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Diana Nemiroff

(b Dublin, Oct 6, 1935).

Canadian sculptor and video maker of Irish birth. He studied art at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London before emigrating to Canada in 1958. In 1964 he moved permanently to New York. An important precursor of conceptual art and a self-styled ‘media sculptor’, he became known in the 1960s for his environments and for his ‘Disposables’: cheap, vacuum-formed plastic reliefs of commonplace objects produced in multiples. His most notable environment was Slipcover (1966), a silvery, reflective plastic slipcover for an entire gallery at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, which also incorporated delayed playback sound and a constantly changing play of light and images. Works like these, using the techniques and materials of modern technology, earned him the nickname ‘Plastic man’, but his concerns were more with processes than materials. His interest in communications and with the art world as a system led to ironic commentaries that took such varied forms as a consulting service for artists, an underground newspaper and a closed-circuit TV sculpture that recorded its viewers....

Article

Daniel E. Mader

(b New York, Jan 7, 1953).

American painter, draughtsman, sculptor, video artist, and performance artist. He received his BFA (1975) from the State University College in Buffalo, NY, with a professed ambition to reach the largest possible audience. Living this prophetic statement throughout his more than 30-year career, Longo first achieved fame in the 1980s with a series of large-scale drawings in charcoal and graphite entitled Men in the Cities (New York, Metro Pictures). These images were life-size human figures in isolation or in groups, wherein the power struggles created a menacing atmosphere.

During the late 1980s he was increasingly involved with film, directing Arena Brains (30 minutes, 1988) and later Johnny Mnemonic with Keanu Reeves (98 minutes, 1995). A regular international exhibitor, often using both controversial and intimidating scale, he exhibited a 1993 drawing series Bodyhammers: The Cult of the Gun (New York, Metro Pictures; Salzburg, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac). He exhibited in the Venice Biennale (...

Article

(b Berne, Feb 16, 1929).

Swiss sculptor, film maker and writer. Initially he worked in stone and wood but later turned to iron. His exhibits at the first Swiss open-air sculpture exhibition in Biel in 1954 earned him official selection for the Venice Biennale of 1956. His work then developed through series and such recurring themes as Aggression and Searchlights. His use of animal metaphor became established in Bulldogs (1963–4), Elephants (1964–6) and Giraffes (1968), which reflected the sense of humour also found in Sapperlot, his autobiography, which he executed (as he did his numerous films) in collaboration with the photographer Leonardo Bezzola (b 1929). In heavy industrial machinery Luginbühl discovered the ‘poetics’ of the scrap heap: he endowed giant blades and fins, components of turbines, massive girders and bolts with a slow but inexorable movement. Cyclops (1967; Hamburg, Ksthalle), Pegasus (1966–8), Atlas and ...

Article

Roger Horrocks

[Huai, Leonard Charles]

(b Christchurch, July 5, 1901; d New York, May 15, 1980).

American film maker, sculptor, and painter of New Zealand birth. He began work in New Zealand, then moved to Australia, Samoa, and England (where he settled in 1926). Tusalava (1929) was the first of his 24 films. He pioneered various methods of ‘direct’ film making, eliminating the camera by painting directly on to clear film (Colour Box, 1935), developing the ‘rayogram’ technique (Colour Cry, 1952) and scratching black film (Free Radicals, 1958). He experimented with colour processing in Rainbow Dance (1936) and Trade Tattoo (1937).

The batiks (e.g. Polynesian Connection, 1928) and oil paintings (e.g. Jam Session, 1936; both New Plymouth, NZ, Govett-Brewster A.G.) that Lye exhibited with the Seven and Five Society (1927–34) and in the International Surrealist Exhibition (1936) were influenced by his profound study of tribal art. In 1944...

Article

Sonia de Laforcade

(b Scalea, Cosenza, May 20, 1942).

Brazilian printmaker, draughtsman, installation artist, film maker, and sculptor of Italian birth. Maiolino moved to Brazil in April of 1960, after having spent six years in Caracas, Venezuela, where her family had emigrated from Italy. In 1961 she took a woodcut course with the prominent artist and teacher Ivan Serpa at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro, before enrolling the next year at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, an important centre of woodcut art overseen by the printmaker Oswaldo Goeldi. There, Maiolino studied alongside Rubens Gerchman (1942–2008) and Antônio Dias, and together with these artists she was a key participant in the Brazilian New Figuration movement. Influenced by popular woodcuts from the north-east of Brazil, Maiolino’s woodcuts produced during the 1960s explored quotidian themes, often focusing on mass culture and the domestic sphere, as in Glu... Glu... Glu... (1967). In 1965 she began a parallel exploration of these themes in works made with found objects and upholstery. She contributed to two key exhibitions for Brazilian art in the 1960s, ...

Article

Susan Snodgrass

(b Madrid, Spain, 1961).

Chicago-based American sculptor also working in photography, video and installation. He received a BA in art and art history and a BA in Latin American and Spanish literature from Williams College in 1983. In 1989 he earned a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Manglano-Ovalle’s hybrid practice emerged with Tele-vecindario: A Street-Level Video Block Party, a public art project created for Culture in Action, a community-based art program in Chicago in 1992–3. Working with Latino youth in Chicago’s West Town community, an area often challenged by substandard housing, drugs and gang violence, the artist facilitated a multimedia portrait of their lives in which these youth constructed their own images and concept of self. Issues of identity, community and migration, as they relate to both cultural and geographic borders, have been explored throughout his prestigious career that includes collaborative modes of working, as well as individual works sited within the museum or gallery. For Manglano-Ovalle, culture encompasses a broad network of systems—artistic, political, environmental, scientific—in constant dialogue, negotiated by both artist and viewer....

Article

Anis Farooqi

(b Kapadvanj, Gujarat, July 26, 1925; d Mumbai, July 2, 2009).

Indian painter, sculptor and film maker. He studied painting from 1947 to 1952 at the Sir Jamshetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art, Bombay, where he became acquainted with akbar Padamsee and was a close associate of the painters in the Progressive Artists’ Group. In 1954 he visited London and Paris for four months, then returned to India to devote himself to painting and sculpture. He took part in several group exhibitions and held his first solo exhibition of drawings, paintings and sculptures at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay, in 1959. From 1959 to 1965 he lived and worked in London, exhibiting his paintings at the Bear Lane Gallery, Oxford (1962), among other locations. From 1965 to 1968 he lived in Delhi and in 1968 visited New York on a fellowship from the J. D. Rockefeller III Fund. By that time he was an acknowledged figure in contemporary Indian art. His paintings of the 1970s include ...

Article

Susan S. Weininger

(b Havana, Nov 18, 1948; d New York, Sept 8, 1985).

American sculptor, performance artist, video artist, and painter of Cuban birth. From the age of 13, when she was sent to the USA from Cuba by her parents, she lived in orphanages and foster homes in Iowa. Her sense of exile and the separation from her family proved strong motivating forces on her later work. After completing an MA in painting at the University of Iowa in 1972, she entered the university’s new Multimedia and Video Art programme, in which she was free to experiment and develop a unique formal language, gaining an MFA in 1977.

In the 1970s Mendieta began to create ‘earth-body sculptures’ outdoors in Iowa, using the primal materials of blood, earth, fire, and water, having first executed performances that she documented in photographs or black-and-white films. In the Silueta series she traced or sculpted the image of her body on the ground, using ignited gunpowder, leaves, grass, mud, stones, other natural elements, or cloth; ...

Article

Matthias Ulrich

(b Lubin, Poland, Sept 11, 1967).

Polish draughtsman, sculptor, video, performance, and mixed media artist, active in the USA. She grew up in Sweden, where she studied Communications at Schillerska/Gothenburg University in Gothenburg from 1986 to 1987. After moving to New York, Mir earned her BFA for Media Arts at the School of Visual Arts in 1992, and from 1994 to 1996 she studied Cultural Anthropology at the New School for Social Research.

Mir’s practice as an artist refers to popular culture in general, focusing on images and ideas that influence and represent social reality, and investigating popular myths and technologies such as the cinematographic representation of images. The journey to the moon, for example, symbolizing the dominance of the United States during the Cold War, receives through Mir’s appropriation in First Woman on the Moon (1999) a critical reflection, taking into consideration patriarchal power structures as well as the apparent staging of reality through mass media. In her work ...

Article

(b New York, May 27, 1944).

American sculptor, draughtsman, film maker, and environmental artist. As a child she was taken by her father on many visits to early forts, Native American sites, and abandoned mines. In Stuttgart with her family she saw the remains of demolished buildings as well as medieval towns and castle ruins, which left a strong impression. She studied at the University of California, Santa Barbara (BA, 1966), and at the Rhine Art School of Sculpture, Maryland Art Institute, Baltimore (MFA, 1968). On a summer sculpture course at Colorado College, Colorado Springs (1963), she became aware of the work of John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, and Robert Morris, and of ideas initiated by contemporary Minimalist sculptors and land artists. Her early landscape works dealt primarily with the measurement of distances in relation to a specific location in a temporal work: for example, Untitled (wood, 12×6 ft [3.66×1.83 m] sections at 50 ft [15.25 m] intervals, ...