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Midori Yoshimoto

(b Shizuoka, March 3, 1965).

Japanese conceptual artist, sculptor and installation artist . Sone earned an MA in architecture at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (1992), but decided to experiment with a wider range of media in order to explore the concepts of futility and the unattainable. His first work, Her 19th Foot (1993), shown at the Art Tower, in Mito, and later in the Rooseum, in Malmö, consisted of 19 unicycles welded together for 19 cyclists to ride. As several attempts by different participants failed, the work implied the ‘impossibility of communal illusions’ (see Inoue). His next work, Artificial Lawn Performance (1994), consisted of four photographs that seemed to prove the fiction that Sone had laid Astroturf on the surface of the moon as part of NASA’s art programme. The nonsense of the grandiose act is heightened by the artificial quality evident in Sone’s pseudo-documentary photographs. For the opening of the Expo ...

Article

(b Mamou, LA, July 31, 1941).

American sculptor and conceptual artist. He grew up in a rural, French-speaking Cajun community. He studied art and anthropology from 1959 at the University of South Western Louisiana, Lafayette (BA, 1963). Sonnier then travelled to England, France, and Italy and studied at the Academy in Paris with André Lhote. He then attended Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (MFA, 1964), studying under Robert Morris and joining the Rutgers Group, an informal association of artists who had developed a type of Minimalism from found materials. Sonnier’s first exhibition was at Douglass College, New Brunswick, in 1966. During the late 1960s he produced wall reliefs and floor-based sculptures in cheesecloth, foam-rubber, and other soft materials. Sonnier consistently used a diversity of materials to evoke cultural, psychological and mystical associations. Neon Wrapping Incandescent Light: Triple Loop (neon and incandescent bulbs, 2400×1325×375 mm, 1969; Sylvia Perlstein priv. col.) is a multi-sensory, highly sensual installation, comprising both visual and auditory elements. Beginning in the 1970s Sonnier made numerous works composed of neon bulbs, plate glass, and mirrors. In the 1990s and 2000s he created neon works for gallery and architectural settings, including ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Lakewood, Ohio, 1930; d Paris, May 7, 2014).

American painter, sculptor and conceptual artist. Although notoriously reluctant to reveal biographical details including her date or place of birth, she went on record as having studied at a remarkable number of institutions including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Students’ League in New York, the University of Iowa, the University of Zurich and Columbia University in New York. She quickly rose to notoriety in the late 1960s for her appropriation of famous images by contemporary Pop artists. Her choice of artistic models was carefully made, as the Pop artists had themselves mimicked the appearance of found objects and ready-made images from advertising, commercial art and photography. One of her first such works was a copy of Jasper Johns’s Flag exhibited at a group exhibition in 1965; in 1966 she held a solo exhibition consisting entirely of reproductions of screenprinted paintings from Andy Warhol’s ...

Article

Jasmina Tumbas

(b Belgrade, Serbia, Sept 2, 1945).

Serbian writer, painter, sculptor, performance, conceptual, and installation artist. Todosijevic studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade from 1964–69. Along with Marina Abramović, Zoran Popovic (b 1944), Nesa Paripovic (b 1942), Gergelj Urkom (b 1940), and Era Milivojevic (b 1944), Todosijevic was part of the group of six artists active in the 1970s at the Student Cultural Centre (Studentski Kulturni Centar, SKC, opened in 1971) in Belgrade. This alternative art institution became one of the central sites for the New Artistic Practices, a phrase applied to artists who introduced experimental art practices like performance, conceptual, and video art in former Yugoslavia during the 1960s and 1970s. The SKC in Belgrade gained international recognition with its ‘April Meetings for Expanded Media’ (1972–78), where Todosijevic’s work was shown regularly, along with artists like Joseph Beuys and Gina Pane.

Todosijevic’s politically charged oeuvre systematically confronted normative views on art, culture, politics, and social relations, and was influenced by the student protests of ...

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

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

Morgan Falconer

(b Ostend, Oct 3, 1948).

Belgian sculptor and photographer. He was a poet until 1974, when he began to work with black-and-white photography. His earliest images emerged from a conceptualist framework and addressed questions about representation which surfaced in relation to self-portraiture and the nude. Both these subjects continued to be important to him: in the series Portrait of the Artist by Himself (1984; see 1993 exh. cat., pp. 5–7) he posed in front of an abstract, geometric backdrop, gesticulating obscurely and carrying a makeshift mask in front of his face, as a way of continuing the paradoxical themes of absence that he had explored in his earlier self-portraits; in the series Lucretia (1983; see 1989 exh. cat., pp. 22–35) he presented a mythological subject through a series of photographs in which a nude describes elements of the narrative by means of gestures. Vercruysse is perhaps better known for his sculpture, in which he explored similar themes of absence and lack of meaning through the use of cultural archetypes, an approach which has led to comparisons with René Magritte. The series ...

Article

Eva Meyer-Hermann

(b Fulda, July 22, 1939).

German sculptor and conceptual artist. He studied at the Werkkunstschule, Offenbach (1957–9), and at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt (1959–61). By the end of the 1950s he was already breaking away from a naturalistic style and creating works that emphasized process and materials over form, such as cross-hatched drawings and composite sculptures. From 1962 to 1964 he attended the Staatliche Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, under Karl-Otto Götz, where he was influenced by Art informel. In the 58 works from his First Movement series of 1963–9 (versions in Bonn, Städt. Kstmus., and New York, Dia A. Found.), he defined a new concept wherein the artwork was no longer autonomous but was ‘completed’ by interaction with the viewer. The participant was invited to don variously shaped and stitched linen ‘instruments’ and place part or all of their physical selves within the perimeters of the object. Between 1967 and ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Holyoke, MA, Feb 12, 1943).

American photographer, video artist, conceptual artist, sculptor, draughtsman and painter . He studied painting at the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA (BFA 1965), and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (MFA 1967). During these years he produced Minimalist sculptures and paintings. In the early 1970s he used video and photography, primarily as a means of documenting such conceptual works as Untied On Tied Off (1972), a photograph of the artist’s feet with one shoe on, untied, the other with the shoe tied to his ankle. These documents gave way to photographs that took on greater artistic qualities in terms of composition and technique, while he continued to use concepts and approaches seen in the earlier pieces (particularly irony, humour and satire on both popular culture and the high culture of contemporary art). He was most well known in the 1970s for his photographic and video works featuring his Weimaraner dog, Man Ray. By ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b London, Aug 17, 1943).

English conceptual artist and sculptor. He studied at Ealing School of Art (1962–3), began editing and publishing Control Magazine in 1965 and in 1972–3 was Director of the Centre for Behavioural Art in London. Consistently interested in art as an intervention in social patterns and identities, Willats frequently grounded his work in research-based projects. His early art, however, was more object-based. Light Modulator No. 2 (1962; see 1979–80 exh. cat., p. 13), for example, was a project for an outdoor public sculpture made of moving vertical panels, perspex and painted wood, through which people would pass and interact. Willats soon developed these more phenomenological and behavioural concerns into sets of problems concerned with social interaction and cognition. Another early work, Meta Filter (1973; Lyon, Mus. St Pierre A. Contemp.), demonstrates this: a very large installation organized around a large computer, it invites two participants to seek agreement over the meanings of a set of images and statements. Throughout his career Willats continued to design similar interactive projects aimed at encapsulating problems of social conflict. Often his exhibitions evolved out of complex research-based initiatives and extensive collaboration with the public. ...

Article

Tracy Fitzpatrick

(b Bronx, NY, 1954).

American sculptor, installation and conceptual installation artist. Wilson was born in the Bronx, attended the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan, and received his BFA from Purchase College, The State University of New York in 1976.

While at Purchase College, Wilson studied performance art and dance and also served as a guard at the Neuberger Museum of Art. After college, he worked in various capacities at several New York City museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History. In 1987, he became the director of the Longwood Arts Project, where he organized “Rooms With a View,” an exhibition for which he borrowed museum experiences, weaving together art objects, display space, and institutional labels to interrogate methods of museum display and the meanings generated therein. This strategy, an Institutional Critique that Wilson referred to as “tromp l’oeil curating,” has emerged as the focus of his artistic practice....

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Fukuoka, 1959).

Japanese sculptor. He studied at Musashino Art University, Tokyo, and completed a fellowship in sculpture at Yale University, New Haven, CT, in 1990. Initially Yanagi was influenced by the Minimalist and Conceptualist orientation of the Japanese Monoha movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s; soon after he became known for a series of performances using coloured gas. He rose to international prominence in the 1990s following the success of a number of seminal installations that employed ants as metaphors for global migration. In the Wandering Position series (begun in 1989) Yanagi used chalk to trace out the path of an ant as it moved about a circumscribed area. The World Flag Ant Farm (1990; first exh. Venice Biennale, 1993; see 1996 exh. cat., p. 37) elaborated on his ideas through an installation that comprised a complex of wall-mounted plexiglass boxes filled with coloured sand depicting a number of national flags. He added ants to the boxes, allowing them to crawl around and move the sand from one box to another via transparent tubes, thus progressively destroying the integrity of the flags. Yanagi’s interest in the nation state developed throughout the 1990s to encompass other themes, including ideology, nationalism and the construction of cultural difference. In ...

Article

Matthew Gale

(b Andorno Micca, nr Biella, Piedmont, Sept 21, 1944).

Italian sculptor, performance artist and conceptual artist . He studied painting and sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Turin (1963–70) and held his first one-man show at the Galleria Sperone, Turin, in 1967. Use of such non-artistic materials as the scaffolding and foam of Chair (1967; New York, Sonnabend Gal.) ensured his inclusion in Arte Povera (1968; Bologna, Gal. de Foscherari) and performance at Arte Povera—azioni povere (1968; Amalfi, Arsenale). Zorio’s characteristic pieces rejected sculptural weight and solidity by use of cantilevers or suspension and reactions over time or with the environment. Several incorporated light; Phosphorescent Fist (1971; Paris, Pompidou) was lit and plunged into darkness, alternatively absorbing and emitting and absorbing energy, being lit and then unlit.

In common with his friend Giovanni Anselmo, Zorio raised linguistic problems, as in Odio (‘Hatred’), axed into a wall at Documenta 5, Kassel (1972), but his concern with energy led to experiments with both chemical and physical instability. He initiated gradual chemical reactions in his materials, which continued beyond the period of making, and used Olympic javelins to provide cantilevers; when combined with fragile, glass vessels or with the emblematic form of the five-pointed star (e.g. ...