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Article

Morgan Falconer

(b London, 1960).

English conceptual artist, installation artist, film maker and photographer. He studied at Middlesex Polytechnic (1981–5) and at Chelsea School of Art (MFA, 1989–90). Gussin’s earliest work exhibited a preoccupation with the representation and experience of the natural landscape, which led him increasingly to the Romantic tradition. Ventilated Landscape No. 11 (1990; see Frieze, Summer 1991, p. 12) is an important early work that addresses the gap between the image of the inviting idyll and the experience of it: the piece comprised an image of a mountain landscape suspended in a small vitrine, in front of which were two small plastic ventilator holes taken from a mattress. He often contrasted the technical means of measuring the world with the wonder it inspires, as in Everything Available, September 1992 (1992; see 1993 exh. cat.), a long list, painted on the wall of the gallery, of all the instruments sold in one month’s edition of an astonomy magazine. Gussin also considered the way in which ideal landscapes are evoked, often to make the most mundane surroundings seem charmed. In ...

Article

Eva Meyer-Hermann

(b Cologne, Aug 12, 1936).

German painter and conceptual artist, active in the USA. He studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Kassel from 1956 to 1960, and during this period he painted pictures in a style close to Tachism, working on the visualization of movement. He also worked on examinations of colour fields, and in 1960–61 he spent a year in S. W. Hayter’s Atelier 17 in Paris. While there he was brought into contact with the work of Yves Klein and the Zero group. He stayed in touch with Zero until 1965, and this was revealed in his work through a demonstration of optical phenomena that is more objective than romantic. In 1961–2 he received a Fulbright Scholarship and studied at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, spending the remainder of 1962 in New York. From 1963 to 1965 he had a number of teaching posts in Germany, first at Kettwig, then at Düsseldorf, but he returned to the USA in ...

Article

Annie Dell’Aria

American painter, sculptor, conceptual artist, writer and curator. Hammond became active in feminist and lesbian art circles following her move to New York in 1969 after receiving her BA from the University of Minnesota in 1967. Hammond soon co-founded the feminist cooperative gallery AIR in ...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b Wichita, KS, Nov 22, 1954).

Native American (Cheyenne–Arapaho) conceptual and performance artist. Creating ethnic commentary with introspective perceptions and communiqués of contemporary indigenous political frames of context, Heap of Birds demonstrated his analysis of colonized relationships and their aftermath. In his works unspoken rules and relationships between Native Americans and colonizers are deliberately provoked and questioned (see, for example, Day/Night, 1991). He candidly confronts stereotypes and the essential meaning of “Native” identity in legal and colonialist terms.

He earned his BFA at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (1976), and afterwards studied at the Royal College of Art, London (1976–7). In 1979, the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA awarded him an MFA. Early works combined his enthusiasm for juxtaposed graphic images with text on sheet metal. Combining visual and linguistical representations, he offered fresh and provoking political commentary. His works were temporary and retained by a series of noted photographs taken during the performance event. He voiced questions between Native Americans and non-Native Americans about the precarious relationships of ethnic perception in modern day America....

Article

Walter Smith

(b New York, July 19, 1929; d New York, July 3, 2000).

American architect, conceptual artist, teacher and writer. He studied at the Cooper Union, New York (1947–50), University of Cincinnati, OH (1950–52), Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (1952–3), and the University of Rome (Fulbright scholar, 1954). Hejduk began teaching architecture in 1954, and in 1964 he joined Cooper Union, becoming Dean of the School of Architecture there in 1975. He also worked in various architectural offices in New York, including that of I. M. Pei (1956–8), and in 1965 he established his own office in New York. From 1954 to 1963 he worked in a purposefully dry, reductive style strongly influenced by Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and De Stijl. This is illustrated in the Nine Square Problem (c. 1954), a linear grid concerned with such concepts as frame, post, centre, periphery, extension and compression, which was developed as a pedagogical tool for first-year students. It became the basis for his Texas Houses project (...

Article

Amy Rosenblum Martín

(b Havana, Jun 21, 1966).

Cuban conceptual artist, active in the Dominican Republic. Henríquez explored aesthetic politics by combining art and popular culture with design savvy and wit to counter neocolonialist, racist, and gender hierarchies. She studied under 1980s Cuban Renaissance artists and received her MFA from Instituto Superior de Arte, Havana (1992). She went on to collaborate with Consuelo Castañeda (1989–1996). Henríquez lived in Mexico and Miami (1991–1997), then returned to her intermittent home Santo Domingo. ARTnews (September 2007) named Henríquez one of twenty-five art world trendsetters.

Henríquez challenged center/periphery power dynamics, crossing northern art history with Dominican street styles or examining First and Third World intellectual exchange. Her conceptualism asked questions like whose aesthetic criteria counts, where. She also thought beyond center/periphery dualities to deconstruct power relations. She challenged gender and nationalist stereotyping together with her feminized collages of hyper-masculine newspaper images of Dominican baseball stars abroad. She compared foreign and local representations of “Dominicaness.” To address insider Dominican–Haitian tension, she videotaped two Haitian construction workers in the Dominican Republic playing catch with a cement block whose game devolves into exhaustion. In another series, she reoriented the geographical poles of marginalization from North–South to East–West by comparing California and New York art. Yet another artwork was a model of multiple, movable centers: viewers wheel around on stools emblazoned with a photograph of an umbilicus....

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Jena, East Germany, July 26, 1947).

German sculptor and conceptual artist. After a period studying art in Halle, East Germany, he made an unsuccessful attempt to escape to the West. He was imprisoned, but released to the West after eight months. He then studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich (1974–6) and at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg (1977–83), where he met Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen and studied with Sigmar Polke, under whose influence he began developing his satirical, social-critical practice. His work is characterized by loose, improvisatory constructions using quotidian materials. Throughout the 1980s his work became less directly acerbic and more concerned with questions of meaning, engaging with recent traditions of art practice. In the Bow (bricks on linen, 2.4×1.4×2.5 m, 1998; San Francisco, CA, B. R. Meyer priv. col.) is a ‘painting’ made with bricks, set end-first in a diagonal column in linen, the weight sagging the stretched material at the bottom. The transformation of Minimalist rigour with formal awkwardness points to Herold’s key occupation with instability, informed by his metaphorical interpretation of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Rather than transform these in an oracular manner, as in the work of Joseph Beuys, he often cancels out any higher reading with irreverent humour. ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Ann Arbor, MI, 1924; d Truro, MA, July 12, 1997).

American conceptual artist. He was educated at the Académie Julian in Paris (1948) and at the Cleveland School of Art (1948); he graduated from the University of Michigan in 1952 and received an MFA from the same institution in 1955. Initially influenced by Max Beckmann, Heubler painted in an Expressionist style until interests in Zen, existentialism, and phenomenology led him to a more Minimalist approach. By the 1960s he was producing Minimalist sculpture such as Truro Series #1 (1966; see 1997 book, p. 126) a large free-standing geometric sculpture in the form of a reversed ‘S’ shape. However, Heubler soon grew dissatisfied with Mimimalism’s dependence on modes of contemplative reception, and in 1968 he began a series of works employing texts and road maps on which he traced out ‘trips’. These so-called Location Pieces then led to other, similar conceptual work involving time-delay photography and accompanying texts, called ...

Article

(b ’s Hertogenbosch, June 23, 1928).

Dutch painter, conceptual artist and writer. He trained as a painter at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in ’s Hertogenbosch and at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. In 1956 he settled in ’s Hertogenbosch as a painter. During that same year he was given an exhibition at Galerie Swart in Amsterdam. He stopped painting in 1967 when he was given a grant for research into the perception of light, time and space. He made a study of electro-acoustics, images and sound, and produced work for television, including Art is Only for Beginners (1969–70). During 1970 he worked on geographic space-relations (e.g. drilling a hole in his living room ‘to New Zealand’ and interchanging the soil with some from the other side of the earth). In 1972 he built an open-air studio. From 1973 to 1974 he experimented with time and investigated the energy used in breathing, feeding and recycling, and in ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Chorley, Lancs, Oct 18, 1964).

English conceptual artist, curator and writer. He studied Fine Art at Newcastle Polytechnic (1984–7). Strongly influenced by the tradition of text-based conceptual art, he depended consistently on literary sources, treating texts as ready-mades to create what he describes as ‘found conceptual art’. A keen reader of detective novels, in the early 1990s he began to make work by isolating comments about artists from crime or romance genre fiction. The installation Total Despair (exh. London, Frith Street Gal., 1995) involved mounting all the pages of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Despair in a grid and crossing out all the words except those of an artist who complains about his lack of success. Evolving out of this came a project to commission artists to produce pictures from descriptions of abstract paintings featured in crime novels; Chris Ofili and Peter Doig both participated in this venture, the results of which were exhibited in London at the Anthony Wilkinson Gallery in ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

revised by Jean Robertson

(b Brussels, Dec 6, 1961).

Belgian sculptor, installation and conceptual artist active in Germany and Sweden. He studied phytopathology (plant diseases) and agronomic entomology at the University of Kiel, where he received a doctorate in 1988. After an early career as an agricultural scientist specializing in insect communication, Höller became a full-time artist in 1993. He created a wide variety of objects and situations, many of them participatory in nature, using such means as toys, animals, flashing lights, mirrors, sensory deprivation tanks, dark passages, giant slides, carousel rides, pheromones and huge rotating sculptural replicas of upside-down fly agaric (a poisonous, hallucinogenic mushroom; see fig.). His art projects include various optical and sensory experiments that explore individual physiological and psychological reactions to experiences that alter perception and consciousness. Despite his scientific training, Höller’s goals as an artist have not been to achieve the certainty of quantifiable scientific conclusions. Rather he has emphasized doubt and the inability to achieve conclusive explanations. He signalled his preoccupation with doubt in ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Gallipolis, OH, July 29, 1950).

American installation and conceptual artist. Her studies included general art courses at Duke University, Durham, NC (1968–70), and then painting, printmaking, and drawing at the University of Chicago before completing her BFA at Ohio University, Athens (1972). In 1974 she took summer courses at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, entering its MFA programme in 1975 and beginning her first work with language, installation, and public art. Holzer moved to New York in 1977. Her first public works, Truisms (1977–9), appeared in the form of anonymous broadsheets pasted on buildings, walls, and fences in and around Manhattan. Commercially printed in cool, bold italics, numerous one-line statements such as ‘Abuse of power comes as no surprise’ and ‘There is a fine line between information and propaganda’, were meant to be provocative and elicit public debate. Thereafter Holzer used language and the mechanics of late 20th-century communications as an assault on established notions of where art should be shown, with what intention and for whom (e.g. ...

Article

Nancy Underhill

Australian artists’ co-operative gallery that existed in Sydney between 1970–72. It was the first co-operative gallery in Australia run by artists and it championed conceptual and performance art. The core organizers were mike Parr, Peter Kennedy and Tim Johnson, but anyone who contributed to the rent could be a member and exhibit. While it had no manifesto, nor formal pattern to its exhibitions, Inhibodress challenged dominant aesthetic practices and social structures, including American cultural and military imperialism. The burning aesthetic issue was, what constituted art? For the avant-garde, co-modification of the precious object was unacceptable, so alternatives to commercial galleries, museums, the singular art-maker, or even oil painting were sought.

Inhibodress and, in particular, Parr and Kennedy, espoused Marshall McLuhan’s ideal of a global village and developed a network with overseas artists, venues and magazines, which included the Nova Scotia Art School, Guerrilla Art Action Group of New York, Fluxus, Patricia Minardi’s Feminist Art Journal and the magazine ...

Article

Nizan Shaked

Term used to describe a strand of conceptual art that takes the art establishment as its subject of investigation. Working since the 1960s and 1970s artists such as Michael Asher (1943–2012), Marcel Broodthaers, Daniel Buren, Hans Haacke, John Knight (b 1945), Adrian Piper and Mierle Laderman Ukeles questioned the hidden assumptions, ideologies and operation of institutions such as galleries, museums, publications and private collections, their artwork serving to reveal the frameworks of classification and circulation that give art its meaning or value. Michael Asher’s strategic interventions highlighted the preexisting conditions of the institution by revealing the economic system of art, and thus demystified the alleged neutrality of the “white cube” modernist display space. For his exhibition at the Claire Copley Gallery, Los Angeles (21 Sept –12 Oct 1974), Asher removed the partition wall that separated the exhibition gallery from the office and storage area, placing on display the backroom activities, exhibiting the material and social realities of art instead of art objects....

Article

Mary Chou

(b Bethlehem, 1970).

Palestinian conceptual artist. Jacir’s works use a variety of media including film, photography, installation, performance, video, sound, sculpture and painting. Jacir was raised in Saudi Arabia and attended high school in Rome, Italy. She received her BA from the University of Dallas, Irving, TX in 1992, her MFA from the Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN in 1994, and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program from 1998 to 1999. She became a professor at the International Academy of Art, Palestine in Ramallah in 2007. Jacir’s conceptual works explore the physical and psychological effects of social and political displacement and exile, primarily how they affect the Palestinian community. Her work investigated the impact of Israeli action on the Palestinian people and countered representations of Palestinians in the press as primarily militant. Jacir often collaborated with members of the Palestinian community, both local and international, in the creation of her works....

Article

Jeff Fleming

(b Göttingen, 1968).

German conceptual artist. Jankowski studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg. Working in video, film, photography, installation, and performance, he reinserted ritual and its intrinsic mystery into the creative act and, subsequently, into the act of viewing a work of art. For the artist, ritual enabled the recognition of a specific world view and built a site where dialogue could take place between different people or different belief systems. Jankowski arrived at this point of recognition through his transformative use of collaboration, a circular method of creation, the utilization of magic or wonder, and humour. By making clear these devices in his art, Jankowski enabled the viewer to experience an ‘aha’ moment, or a climatic ‘Big Wow’, a phrase coined by Walt Disney to describe the high point on an amusement park ride or the big, concluding special effect in a movie. These approaches, together with Jankowski’s use of popular forms of mass culture, provided a critique of the detached nature of contemporary art production and positioned Jankowski as one of the most thought-provoking image makers of his time....

Article

M. N. Sokolov

(Iosifovich)

(b Dnepropetrovsk [now Dnipropetrivs’k], Sept 30, 1933).

Russian graphic, conceptual, and installation artist of Ukrainian birth. In 1957 he graduated from Surikov Art Institute in Moscow, where he specialized as an illustrator. Many years of producing artwork for children’s literature, for the Moscow Detskaya Literatura and Malysh publishing houses and the magazines Murzilka and Vesyolyye kartinki, partly shaped his slyly ironic graphic style; working as an illustrator was his only means of earning a living when avant-garde experimentation was officially banned. After experimenting with Abstract Expressionism and an absurd neo-Surrealist grotesque style, in 1970–78 he produced distinctive albums that, through a subtle interplay of visual and verbal elements, reveal disturbing existential contradictions. Best known is the album Okno (‘The window’), published in 1985 in Berne. Since 1978 Kabakov’s art has become more conceptual and he has created what he calls zhek picture displays (from the acronym ZhEK, referring to housing management), which parody wall newspapers and Soviet posters. These works are typical of ...

Article

Daniel R. Quiles

(b Buenos Aires, Jun 6, 1938).

Argentine poet, photographer, conceptual artist, filmmaker, and educator. One of the founders of the literary magazine Airón (Heron, 1960–1965), he studied Philosophy and Literature at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. His career-long investigation into linguistic systems and alphabets appeared as early as his linotype-illustrated book OOOO (1961; see 2013 publication, 40–41). In 1962, in the midst of traveling through the Amazon to Central America, he helped found the Tzántzicos, an avant-garde poetry group in Quito, Ecuador. He moved to New York City in 1965, and his work gradually transitioned from poetry and prose to an interdisciplinary conceptualism. He worked as a set and lighting designer for Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company between 1968 and 1975. In 1970 he founded The Vanishing Rotating Triangle Press with Ted Castle and David Lee, an independent venture that translated Spanish books into English and vice versa, while also publishing Katz’s artist books and distributing Situationist-inspired “unauthorized publications.” In his first shift to the production of objects, in ...

Article

Akira Tatehata

(b Kariya, Aichi Prefect., Jan 2, 1933; d New York, June 2014).

Japanese painter, draughtsman, and conceptual artist, active in the USA. After graduating from Kariya High School in 1951, he moved to Tokyo, exhibiting at the Yomiuri Independent Exhibitions. His sensibility for a cold materialism became apparent in his series of drawings Bathroom, of dismembered grotesque nude bodies (1953–4; Tokyo, N. Mus. Mod. A.). Kawara went to Mexico in 1959 and travelled through Europe. He settled in New York in 1965. His renowned series of Date Paintings (from 1965), made in various cities on his travels, juxtapose a detail from a local newspaper with a simple record of the date in typographical letters and numbers on monochrome canvases using acrylic. The paintings’ principal meaning was that the artist and viewer shared the numbers that signified a date they both had lived. In the series of telegrams in the 1970s, which sent the message ‘I am still alive’ to his friends, he used the verification of his own existence as a statement in a medium whose abstraction, regardless of the artist’s hand, paradoxically gave his work a tense reality. His other work in book form, ...

Article

Joan Marter

(b Albert Lea, MN, June 7, 1941).

American conceptual artist and writer. Kelly received instruction in fine art and music at the College of St Teresa, Winona, MN, and fine art and aesthetics at the Pius XII Institute, Florence (MA 1965). She taught art briefly in Beirut in the 1960s. In 1968 she moved to London, where she received a postgraduate certificate in painting at St Martin’s School of Art. From 1968 Kelly worked in London as artist, teacher, editor, and writer. She practised a long-term critique of conceptualism, informed by feminist theory. Her work was related to her active involvement in the women’s movement throughout the 1970s. Kelly is best known for projects addressing questions of sexuality, identity, and memory. Her installations feature large-scale narratives including relevant documentation. Kelly’s work is renowned for its enquiry into cultural identity, particularly the construction of femininity and power in Western capitalist society, and it draws on and criticizes the work of Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, and other cultural theorists....