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Article

Karin Higa

[ Yuzuru ]

(b Wakayama, Japan, March 12, 1900; d New York City, NY, May 8, 1990).

American painter of Japanese birth. Sugimoto immigrated to the USA in 1919, when he joined his parents, who had previously settled in Hanford, a central California farming community. In 1924, he enrolled at the California School of Arts and Crafts in Oakland (now known as the California College of the Arts) to study painting, and later continued at the California School of Fine Arts (now known as the San Francisco Art Institute). He traveled to Paris in 1929, where he studied at the Académie Colarossi and exhibited his paintings at the 1931 Salon d’Automne and regional exhibitions in nearby Crècy and Lagny. By 1932, he returned to San Francisco, where his landscapes of the French and California countryside garnered increasing attention, including a solo exhibition at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in 1933, and exhibitions at the Oakland Art Gallery (now Oakland Museum of California) and San Francisco Museum of Art (now San Francisco Museum of Modern Art). In ...

Article

Aileen June Wang

(b Boston, MA, Feb 3, 1969).

American installation artist. Sze earned critical acclaim for her large-scale, elaborate installations composed of mass-produced objects sold in hardware stores and supermarkets, such as cotton swabs, string, plastic bottles, desk lamps, industrials pipes and fans. Living plants were often included as well. Sze studied for a year in Tokyo as an undergraduate and learned about ikebana, the arrangement of flowers according to philosophical principles ( see Japan §XVII 9. ). Critics considered this Japanese art form a pivotal influence. Sze graduated with a BA from Yale University in 1991 and with an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1997.

The conception of small objects coming together to form expanding structures reflected Sze’s interest in architecture, which can be attributed to her architect father. She admired Wright family §(1), Rem Koolhaas and Frank O(wen) Gehry . An early work exhibited at the Soho Annual in New York (...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Los Angeles, Dec 7, 1923; d Baarlo, March 15, 2009).

American sculptor, photographer and film maker, active in the Netherlands. Born of Japanese parents, he received his first training in sculpture from the American sculptor Donal Hord (1902–66) in 1941. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor (on his 18th birthday) his family was sent to an internment camp, an experience that left scars more intense than his war wounds. To escape the camp, he joined a brother in the US army, and after demobilization he worked as an antiques restorer and from 1947 to 1948 studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He moved to Paris in 1948 where he studied under Ossip Zadkine and in 1949 under Fernand Léger. In the latter year he came into contact with the Cobra group and exhibited with them at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In 1950 he was one of the co-founders of the Galerie 8 in Paris and also studied at the Académie de la Grand Chaumière. Also in ...

Article

Reiko Tomii

[ Tenmyōya ]

(b Musashino, Feb 10, 1966).

Japanese painter and graphic artist . Mostly self-taught, from childhood he loved to draw and he joined a high-school painting club. In 1983 the American film Wild Style (1982) inspired him to study hip-hop culture and become a graffiti artist. While working as a graphic designer of CD jackets at a record company, Tenmyouya submitted his art works to major competitive exhibitions for graphic artists such as Urbanart and JACA (Japan Association of Art and Culture’s visual art competition) and was often successful. His trapezoidal Manga Ukiyo-e series received a special award in JACA ’97 by reinterpreting the popular media of manga and ukiyo-e, as well as the life of modern yakuza outlaws, a popular TV and film subject. In 2000 Tenmyouya left his design job and had his first solo exhibition at a rental gallery, Harajuku, in Tokyo. He also found an outlet for his graphically oriented works in the print media, starting his monthly contribution of the ...

Article

Midori Yoshimoto

(b Onomichi, Japan, 1936).

American painter of Japanese birth. Teraoka moved to the USA in 1961 after studying art at the Kwansai Gakuin University in Kobe, Japan. He pursued his BA and MFA at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles in the late 1960s. While Teraoka’s output has varied in styles, he has consistently addressed contemporary socio-political issues that have preoccupied the American public, including the Americanization of Japanese culture, AIDS, gay marriage, sex scandals, privacy invaded by the internet and human cloning.

Teraoka’s early watercolors and prints in the 1970s emulated the flat and bold aesthetic style of 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints. Series such as McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan comically satirized the far-reaching American cultural impacts on Japan. Responding to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, Teraoka created mural-scale canvases and panels depicting geishas and samurais fighting condoms or contracting the disease.

Since the late 1990s, Teraoka has turned his attention to even darker topics, most notably the sex scandals involving priests and politicians. To better suit these contemporary Euro-American topics, Teraoka drew aesthetic inspiration from 15th- and 16th-century Dutch and Italian religious paintings, and adopted the medium of oil painting. In his 6-m horizontal painting ...

Article

Aileen June Wang

(b Hong Kong, 1950; d New York, March 10, 1990).

Chinese–American performance artist and photographer. Tseng grew up in Hong Kong, but immigrated to Canada with his family in 1966. He attended two years of university there before studying art in Paris from 1970 to 1974 at the Ecole Superior d’Arts Graphiques and the Académie Julian. He inherited an interest in photography from his father, who frequently photographed his family with a camera acquired while he was in the Nationalist Army. Experiences as a Chinese living abroad inspired Tseng’s East Meets West project, which defined his career from 1979 until his death from AIDS in 1990. The series of photographs examined the significance of tourist attractions as signs of nation and power, the intersection of local and visitor at these sites and the reception of the Chinese as the cultural other.

Tseng met Keith Haring after settling in Manhattan’s East Village in 1978 and the two became close friends and collaborators. He photographed Haring in the act of painting in his studio, the subway and other public venues, producing more than 40,000 images (Keith Haring Documentary Archives, Tseng Kwong Chi Estate). Both artists believed that the process of making art was like a performance and contributed to the meaning of the work. This perspective informed Tseng’s ...

Article

Walter Smith

(b Jiangxi, China, July 14, 1920; d Greenbrae, CA, Dec 27, 2011).

American architect, teacher and writer. Born to American missionaries in China, Tyng graduated from Radcliffe College in 1942 and received her Masters of Architecture degree from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, in 1944. From 1947 to 1973 she worked with Louis Kahn and was closely involved in the design of many of his buildings, notably the Yale University Art Gallery. During this time she was also Associate Consultant Architect for the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and Redevelopment Authority (1952–3) and for the Mill Creek Pennsylvania Redevelopment Plan. From 1968 she was an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; she also taught at several other colleges, and she practised architecture independently after 1973. In 1975 Tyng received a PhD in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Her highly theoretical research involved the interrelations between physical, natural, and psychic structures and their architectural application. Her dissertation discusses the mathematically based Fibonacci–Divine Proportion as a matrix, ‘linking unpredictable information bits in the brain … to precise proportional mean, or “essence”’. This she related to Jung’s theories of the collective unconscious. An early independent building by Tyng, the Walworth Tyng House (...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

American porcelain factory. Originally founded in Greenpoint, NY, as William Boch & Bros in 1850 to make porcelain hardware trimmings, it was bought by Thomas Carll Smith (1815–1901) c. 1861. The wares were first made of bone china, but in 1864 Smith began to experiment with a hard-paste formula, and his firm is considered the first in America to have used this material. In 1875 Smith hired Karl Müller (1820–87), a German sculptor, to create models for the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia, and his work includes the ‘Century’ vase (New York, Met.), ‘Liberty’ cup and ‘Keramos’ vase. In addition to artwares, the firm also made porcelain tiles for fireplaces and decorative wainscoting, hardware trimmings and tableware. (The factory closed c. 1922.)

E. A. Barber: The Pottery and Porcelain of the United States (New York, 1893, rev. 3/1909/R 1976), pp. 252–8 A. C. Frelinghuysen...

Article

Terence Pitts

(b West Carlisle, OH, April 8, 1871; d Mexico City, July 8, 1925).

American photographer and teacher . A self-taught photographer, he began taking photographs in 1893 and soon developed a style that showed the influence of Whistler, Sargent and Japanese prints. He was elected to the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the group of Pictorial photographers in 1900 and was a leading member of the Photo-Secession from 1902. His evocative photographs of rural landscapes and of his family celebrate the joys and virtues of the simple, middle-class way of life that existed in the USA before World War I (e.g. Ring Toss , 1899; New York, Met.)

By 1906 White was already a major figure in American photography and moved to New York, where he began a close professional and artistic relationship with Alfred Stieglitz that lasted until 1912. His work was published in Camera Work in July 1903, Jan 1905, July 1908, July 1909 and Oct 1910. In 1908 he began teaching photography, founding in ...

Article

Michelle Yun

(b Portland, OR, July 11, 1946; d San Francisco, CA, Aug 12, 1999).

Chinese–American painter and ceramicist. Wong was raised in San Francisco’s Chinatown and received a BA in Ceramics from Humboldt State University in 1968. After graduation, Wong became involved in San Francisco’s performance art scene and worked as a set painter for the Angels of Light Performance Troupe throughout the 1970s. At the age of 30, he decided to become a painter and moved to New York in 1978.

A self-taught painter, Wong’s early realist works often incorporated text and sign language, as in Psychiatrists Testify: Demon Dogs Drive Man to Murder (1980). In 1981 the artist moved to the Lower East Side, a predominantly black and Latino community that would serve as inspiration for the next decade. Wong was a key member of the East Village art scene in the 1980s. His gritty, heavily painted canvases depict the harsh realities of urban life through barren cityscapes of concrete, brick and steel (...

Article

Michelle Yun

[ Huei-Zu ]

(b Taipei, Taiwan, 1961; d New York, NY, Feb 8, 1997).

Taiwanese curator and art historian. Yang immigrated to the United States at age 15. She received a BA in Art History from Yale University in 1984 that included a six-month sabbatical to Jinan University in Guangzhou to study Chinese in 1982. Yang was exposed to art from a young age through her mother, Suhwa Chou Yang, who ran the Hunglin Art Gallery in Taipei in the 1970s. Upon graduation Yang held internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art , both in New York, before accepting a position as Assistant Curator at the New Museum, New York, in 1988. Notable exhibitions she curated during her time at the New Museum include 1+1+1: Works by Alfredo Jaar (1992); Skin Deep (1993); and The Final Frontier (1993). She left the New Museum in 1993 to work as an independent curator and critic while studying to earn a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University. In early ...