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Philippe Rouillard

(b Douai, c. 1470; d Douai, between June 1535 and March 1536).

South Netherlandish painter and designer. His father, George Bellegambe, a cabinetmaker and musician, was a prominent citizen of Douai. Jean is first mentioned in a document of 1504, when he is referred to as a master painter, a burgher and married. His teacher is unknown, but his work bears some imprint of the art of Jan Provoost, who inherited Simon Marmion’s studio. However, Bellegambe might equally have been apprenticed in Bruges or Brussels (possibly in the atelier of the Master of the Legend of St Mary Magdalen, for example), or even in Antwerp. The calm and serenity of Bellegambe’s compositions, his treatment of landscape, his lightness of technique, his pursuit of clear, soft colours and delicate harmonies all indicate links with the work of Gérard David and Quinten Metsys. In the 17th century Bellegambe was known as ‘the Master of Colours’.

Bellegambe executed many altarpieces for the churches of Douai and nearby abbeys, as well as designing numerous costumes and embroideries. Many of his commissions are well documented. Around ...

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(b Modena, c. 1490; d London, ?Feb 15, 1569).

Italian stuccoist, sculptor, painter and costume designer, active in France and England. He worked in France as a painter (1515–22), probably under Jean Perréal and Jean Bourdichon, then in Mantua, possibly under Giulio Romano, possibly calling himself ‘da Milano’. By 1532 he was at Fontainebleau and in 1533 was engaged with Francesco Primaticcio on the stuccoes and painting of the Chambre du Roi and was one of the highest paid of his collaborators. He may also have worked on the Galerie François I. He was described in 1534 as sculpteur et faiseur de masques and in 1535 made masquerade costumes for the wedding of the Comte de Saint-Pol. He was later involved in a fraud and by August 1537 was in England, where he settled. By 1540 Bellin was employed at Whitehall Palace, probably on making stucco chimneypieces, including that in the privy chamber. The following year he and his company of six were working on the slate carvings at ...

Article

Charlotte Townsend-Gault

(b Upsala, Ontario, March 22, 1960).

Native American, Canadian installation and performance artist of Anishinabe descent. She attended the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto (1984–6), emerging among newly visible and influential First Nations figures in the arts in Canada whose work focused on the social, political and historical issues associated with their ethnic identity. The period was marked by the acknowledgement of aboriginal rights in the amended 1982 Canadian Constitution and by confrontations, sometimes violent, between indigenous people and the authorities over the nature and extent of those rights. Outrage at the tragic consequences of the historical marginalisation of native people and determination to recover their voice has always informed Belmore’s work. In the iconic Talking to their Mother (1991), which brought her wide attention, she travelled to Native American communities with an enormous, finely crafted wooden megaphone, literally giving people a voice with which to speak to their land....

Article

Ben  

Vanina Costa

[Vautier, Benjamin]

(b Naples, Italy, July 18, 1935).

French painter and performance artist. In 1949 he settled in Nice, where in 1958 he bought a record shop, which he used to stage exhibitions. In this gallery, which he initially called Laboratoire 32, and later Galerie Ben Doute de Tout, he held his first one-man show in 1960. Self-taught, he was by this time producing paintings of large handwritten words on a plain background, often coloured black and white, as in Je suis un menteur (1959; see 1987 exh. cat., p. 24). In an equally subversive spirit he created the Vomit Pictures (1958; see 1987 exh. cat., p. 14), which consisted of black canvases on to which he vomited. In the early 1960s he became associated with Fluxus, inscribing a ping-pong ball ‘Dieu’ for his Fluxbox Containing God (1961; see 1987 exh. cat., pp. 54–5) and in 1962 taking part in the Festival of Misfits at Gallery One in London. His Fluxus editioned works were often containers filled with everyday objects or materials, such as ...

Article

Dolores M. Yonker

(b Port-au-Prince, Nov 1, 1911; d Port-au-Prince, Oct 29, 1986).

Haitian painter. A painter of particularly lyrical gifts, he entered the Centre d’Art in Port-au-Prince as the driver of its jeep, having earlier exercised his talents as a musician and painter of china. He was so shy about his first efforts at panel painting that he attributed them to a friend. He admired Hector Hippolyte’s art while he was courting his daughter, whom he later married. His genre pictures, although anecdotal, are tinged with a subtle mystery. From the beginning, his work was meticulously executed. His polished surfaces, often obtained by repeated overpainting, are reminiscent of medieval manuscript illuminations. Details of faces, hands and feet are delicate but expressive and individualistic. Scenes of everyday events or of Vodoun ceremonies are usually situated in an architectural framework, giving scope to his fascination with perspective. His paintings of Vodoun scenes incorporate the mystical appearances of the spirits in wildly imaginative forms. In ...

Article

(b Paris, Aug 20, 1902; d Paris, Feb 12, 1949).

French painter and stage designer. He attended the Académie Ranson from 1920 (under Vuillard and Denis) and first exhibited at the Galerie Druet in 1924, as part of the group orchestrated by the critic Waldemar George. These ‘Neo-Romantics’ or ‘Neo-Humanists’ included Eugene Berman and Pavel Tchelitchew; at this point their eclectic, self-consciously traditional art offered an important alternative to modernism. Pittura Metafisica interiors provided one exemplar, yet Bérard’s dark-toned moody portraits, such as Pierre Colle (1931; priv. col., see 1983 exh. cat., p. 18), also suggest the directness of 17th-century realism, and in 1934 he painted a Homage to Le Nain.

In the Paris of the late 1920s, Bérard emerged as a promising young realist painter. His masterpiece, On the Beach (1933; New York, MOMA), presents a disturbing double self-portrait against a hallucinatory backdrop, infusing the real with morbid or perverse overtones; in this, Bérard was the precursor of Balthus, who in the mid-1930s inherited Bérard’s role and creative environment. In ...

Article

Ewa Mikina

(b Zawory, nr Gdańsk, June 15, 1934).

Polish painter, sculptor and stage designer. He studied at the Higher School of Plastic Arts in Poznań between 1952 and 1958. His abstract work has a certain affinity with hard-edge painting and Minimalism. In his early paintings the circular or oval shape of the canvas restates the shape of the form painted on it and thereby becomes its real analogue (as in Double Circles and Circle Compositions, 1962–5). At about the same time he produced sculptures made from thin wire. In the paintings after 1965 the actual space becomes a part of the composition and begins to supplant painted, illusory forms; and the ‘empty’ space starts to play an increasingly important role (e.g. Structural Painting with Hole, 1965).

At the end of the 1960s Berdyszak produced the series of double and triple Integral Paintings, in which the initial formal composition is subjected to multiplication and modification. The sculptures from this period are loosely assembled groups of simple, geometrical elements that allow the viewer to rearrange them. Between ...

Article

Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Nowy Sącz, Sept 14, 1930).

Polish sculptor and performance artist. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. In 1956 he received a diploma from the sculpture studio of Ksawery Dunikowski, and he made his début in 1955 at the Ogólnopolska wystawa młodej plastyki (‘Polish exhibition of young artists’) in the Arsenal, Warsaw. He was a member of the reconstituted Kraków group from 1964. He took part in many exhibitions and symposia in Poland and the rest of Europe.

The work of Bereś can be divided into three periods. The sculptures of the 1960s (e.g. Zwidy, 1960–65) are for the most part deeply rooted in the Polish landscape. Bereś, who in his programme generally distanced himself from all trends and groupings, believed at that time in the possibility of the functional role of art in Polish life and politics. His compositions from the 1970s contain a certain irony (e.g. Artist’s Monument, 1978...

Article

David Kinmont

(b Paris, Oct 18, 1859; d Paris, Jan 3, 1941).

French philosopher. The son of a Polish Jewish musician, he took his baccalauréat at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris and entered the Ecole Normale Supérieure in 1878. He gained his Licencié ès Lettres in 1879 and during 1881–8 taught in secondary schools at Angers, Clermont Ferrand and Paris. The publication of one of his two doctoral theses, Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience (Paris, 1889), brought him public recognition. It was followed in 1896 by Matière et mémoire.

Bergson was concerned with the problem of expression, and he attempted to resist the linguistic snares that he associated with conceptual thinking, arguing instead for an organic philosophy. He was aware of the inadequacies of the mechanistic determinism of 19th-century scientism, especially as presented in the English philosopher Herbert Spencer’s First Principles (London, 1862). Bergson saw reality as a constant state of dynamic flux in which past, present and future formed a single continuum. The question of time was all important to him, and he insisted that the time of consciousness existed on multiple interrelated levels. The fusion of these heterogeneous instants comprised a duration. This was not purely quantitative measurable time, but time as it is experienced by human consciousness. To Bergson, duration meant memory, and memory was synonymous with consciousness, an unending flow rather than a succession of discrete instants....

Article

John E. Bowlt

[Yevgeny (Gustavovich)]

(b St Petersburg, Nov 4, 1899; d Rome, Dec 14, 1972).

Russian painter and stage designer. His family moved to Western Europe in 1908 and his basic training was in Germany, Switzerland and France (apart from a brief residence in St Petersburg in 1914–18, when he received lessons in art from the painter Pavel Naumov and the architect Sergey Gruzenberg). In 1919 he enrolled at the Académie Ranson in Paris, attending courses under Edouard Vuillard and Maurice Denis, and two years later he exhibited at the Galerie Druet, Paris. From the late 1930s Berman worked increasingly in the USA, creating designs for ballet and other musical productions, for example for the Music Festival in Hartford, CT, in 1936. In spite of his cosmopolitan background, Berman maintained close connections with Russian artists, critics and dancers, collaborating, for example, with Serge Lifar on the production of Icare in Monte Carlo in 1938.

Berman lived in France from 1918 to 1939, although he also spent long periods in Italy, manifesting a particular interest in Renaissance art and architecture, which he interpreted in his studio paintings, some of which were shown at his one-man show at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

(b Guadalajara, 1852; d Rio de Janeiro, 1931).

Brazilian sculptor. The son of Italian musicians, he spent his childhood in Mexico and Chile before coming to Brazil with his family. In 1870 he was already enrolled in the course on statuary sculpture in the Academia Imperial das Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro, from where he was awarded a trip to Europe in 1876. He remained abroad until 1885, living briefly in Paris from 1878 to 1879 but staying mainly in Rome, where he finished his studies with Achille Monteverdi. During that time he executed one of his best-known works, the marble Christ and the Adulteress (1884; Rio de Janeiro, Mus. N. B.A.), which bears witness to the persistence in Brazil of a Neo-classically based naturalism throughout the 19th century and beyond. He taught in the Academia Imperial, and when this was renamed the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes with the establishment of the Republic, he became its director from ...

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Marc’alvise de Vierno

In 

Article

Heiner Stachelhaus

revised by Ina Blom

(b Krefeld, May 12, 1921; d Düsseldorf, Jan 23, 1986).

German sculptor, performance artist, printmaker teacher, and political activist. He opposed a concept of art based on such autonomous genres as panel painting and sculpture. Instead he pursued in his performance art (‘Aktionen’) and sculpture an ‘expanded concept of art’, aimed at a total permeation of life by creative acts. By his provocative and often misunderstood statement that ‘each person is an artist’, he did not mean that everyone is a painter or a sculptor. Rather, he wanted to express the idea that any person could become creatively active. This concept culminated logically in his idea of ‘social sculpture’, an art designed to activate the creative power possessed by every individual to form his or her own life situation.

As a schoolboy Beuys was strongly interested in natural science, which remained significant for his later work. After taking his Abitur in 1940 in Kleve on the Lower Rhine, where he grew up, he first wanted to become a paediatrician. However, in ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Chicago, IL, Oct 20, 1953).

American painter, sculptor and performance artist. Bidlo was educated at the University of Illinois and at Teachers’ College at Columbia University in New York. He shot to notoriety in 1982 with his first solo show, Jack the Dripper at Peg's Place (Long Island City, NY, P.S.1). Part exhibition, part performance, it was based on Hans Namuth’s film of Jackson Pollock painting in 1950. Bidlo exhibited a series of remarkably accurate copies of Pollock’s drip paintings and alongside these, restaged the painter’s famous gesture of peeing into Peggy Guggenheim’s fire grate. Subsequently, Bidlo mounted a number of performances which led to him being understood by some as a performance artist, yet he is now more widely known for his exact replicas of art central to the modernist canon, a project he began in 1982. Copying work to exact dimensions, using only reproductions for reference, Bidlo commonly chose works central to the mythology of creation of individual genius. ...

Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Antwerp, March 19, 1946).

Belgian photographer and installation artist. He studied theatre and cinema in the late 1960s, creating a fruitful ground for his future installations and later dividing his work into four categories with the aim of blurring the frontiers of art and social reality. One such category, ‘Transformation–Installation’ was rooted in a spoof governmental pamphlet written by the artist in 1979 announcing the bankruptcy of art: he argued that art was unnecessary since it was inherently non-functional. From that point on, this ironic point of view was built into his recreations of everyday environments injected with incongruous elements, as in Driving School Z (1979; see 1998 exh. cat, p. 44), an installation in an Antwerp gallery that recreated the soulless premises referred to in the title. At once bleak and dramatic in its painstaking reconstruction, it contained furniture from a real driving school as a way of blurring the distinction between art and reality. Bijl’s polished installations have an unsettling atmosphere, as they lack any sense of human presence. Tackling issues of mass culture and its vehicles, he reconstructed some institutions in tableaux that mixed the artificiality of highly stylized objects with the tangible reality of everyday artefacts. By so doing, he questioned the identity and meaning of environments once they have been relocated to an institutionalized art context. In ...

Article

Kenneth Archer

(Yakovlevich)

(b Tarkhovka, St Petersburg, Aug 4, 1876; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Feb 7, 1942).

Russian graphic artist and stage designer. The son of a naval doctor, Bilibin was educated in St Petersburg, studying law at the University (1896–1900) and art at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1895–8); then, under Il’ya Repin, he studied at both Princess Maria Tenisheva’s Art School (1898–1900) and the Academy of Arts (1900–04). From 1899 he exhibited with the group known as the World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) and was elected chairman of its reconstituted exhibition society in 1916. He also contributed to the Mir Iskusstva journal. Meanwhile he taught graphic art at the school of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1907–17).

Bilibin had a strong interest in Russian medieval and folk art and became famous for his book illustrations of Russian fairy tales, especially those by Pushkin. His most celebrated theatrical works were his set and costume designs for operas by ...

Article

Mary Emma Harris

Experimental liberal arts college at Black Mountain, NC, open from 1933 to 1957. In the 1940s and early 1950s Black Mountain College was a centre for a group of painters, architects, musicians and poets associated particularly with the development of abstract art and performance and multimedia work, crossing many disciplines. It was founded by John Andrew Rice (1888–1968) and a group of students and faculty from Rollins College, Winter Park, FL. It was located in the Blue Ridge Assembly Buildings, c. 29 km east of Asheville, NC, until 1941, when it moved to nearby Lake Eden until its closure. The progressive ideas of John Dewey influenced the integration of formal education with community life, the absence of conventional grades and credits and the central importance accorded to the arts. The college was owned and administered by the faculty. The setting was modest, and fewer than 1200 students attended in 24 years....

Article

Michelle Yun

(b New York, Feb 5, 1960).

American multimedia artist, curator, and writer. Blake received a BA from Bard College, Annadale-on-Hudson, NY, in 1982 and an MFA from the California Institute of Arts in Valencia in 1984. Upon graduation he moved to San Francisco where he worked as a curator at New Langton Arts, San Francisco, until his return to New York in 1996. Most notable of his curated exhibitions was In a Different Light, at the University Art Museum, Berkeley, in 1995, the first museum exhibition to examine the influence of lesbian and gay artists on contemporary art. In 2003 Blake became the founding Chair of the International Center of Photography/Bard Masters Program in Advanced Photographic Studies at the International Center for Photography in New York.

Blake’s performances, installations, and curated exhibitions have consistently tackled issues relating to sexuality, race, and representation. In his youth the artist was influenced by Joseph Cornell, and early sculptures such as ...

Article

Mark Allen Svede

(b Riga, Sept 6, 1943).

Latvian painter, stage designer and graphic designer. After a childhood spent in Siberian exile, he studied decorative art and trained as a painter in the Latvian Art Academy (1963–72), preparing for a career as a stage designer. Stage design and the applied arts were less constrained by Socialist Realist dictates during the 1970s, and he quickly became one of Latvia’s most innovative artists. His fluency with process art and installation, for example, was already evident in his designs for a 1973 Riga production of Žanna d’Arka (Joan of Arc) by Andrej Upīts, the stage metamorphosing from Minimalist cavity to an assemblage in Arte Povera style. Abandoning the theatre in 1987, Blumbergs continued his prolific output. His compositions, sometimes abstract, often figurative and allegorical, are notable within Latvian art for their spare elegance and uncontrived expressiveness, successfully combining grand literary allusion and subtle metaphysical content. His graphic virtuosity earned him a degree of international celebrity rare among his Latvian peers. Exceptional, too, for his political candour, he was a harbinger of ...

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Sascha Scott

(b Pittsburgh, PA, May 25, 1874; d Albuquerque, NM, June 6, 1960).

American painter and illustrator. Raised in Dayton, OH, Blumenschein showed an early aptitude for music, art, and sports. Upon graduating from high school, he began training as a musician on a violin scholarship at the Music Academy of Cincinnati. Blumenschein left the Academy after a year and enrolled in the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he received a prize for illustration in Fernand Harvey Lungren’s class. In 1893, he moved to New York City and enrolled at the Art Students League, where his instructors included John Twachtman and Kenyon Cox. Over the course of the next 15 years, he moved back and forth between New York and Paris, periodically visiting other locales, including Taos, NM, Italy, and Giverny. He twice enrolled at the Académie Julian (1894–6 and 1899), where he studied with Jean-Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant. In 1905, he married artist Mary Shepard Greene (1869–1958), and, with the birth of their daughter in ...