), team-taught by Chicago and artist Miriam Schapiro. In the FAP, Wilding led a consciousness-raising group and a journal writing class, in addition to participating in the famed collaborative project Womanhouse (Jan 30–Feb 28, 1972) with her crocheted installation Crocheted Environment (Womb Room) , which resembles a loosely crocheted spider’s web, and in the performance ...