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Éva Bajkay

(b Budapest, April 15, 1936).

Hungarian painter, conceptual artist and teacher. By 1956 he was familiar with most modernist tendencies. In 1960 he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, having already taken part in exhibitions as an undergraduate. Lakner’s unique Hungarian mixture of Surrealism and naturalism was primarily influenced by the Hungarian painter Tibor Csernus (b 1927). Lakner’s first works were precisely executed naturalistic life studies and still-lifes, imbued with a magical quality (e.g. Scraps of Metal, 1960; Budapest, priv. col.). In other works repetition and density are used to create special effects. From 1962 the influence of Pop art is apparent in his works representing everyday objects, which lacked emotional or personal meaning (e.g. Microscopes, 1960; Budapest, N.G.). Dark tones and metallic shadows characterize his use of colour. Robert Rauschenberg’s art was influential after Lakner saw it at the Venice Biennale of 1964. He was also influenced by montage, in particular John Heartfield’s Dada and Neo-Dada works. He drew upon his knowledge of art history for such montages as ...


Morgan Falconer

(b Airdrie, nr Glasgow, April 28, 1964).

Scottish sculptor and musician. He studied at Glasgow School of Art (1990–94) and emerged in the late 1990s along with a number of conceptual artists associated with Glasgow. While his work was guided intellectually by the legacies of Conceptualism, Situationism and Minimalism, he was also clearly affected by his involvement with rock music. In one of his best-known pieces, Zobop (1999; see 2000 exh. cat.), which was shown in various venues, Lambie covered the floors of galleries in concentric patterns of coloured vinyl tape; the resulting forms depended on the shape of the gallery in which the work was installed. With its zany, psychedelic air, and allusions to LP cover designs, the piece transforms the art gallery into something akin to a disco; in these respects it ostensibly shuns any intellectual content, while nevertheless relating to the heritage of Minimalism and in particular to that movement’s development of horizontal forms in sculpture. In ...


Alfred Pacquement

International art form that developed particularly from the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was part of a revolt against painting and sculpture and the anti-formalist current of the late 1960s that included Conceptual art and Arte Povera. A number of mainly British and North American artists turned their attention to working directly with nature, notably Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson, and Richard Long. They created immense sculptures on the same scale as landscape itself, or exhibited written and photographic accounts of their excursions. With few exceptions, their works (also known as Earthworks) are almost inaccessible, situated far from human settlements in deserts or abandoned areas. Their lifespan was brief: little by little they were destroyed by the elements and often by erosion, so that for posterity they exist only in the form of preparatory drawings, photographs, or films. The works themselves were seen by only a small number of people and sometimes by only the artist....


Kristine Stiles

(b Zambesi River, nr Victoria Falls, Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe], Feb 23, 1921; d London, Jan 1, 2006).

British painter, sculptor, conceptual artist, performance artist, video and film maker, of Rhodesian birth. He studied at the Chelsea School of Art, London, from 1946 to 1950. His concern from 1954 was not with the production of art objects as an end in itself but with various processes and consequently with the recording in three dimensions of sequences of events and of patterns of knowledge. In 1958 he introduced torn, overpainted and partly burnt books into assemblages such as Burial of Count Orgaz (1958; London, Tate), followed in 1964 by the first of a series of SKOOB Towers (from ‘books’ spelt backwards), constructed from stacks of venerated tomes such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, which he ignited and burnt. The destruction and parody of systems of knowledge implied in Latham’s work was apparent in 1966, when he organized a party at which guests chewed pages of Clement Greenberg’s book Art and Culture...


Margaret Barlow

(b Bronxville, NY, 1947).

American conceptual artist and photographer. She studied at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (BFA 1969), and became known for her museum-based installations, which call attention to the physical, economic and social trappings that define works of art in the West. Her pieces often include the works of other artists. In one series Lawler photographed certain works as they hung in the homes of collectors, along with their domestic surroundings and trappings: Pollock and Tureen (Cibachrome photograph, 1984; New York, Met.) shows the bottom edge of a Jackson Pollock painting and below it an 18th-century Chinese tureen with an ornate flower pattern on a wooden sideboard; the similarity of the colouring further encourages comparisons that can be made between such objects and questions of artistic sensibility. Lawler presented exhibitions in which she incorporated her own works within museum collections, including statements, photographs and questions: for example, in Enlargement of Attention (...


David Spalding

(b Ha Tien, Nov 16, 1968).

Vietnamese conceptual artist. Lê was born near the Cambodian border, but fled with his family when his hometown was invaded by the Khmer Rouge in 1979. Lê moved to Los Angeles and studied photography at the University of California, Santa Barbara and received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 1992. In 1989, while at the University of California, Lê enrolled in a class on the Vietnam War (1955–75) that emphasized American hardship. This sparked Lê’s earliest public art project, Accountability, a series of posters that Lê put up on his college campus (reproduced in 1992 for Creative Time, New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles). These posters juxtaposed American media images of the Vietnam War with explicit pictures of Vietnamese suffering, accompanied by captions detailing the damage done to Vietnam. The desire to intervene in dominant perceptions of the Vietnam War propelled Lê for much of his artistic career....


Adrian Locke

(b São Paulo, 1961).

Brazilian printmaker and conceptual artist. She was introduced to contemporary art and artists from an early age by her collector parents, Fulvia and Adolfo Leirner. She went on to study art at the College of Fine Arts, Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado, São Paulo, between 1979 and 1984, and at the Licenciatura in 1984; she returned to teach at the Fundação from 1987 to 1989. From the 1980s Leirner made sculptures and installations using such products of modern life as devalued bank notes, airline tickets, cigarette packages and shopping bags. This involved a process by which these mundane items are removed from circulation and placed into the art world, often in a conscious inversion of the work of the Brazilian conceptualist Cildo Meireles. To this end Leirner remade Meireles’s Zero Cruzeiro (1978) and the work of another Brazilian artist, Dinheiro para treinmento (‘Money for training’; 1977) by Waltercio Caldas (...


Courtney Gerber

(b Norfolk, VA, Oct 11, 1957).

American multimedia conceptual artist. Due to her father’s position in the United States Marines, Lemieux spent the first years of her childhood moving from one southern military base to the next; however, she mostly spent the early 1960s growing up in Torrington, CT. Lemieux received her BFA in painting from Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, CT (1980), after which she promptly moved to New York. In 1983 she was severely injured after being hit by a van and temporarily lost the coordination and mobility necessary to continue producing the large geometric paintings that had occupied her energies since leaving Hartford. Lemieux’s mind, however, was still active and she found that by approaching art-making from a conceptual standpoint she was free to explore new ways of physically realizing her artistic intent. In 1984 the painter David Salle, Lemieux’s former teacher for whom she also worked as a studio assistant, selected her for the exhibition ...


Margaret Barlow

(b Hazelton, PA, April 17, 1947).

American photographer and conceptual artist. She studied at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (BA 1969, MFA 1973). Biographical information on Levine is limited, since she has refused to participate in ‘myth-making’ associated with art production. She first gained critical attention in the early 1980s, when she was associated with Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo, David Salle and others known as Appropriationists for drawing on existing imagery from ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture. Her works have been interpreted as a commentary on the death of Modernism and its ideals, notions of artistic originality, the authenticity and autonomy of the art object and its status as a commodity. In Untitled (after Walker Evans) (10×8 photograph, 1981) Levine re-photographed a reproduction of a photograph by Evans. Such works articulated her fascination with the photographic process and its reproduction, while raising poststructuralist discourses on authorship, originality and history, from which they partly derive (...


Yulin Lee

[Ming Hong]

(b Tokyo, Nov 6, 1964).

Taiwanese conceptual artist, active also in the USA. Lin studied at the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles in 1990 and then the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena in 1993. Although Lin was born in Japan, he spent his early childhood in Taiwan and then moved to the USA. These transcultural experiences complicated the task of positioning himself as an artist after his return in 1993 to Taiwan, where contemporary art largely focused on locating a definitive identity.

Lin’s interest in creating art expressive of his fluid experience was already present in his first solo exhibition, Meander (1994). Lin hung monochromatic, acrylic-lacquered steel plates perpendicular to a white wall. While these highly finished works reflected an aesthetic close to that of Donald Judd’s industrially manufactured cubes, they also indicated Lin’s own West Coast background—the fetishism of the enamelled surface being rooted in southern California’s automobile culture....


John-Paul Stonard

(b Munderkingen, Donau, 1956).

German conceptual artist. He studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart (1979–85), and won the Kunstfonds scholarship in 1988 and the Karl Schmidt-Rottluff scholarship in 1991. His work deals with structural systems of visual and written language, often taking the forms of framed lists and indexes. In Die Grammatik (silkscreen on paper, aluminium frame, glass, 1.50×2.75×0.08 m, 1990; Lehmann priv. col., see 1993 exh. cat.) Locher presents a panoramic list of grammatical terminology derived from a standard German dictionary. The monumentality and finality of such a display suggests potential hubris, pointing to the limitations of language in describing empirical reality. The political implications of these limitations were explored in the mixed media work Preamble and Basic Rights in the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (exh. Munich Kstver., 1995). For this he displayed the basic law referred to in the title as a wall text, accompanied by his own critical annotations as well as by informal asides to the viewer; the authority of the text is questioned both by his intervention and by his decision to display it in a prominent public manner. In other works Locher presented words and numbers engraved and printed on furniture, or in lightboxes, suggesting his long-term project to recontextualize language in situations of utility and marketability. As he explained, his art involved ‘Taking something that belongs to everyone out of context so that it seems special.’ Locher lives and works in Cologne....


Michele Fricke

(b New York City, 1969).

American conceptual and installation artist, active also in South Africa. Lou studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute, where her interest in working with beads was not well received by her professors or peers. She withdrew from the school in 1990 and moved to Los Angeles where she began making her iconic work Kitchen (1991–6), adhering beads to ready-made and constructed surfaces and objects. The work received enormous attention and inaugurated her career.

Kitchen, a life-sized work of astonishing ambition, was first shown at the New Museum in New York in an exhibition entitled Labor of Love. Intended as a monument to women’s work, every surface and object of Kitchen was encrusted in beads, each one applied by Lou alone. The banality of the household items recalls the Pop sensibilities of Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. In subsequent works, objects from popular culture continue to appear. Backyard...


Mona Hadler

(b Newark, NJ, Nov 5, 1930; d Dallas, TX, Oct 1, 1999).

American painter and conceptual artist. Lozano studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. After traveling to Europe she moved to New York City where she had a solo exhibition at the Bianchini Gallery in l966 and participated in group shows in that decade at cutting edge galleries such as Green, Dwan, and Paula Cooper. By 1970 her “wave” paintings were the focus of a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. After her intense immersion in the New York art world of the 1960s, where she was befriended by Minimalist and conceptual artists, including Sol LeWitt, Hollis Frampton, Dan(iel Harry) Graham and Carl Andre, she embarked on a self-imposed exile from the city, which included a moratorium on contact with other women. After years of relative obscurity, from the late 1990s her work experienced a renaissance of interest culminating in a major retrospective at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York in ...


Wu Mali  

Yulin Lee

(b Taipei, June 14, 1957).

Taiwanese conceptual artist ( see fig. ). After graduating in 1979 from Tamkang University in Taipei with a degree in German language and culture, Wu left for Germany to study sculpture at the National Art Academy, Düsseldorf (1985). After graduating from Düsseldorf, she returned to Taiwan, where the lifting of martial law triggered vital socio-political and economic changes. As society swiftly shifted from the staleness of authoritarianism to effervescent pluralism and decentralization, Wu took a strong interest in the emerging social, political and historical hierarchies. Informed by her literary background, Wu’s early installation works Newspaper I Read (1989) and Gnawing Texts, Reaming Words (1993) involved putting the pages of a newspaper or texts through a shredder, then re-arranging the shreds into an installation.

This deconstructive work culminated in The Library (1995; see 2002 exh. cat., p. 26), a site-specific installation in the 46th Venice Biennale. The work consisted of a library of bookshelves that displayed immaculate acrylic cases in the form of books. In each bookcase Wu replaced world-renowned texts or tomes, such as the Bible, Thames & Hudson’s World Art series and Chinese classics with the paper fragments shredded from that text’s actual pages. By annulling the communicative function of the text, Wu transformed the texts from something with content or meaning into a non-verbal, visual material. Wu therefore made the audience aware of the artificiality of hierarchy inherent in many canonic writings by transforming objects with specific socio-cultural messages into what she describes as ‘art with eternal value’....


Sérgio B. Martins

(b São Paulo, 1960).

Brazilian multimedia artist and photographer. Mano graduated in 1984 from the Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo de Santos, São Paulo. In the late 1980s he was part of a group of photographers hired by newspaper Folha de São Paulo as part of an effort to renew its photojournalism. Between 1992 and 1998 Mano formed, alongside Eli Sudbrack (b 1968), Everton Ballardin, and José Fujocka Neto (b 1969), the group Panoramas da Imagens, which organized exhibitions and symposia discussing photography theory and practice. While Mano never abandoned photography, his work gradually began to encompass other media. He is better known for works in public space addressing urban experience, social practices, and landscape.

Mano’s earliest major work was detetor de ausências (1994), commissioned for the second edition of Arte/Cidade—an urban intervention project conceived by philosopher and curator Nelson Brissac Peixoto. It consisted of two military-grade reflectors whose light beams intersected with a flyover at pedestrian level, thus engulfing vehicles and passersby. Like ...


Laural Weintraub

(b Soncino, Cremona, July 13, 1933; d Milan, Feb 6, 1963).

Italian painter and conceptual artist. He was self-taught as an artist. Shortly after he began painting he started to question the traditional aims and methods of the artist, expressing the nature of his searching in both writings and the objects that he produced. With Ettore Sordini (b 1934), Camillo Corvi-Morra and Giuseppe Zecca he co-edited the manifesto Per la scoperta di una zona di immagini (Milan, 1956). A manifesto with the same title written by Manzoni alone appeared almost immediately afterwards (1956–7). In his text he stressed the relationship between artistic expression and the collective unconscious, arguing that through extreme self-awareness the artist is able to tap mythological sources and to realize authentic and universal values; the canvas should remain an area of freedom in which the artist may go in search of primal images.

Around 1957 Manzoni began the Achromes series (see fig....


Pierre-François Galpin

(b Cincinnati, OH, May 21, 1937).

Pierre-François Galpin

American sculptor, performance and installation artist, and curator.

Marioni was a key figure in the conceptual art movement in the San Francisco Bay Area throughout the 1970s. After attending Cincinnati Art Academy from 1955 to 1959, he moved to San Francisco. Marioni created a large body of work exhibited around the world and in museums’ collections, and promoted fellow artists’ works through exhibitions and magazines. From 1968 to 1971 he was the curator of the Richmond Art Center in Richmond, CA, a northern suburb of San Francisco.

Marioni’s pioneering artworks included One Second Sculpture (1969), an art action in which he released a tightly coiled metal tape-measure into the air, letting it spread to then fall on the ground; the action and its result, between performance, sculpture, and time-based art, encompassed Marioni’s notion of ‘idea-oriented art’. His signature piece The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art...


Margaret Barlow

(b Los Angeles, CA, Aug 4, 1944).

American sculptor. He did not have a formal art education. McCollum has stated that formative influence in his work included the Fluxus movement of the 1960s and the work of conceptual artists, such as Sol LeWitt and Daniel Buren. In 1975 he moved to New York. Departing from the notion of a work of art as a rare object of unique value, he introduced a procedure of studio manufacture of precast models made in unlimited editions. The series of Perfect Vehicles (exh. New York, Cash–Newhouse Gal., 1986) comprised small versions, cast in solid enhanced plaster (Hydrocal), of larger vessels that were sealed and painted in Moorglo on concrete, and first shown in the 1988 Venice Bienniale. Over 10,000 Individual Works (exh. New York, John Weber Gal., 1987) comprised precise rows of miniature units moulded from found objects, painted in enamel on solid-cast Hydrocal. McCollum scrupulously avoided aspects of ironical parody typical of Pop art. His works were not presented as decorative accessories or social commentary but as physical signs of the mechanical drives of existence—of repetitious behaviour and patterns of market-based relationships. For his ...


Denise Carvalho

(b Rio de Janeiro, 1948).

Brazilian interventionist, multimedia, installation and conceptual artist, considered the most influential contemporary artist of his country. While international critics have compared his work with North American Minimalism and Conceptual art, Meireles insisted that art should be seductive. He studied at the National School of Fine Arts and at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. Coming of age at a time of the military dictatorship in Brazil (1964–85), he circumvented strict state censorship with a series of interventionist works, adding politically charged texts and reinserting the works back into circulation.

Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Coca-Cola Project (1970) included Coca-Cola bottles with the added text ‘Yankees. Go Home!’ In Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Cédula Project (1970), the same message was printed on one dollar bills, and on the current Brazilian currency, the Cruzeiro. Some bills also queried ‘Who killed Herzog?’ referring to a Brazilian journalist who died while in police custody. Meireles’ series utilizes a mechanistic process of capitalistic insertion and circulation, adding phrases that question the methods and policies of the dictatorship. ...


Robert Zwijnenberg

(b Lisbon, May 31, 1975).

Portuguese conceptual artist. De Menezes belongs to a growing group of artists, often referred to as Bio artists, whose works explore the challenges and possibilities of biotechnological materials as artistic medium (see Bio Art). In 1999 she earned a degree in Fine Arts/Painting from Lisbon University and in 2001, at the University of Oxford, she earned a MSt in History of Art and Visual Culture, for which she studied strategies of visual representation in science and art.

De Menezes nearly always created her work in a laboratory because of her reliance on biotechnological materials such as DNA, proteins and cells, as well as living animals. Her art addresses several recurring themes that flow directly from her fascination for recent developments in the life sciences and their huge impact on everyday life. In her work she tries to represent these developments by participating as an artist in the actual practice of the life sciences. Seeking to challenge science in finding new possibilities, her work confronts the standardized ethical lab procedures for dealing with living materials with her personal ethical and artistic views. Her main theme, however, is the exploration of the potential uses and outcomes of adopting living materials as artistic media. This implies investigation of new forms of art, the relationship of art to science and the role of the arts in society. This focus is visible, for instance, in her widely-known work ...