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Article

(b Yokohama, Japan, Oct 31, 1887; d Waterford, CT, Oct 11, 1966).

(). American writer. He taught English at Columbia University, New York, from 1919 to 1958, and became professor there in 1947. He devoted a lifetime’s research to tracing the origins of the legends of King Arthur, and to proving that they had their roots in Celtic mythology and were passed to the Continent by Breton and other story-tellers. Loomis also pursued an interest in art and art history; many of his early publications dealt with aspects of medieval Arthurian iconography, and it was this art-historical research that led him to postulate the Celtic origins of the legends. He continued, where relevant, to use his knowledge of medieval art to support his arguments. His Arthurian Legends in Medieval Art (1938), written in collaboration with his wife, was a comprehensive survey of Arthurian iconography up to 1500, the result of nearly 30 years’ research. His continuing interest in art history is evident in ...

Article

(b Los Angeles, CA, Sept 2, 1931; d New York, Feb 10, 2012).

American graphic designer. As an American of Japanese descent, Miho was sent to an internment camp in Arizona during World War II, a difficult experience that she chose not to dwell on, but which helped her find other focuses and goals. In high school she received a scholarship for a summer programme at the Minneapolis School of Art (now the Minneapolis College of Art and Design) and was influenced by Modernism during her first visit to New York City, taking in the architecture and artwork of places such as Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art. After high school she took a part-time job at the Bureau of Engraving in Minneapolis and continued to take classes at the Minneapolis School of Art. She then received a full scholarship to study at the Art Center School in Los Angeles (now the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena), CA. She focused on graphic design and eventually switched to industrial design so she could study packaging design with Mary Sheridan, sometimes assisting in her design office. She graduated with honours in ...

Article

Celia Stahr

(b Bugok, South Korea, April 29, 1953).

American photographer and installation artist of Korean birth. Min came to the USA when she was seven and went on to study art at the University of California, Berkeley, receiving her BA in 1975, her MA in 1977 and her MFA in 1979. She has described herself as a child of Cold War politics and a member of the 1.5 generation who are Korean-born Americans. She occupies a liminal space, something that is often explored in her art. In Make Me (1989; see Cahan and Kocur, p. 85), she placed various texts, such as ‘Model Minority’, over four different bisected photographs of her face. These cut photographs with text force the viewer to confront common stereotypical images of Asian Americans.

In much of Min’s art, personal issues are tied to international power struggles, deCOLONIZATION (1991; see Neumaier, pp. 134–7), for example is a mixed-media installation that examines the social and psychological impact of colonialism on Korean women. In the centre of the installation a traditional Korean dress, on which there are handwritten excerpts in Korean and English from Won Ko’s poem ...

Article

Joan Kee

(b Taichung, Feb 16, 1964).

Taiwanese conceptual artist, active also in the USA. Lee spent his childhood in Taichung, where he studied Chan Buddhism from the age of eight. At 12, Lee spent time among Taiwanese expatriates in the Dominican Republic, and two years later moved to the USA, where he later studied biology at the University of Washington, Seattle. He transferred, however, to the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA, where he focused on architecture and textiles (1993). During this time, Lee made work that originated from personal memories, such as One Hundred Days with Lily (1995), which he started after his grandmother’s death. This work was a long-term endeavour documenting the life cycle of a lily that Lee took with him as he went about his daily activities in San Francisco.

After graduating from Oakland, Lee went on to receive a master’s degree in sculpture from the Yale School of Art. At Yale, Lee expanded upon his interest in interpersonal communication, which resulted in the production of works such as ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Spokane, WA, 1905; d 1990).

American furniture designer and manufacturer. The son of Japanese parents, after an early career as an architect he turned in 1940 to furniture-making, initially in Seattle and then, after a period of internment, in New Hope, Pennsylvania, where in 1946 he estabished an independent workshop. The workshop produces both series and individual designs, always in solid hardwood with no veneers; designs reflect both American and Japanese traditions, but are contemporary rather than revivalist. Although Nakashima is sometimes described as one of the founding figures of the American craft movement, his workshop used machine tools and, in the case of his series designs, production methods to create furniture that looks hand-crafted. The workshop is still a family business, and is now run by his daughter Mira (b 1942).

The Soul of a Tree: A Woodworker’s Reflections (Tokyo and New York, 1981) D. Ostergard: George Nakashima: Full Circle (New York, 1989)...

Article

Joan H. Pachner

(b Los Angeles, CA, Nov 17, 1904; d New York, Dec 30, 1988).

American sculptor and designer. He was the son of an American writer mother and Japanese poet father and was brought up in Japan (1906–18) before being sent to the USA to attend high school in Indiana (1918–22). In 1922 he moved to Connecticut, where he was apprenticed to the sculptor Gutzon Borglum (1867–1941). Discouraged by Borglum, Noguchi moved to New York and enrolled to study medicine at Columbia University (1923–5). From 1924 he attended evening classes at the Leonardo da Vinci Art School; encouraged by the school’s director, he decided to become a sculptor. In addition he frequented avant-garde galleries, including Alfred Stieglitz’s An American Place and the New Art Circle of J. B. Neumann; he was particularly impressed by the Brancusi exhibition at the Brummer Gallery (1926).

In 1927 and 1928 he was awarded Guggenheim Fellowships to visit the Far East, but he went to Paris instead. For six months he worked as ...

Article

Miwako Tezuka

(b Okayama prefecture, Japan, Nov 18, 1885; d California, Oct 6, 1975).

Japanese-born American painter. Obata is known for his sumi ink paintings, watercolors and woodblock prints depicting California landscapes. After studying Nihonga (Japanese-style painting) at the Japan Fine Arts Academy in Tokyo, he moved to San Francisco in 1903 to pursue career in art, and soon began working as an illustrator for local publications for the Japanese American community. In 1921, when ethnic prejudice was still rampant, he co-founded the East West Art Society in San Francisco to foster multicultural communication through art. In 1928, he returned to Japan where he produced award-winning series of 35 woodblock prints of majestic landscapes of Yosemite, based on his extensive survey and sketches of the region in the previous year.

From 1932, Obata taught at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, but his career came to a halt with the outbreak of World War II, when he and his family were interned at Tanforan in San Bruno, CA, from ...

Article

Toru Asano

(b Yokohama, Sept 28, 1902; d Tokyo, July 25, 1982).

American painter of Japanese birth. In 1922 he entered the department of Western painting at Tokyo School of Fine Arts, but in 1924 he went to France where he studied with Tsugouharu Foujita and executed paintings of urban subjects. In 1927 he returned to Japan. From 1929 he displayed works at the exhibition of the Nikakai (Second Division Society), of which he became a member in 1937. He went to New York in 1950, settling and working there as a painter. In New York he produced abstract paintings. Undoubtedly stimulated by Abstract Expressionism, these nevertheless display a strong Japanese sensibility and feeling for form; the works Abstraction No. 7 (1953; Purchase, SUNY, Neuberger Mus.) and Memories (1957; New York, Whitney), for example, reveal subtle changes in the natural world through the use of imagery constructed with delicate, sensitive colour tonalities, floating within the compositional space. He also painted numerous works that used as a point of departure the reinterpretation of the decorative effects of traditional Japanese painting (...

Article

Alice Ming Wai Jim

[Tetsuaki ]

(b Los Angeles, CA, March 3, 1940).

Alice Ming Wai Jim

Japanese American photographer.

In 1942, two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II, Tetsu Okuhara and his family were forced by the US government to evacuate their Westinter Coast home and relocate to a Japanese American internment camp south of Denver, CO. After the war, the family moved to Chicago, IL, where Okuhara grew up and studied at the University of Chicago (1959–62). Working as a freelance photographer, he moved to New York to attend the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture (1969–71). The first major public appearance of Okuhara’s work was in the July 1971 issue of Life magazine, which featured what was to be his most famous image, a 360-degree photo collage portrait of his wife. Susan (1971) consists of 112 individual black-and-white photographs of her head taken from different angles and then assembled into a single composite image using a grid format. The full nude portrait of ...

Article

Kevin Concannon

(b Tokyo, Feb 18, 1933).

Japanese multimedia artist, composer, and musician, active also in the USA and the UK. Born into a prominent Japanese banking family, Ono spent her childhood living in both America and Japan following her father’s banking career. She became the first female student to enter the philosophy course at Gakushiun University in Tokyo in 1952. At the end of the year, the family moved to Scarsdale, NY, and Ono enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College. In 1955, she eloped with composer Toshi Ichiyanagi (b 1933), dropping out of her course and moving to Manhattan, where she became involved with avant-garde art and music communities. From December 1960 through to June 1961, she hosted a series of performances organized with La Monte Young at her downtown loft. A one-person exhibition at Fluxus founder George Maciunas’s AG Gallery and a major solo concert at Carnegie Recital Hall followed in 1961. An original participant in ...

Article

Mick Hartney

(b Seoul, July 20, 1932; d Miami, Jan 29, 2006).

South Korean video artist, performance artist, musician, sculptor, film maker, writer, and teacher, active in Germany and the USA (see fig.). From 1952 to 1956 he studied music and aesthetics at the University of Tokyo. In 1956 he moved to the Federal Republic of Germany: he studied music at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich, and worked with the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen at Darmstadt, before joining Fluxus, with whom he made performance art, experimental music, and ‘anti-films’ (e.g. the imageless Zen for Film, 1962). His Neo-Dada performances in Cologne during this period included a celebrated encounter with John Cage, during which he formed a lasting friendship with the avant-garde composer by cutting off his tie. Inspired by Cage’s ‘prepared piano’, in which the timbre of each note was altered by inserting various objects between the strings, Paik’s experiments from 1959 with television sets, in which the broadcast image was modified by magnets, culminated in his seminal exhibition ...

Article

Richard Guy Wilson

(b Guangzhou, April 26, 1917).

American architect of Chinese birth. Pei was born into a wealthy family. After travels with his father, he went to the USA in 1935 to study architecture. Initially repelled by the Beaux-Arts system, he became reconciled to its strong emphasis on geometry and readable imagery under Dean William Emerson at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, from which he graduated in 1940. Pei stayed in Cambridge, working for different architects, and married Eileen Loo, a landscape architecture student at Harvard University, through whom he met Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, who were teaching there. He continued his studies at Harvard and received a graduate degree in 1946, staying there to teach until 1948. In the same year William Zeckendorf of Webb & Knapp, Inc., one of the largest developers in the USA, hired Pei as director of architecture, thus drawing him into the world of real estate development. He remained there until ...

Article

Klaus Ottmann

[Lawrence]

(b Ogibuko, Japan, Oct 1, 1937).

American painter. He first attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 1955 but entered the School of the Museum of Fine Arts two years later to study painting. He left the school after six months and in 1958 moved to New York. There he became influenced by the hard-edge geometric compositions of American abstract painters such as Stuart Davis and Fritz Glarner and by the late works of Piet Mondrian. At the same time Poons met Barnett Newman, who became a source of inspiration and support. Having been advised to simplify his work by curator and writer Henry Geldzahler (b 1935), who introduced him to the proto-Minimalist abstractions of Frank Stella, Poons began to draw points on graph paper that he would then connect with lines, soon focusing on the points themselves by applying small or large dots of oil paint on backgrounds of vivid acrylic paint. These dot paintings possessed the vibrating optical intensity typical of ...

Article

Eizo Inagaki

(b Kladno, Bohemia [now Czech Republic], May 10, 1888; d Langhorne, PA, Nov 21, 1976).

American architect of Czech birth, active also in Japan. Raymond graduated in 1910 from the Czech Technical University, Prague, where he was particularly influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright; he then immigrated to the USA and worked in New York for Cass Gilbert, who was then involved with the Woolworth Building. Raymond was naturalized in 1914 and entered Wright’s studio at Taliesin, WI, in 1916 for a year. Following a period in Europe, he went with Wright to Japan in 1919 to work on the Imperial Hotel (1919–21; destr. 1968), Tokyo. Deciding to stay in Japan, he opened his own architectural office in Tokyo in 1920. Raymond’s early works continued to be influenced by Wright until 1923, when he designed his own house at Reinanzaka, Tokyo, in the simple, cubic forms of the early Modern Movement with exposed concrete. He played an important role in introducing modern Western architecture to Japan, designing many buildings in the International Style in the 1920s and early 1930s but moving toward a less austere expression in the mid-1930s. He had a considerable influence on such architects as Kunio Maekawa and Junzō Yoshimura. Works of this period include St Paul’s (...

Article

Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...

Article

Sara Stevens

A category of buildings designed to house retail and shopping. It includes arcades, department stores, shopping malls, strip centres, and big-box stores. Retail architecture exists in small towns, big cities, and suburbs: anywhere people congregate. It is as ubiquitous in time and space as the organized exchange of goods for money. It is distinguished from commercial architecture, which, in real estate and architectural practice, can refer more generally to any property that produces income for its investors or owners but does not refer to a building’s architectural function (i.e. retail).

Buildings housing commercial activity have existed since antiquity. Anthropologists have described exchange halls and commercial structures in many cultures, including Roman, Aztec, Tang dynasty China, and Mesopotamian. During the medieval and Renaissance periods, market halls and exchanges were built in cities such as Antwerp, Bruges, London, and Venice, sheltering trading activities at ground level and municipal government functions above (...

Article

Leslie Luebbers

(b Reedley, CA, Nov 25, 1919; d Walnut Creek, CA, Aug 30, 2000).

American landscape architect and educator. Sasaki taught from 1953 to 1970 at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (HGSD), where he was chairman of the landscape architecture department from 1958 to 1968. In 1953, Sasaki also opened his design practice, which, after several name changes (including Sasaki, Walker and Associates (1959–63), with former student Peter Walker, and Sasaki, Dawson, DeMay Associates (1963–75), with former student Stuart O. Dawson and architect Kenneth DeMay) and its growth from a handful of recent landscape architecture graduates to an interdisciplinary staff of 300 partners and employees, became (after 1975) simply Sasaki Associates, the firm that carries his name and philosophy throughout the world.

The son of Japanese immigrants who farmed in the San Joaquin Valley, Sasaki grew up with an appreciation of the relationship between nature and human endeavor. After Pearl Harbor and before he completed his city planning degree at the University of California, Berkeley, he was caught in the mass internment of Japanese-Americans. Sasaki earned a BFA in landscape architecture in ...

Article

Jean Robertson and Craig McDaniel

The final decades of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century witnessed an increasing propensity for artists to incorporate aspects of science in their own art. In many fields of scientific research—including the cloning of mammals, the genetic modification of crops, the creation of bioengineered organs and tissues, advances in nanotechnology and robotics, experimental research in how the human mind works and the study of artificial intelligence—the frontiers of knowledge pushed outward at an accelerated pace. In the spirit of creative inquiry, or in order to critique the goals and outcomes of scientific experimentation and application, artists regularly borrowed subjects, tools and approaches from science as a means to the production of art ( see fig. ).

In documenting and assessing the achievements of visual artists engaged with science, there was no broad consensus on the categorisation of artists’ work across the full range of activities, methods, motivations and use of materials. Assessments of artistic practice focused on artists’ work categorised by the traditional fields of science (e.g. artists who explore biology, artists who explore physical sciences). Other analyses of artistic practice focused on categories of art media (e.g. artists who use traditional means such as carving and casting to represent scientific discoveries, artists who explore and employ biological materials and scientific instruments)....

Article

Midori Yoshimoto

(b Seattle, WA, 1939).

American painter of Japanese ancestry (sansei or third generation). The subjects in Shimomura’s paintings, prints and performances have largely stemmed from his personal experience of living as an ethnic minority in the Midwest and his grandmother’s diaries chronicling her immigration and adjustment to the USA in the early 20th century. By incorporating the seemingly disparate images from the historical and contemporary sources, Shimomura has presented captivating visual essences that bespeak of the multi-generational experience not only of Japanese–Americans, but also of Asian Americans. His works constituted significant critiques of the racial prejudices deeply rooted in the American society, alarming the viewer that the roots of prejudice could be found in all individuals.

At age three, Shimomura’s earliest visual memory was formed in Camp Minidoka in the southern Idaho desert, where he and his family, along with thousands of other Japanese–Americans, were detained from 1942 to 1944. Shimomura’s distant memory was revived after reading his grandmother’s diaries, which offered the ground narratives for many series of paintings: ...

Article

Yanfei Zhu

(b Urumqi, Nov 4, 1963).

Chinese architect and teacher. Wang Shu was born in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and studied at the Nanjing Institute of Technology (now Southeast University) in Jiangsu Province, receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture in 1985 and 1988 respectively. He earned his Ph.D. degree at the School of Architecture of Tongji University in Shanghai in 2000. Wang became a faculty member of the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou in 2000, and was named chair of the Architecture Department in 2003 and dean of the School of Architecture in 2007. In 2011 he was the Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

His first architectural commission, completed in 1990, was a youth centre in Haining, a small city near Hangzhou. In 1997 Wang and his architect wife, Lu Wenyu, established the Amateur Architecture Studio in Hangzhou. The name of the firm suggested the couples’ non-professional approach based on everyday life, spontaneity, and experimentation. Both of them received relatively liberal educations in post-Mao China, and belonged to the generation of architects who advocated tectonic modernism combined with regionalism. Some of the built works designed by Wang and the firm are the Library of Wenzheng College at Suzhou University (...