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Article

Lelia Delgado

revised by Alana Hernandez

(b El Tocuyo, Oct 27, 1927).

Venezuelan painter and filmmaker. He studied at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Aplicadas in Caracas (1944–1948). In 1949 he received the award for students of fine arts in the tenth Salón Oficial. Hurtado then went to Paris, where he studied art history and film at the Sorbonne (1954–1959). In 1959 he traveled to Washington, DC, where he exhibited in the Pan-American Union and then returned to Caracas, where he taught film journalism at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas. In 1964 he returned to Paris where he lived and worked for six years in both television and painting. In 1970 he moved to Washington, DC, to become head of the film section at the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Organization for American States, making documentaries on various artists.

Hurtado’s early paintings are characterized by the dynamic interplay of dark bands that resemble a nocturnal atmosphere. His series ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

revised by Michael Jay McClure

(b Paris, 1962).

French video artist and film maker. Huyghe studied at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Graphiques (1981–2), and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (1982–5). He was the leading figure in a generation of young French artists who emerged during the 1990s, working with a variety of media, principally film and video, but also posters, pamphlets, billboards and photography. He has made many works that engage with American cinema, showing the way images can be manipulated; these efforts can be compared with, amongst others, the work of his compatriot Pierre Bismuth, and that of the English artist Douglas Gordon.

Concern with the fate of individuals in the face of large corporations, and the manipulation of images in the media, form the conceptual core of Huyghe’s work. For his 1995 work Remake, Huyghe refilmed scenes from Hitchcock’s Rear Window in the suburbs of Paris, using unknown actors. For the ...

Article

Mary M. Tinti

Installation art encompasses a broad range of media, styles, definitions, practices, and origins, but it is most commonly associated with artworks since the 1950s that have called attention to the physical spaces that contain them and incorporated those spaces as important formal components that are integral to a viewer’s experience of the work. The term includes, but is not limited to, sculpture, light, sound, video, or performance pieces, and architectural, environmental, or assemblage constructions—all of which invite unique artistic and spatial encounters and offer a viable alternative to the equivalence of artworks as self-contained, singular objects. Implicit in much installation art is an assumption that it has been created to occupy a very particular space (whether as part of an exhibition or on its own); one that the viewer is meant to enter physically.

The history of installation art varies according to the source. Some cite the theories behind centuries of great cathedrals or planned formal gardens as precursors to installation art while others settle on the “total work of art” principles behind Wagner’s philosophy of the ...

Article

John R. Neeson

Installation art is a hybrid of visual art practices including photography, film, video, digital imagery, sound, light, performance, happenings, sculpture, architecture, and painted and drawn surfaces. An installation is essentially site specific, three-dimensional, and completed by the interaction of the observer/participant in real time and space. The point of contention with any definition concerns the site specificity, ephemerality, and consequently ‘collectability’ of the work itself. One view has it that the category installation is presupposed on the transitory and impermanent, the second that an installation can be collected and re-exhibited as a conventional work of art.

In either case installation had its genesis in the environments and happenings devised by artists in the 1950s in New York and Europe (Nouveau Réalisme in France, Arte Povera in Italy). These in turn had antecedents in the architectural/sculptural inventions such as the various Proun rooms of El Lissitzky and the Merzbau of Kurt Schwitters...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Dublin, 1966).

Irish film maker and artist active in London and Florence. She studied Fine Art and Sculpture at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, graduating in 1989. She then went on to study Fine Art at Goldmiths’ College, London, graduating with an MFA in 1994. Her video installation Margaret Again (1994; see 1998 exh. cat.) evolved from her 1994 degree show with a narrative told through five sequences, all featuring a woman dressed up as a much younger girl. The incidents in each film comprise a disjointed story, in which the girl meets her double and has a conversation that is unheard by the viewer. The work is shown projected onto different walls, so that each sequence is played simultaneously. One of the defining features of Irvine’s work is the use of image, sound and music in a way that obscures any straightforward narrative. In a later work, ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Dhaka, Dec 10, 1970).

British film maker of Bangladeshi birth. She studied at Manchester Metropolitan University (1990–92); the Rijksakademie von beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (1997–8) and Middlesex University (1995). European avant-garde film has been a major influence on Islam, and her earliest work, dating from the mid-1990s, centred on the material character of film. These interests soon evolved into an examination of how the uncanny intersects with the everyday: Refuse (1996), a set of colour slides mounted on a lightbox, depicts the varied rubbish that was left under a tree over the space of a year. Her more recent work has returned to examining the formal language of film. In Stare Out (Blink) (1998; see Wilson, 2001), the negative image of a woman’s face is projected onto a screen until it disappears with a sudden flash, leaving the viewer with an after-image lingering momentarily on the retina; the work dramatizes the activity of visual memory and the way in which the brain processes information. In the companion piece, ...

Article

Sarah Urist Green

revised by Julia Detchon

(b Santiago, Chile, Feb 5, 1956).

Chilean architect, public interventionist, installation artist, photographer, and filmmaker, active in the USA. He first studied architecture at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, then filmmaking at the Instituto Chileno-Norteamericano de Cultura, Santiago, concluding in 1981. Throughout his career, Jaar’s works have taken many forms in order to address global themes of injustice and illuminate structures of power. In over fifty projects he termed “public interventions,” Jaar conducted extensive research around the world to create site-specific works that reflect political and social realities near and far from his sites of exhibition. He created works—in gallery spaces and in public, often engaging spectator involvement—that present images critically and confront the social and political interests they serve.

Jaar’s first public intervention was Studies on Happiness (1979–1981), a three-year series of performances and exhibitions in which he asked the question, “Are you happy?” of people in the streets of Santiago. Inspired by ...

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

John-Paul Stonard

(b Northwood, Middx, Jan 31, 1942, d London, Feb 19, 1994).

English film maker, theatre designer, writer and painter. After attending King’s College, London (1960–62), he studied painting and stage design at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1963–7), where he developed a sparse figurative style influenced by that of David Hockney. He exhibited widely after his graduation, participating in the opening exhibition of the Lisson Gallery in London (founded by fellow Slade student Nicholas Logsdail), Young Contemporaries (London, Tate), the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition, Liverpool, and the fifth Biennale des Jeunes Artistes (Paris, Mus. A. Mod., Ville Paris). He soon moved away from the influence of Hockney, painting abstracted landscapes that dwelt on the magical and mythological elements of a location, making reference to the work of Paul Nash. Although he continued painting sporadically during the 1970s, his energies were principally directed in this decade toward film making and theatre design; commissions included two productions in London in ...

Article

Cecile Johnson

(b New York, July 13, 1936).

American performance and video artist, film maker, draughtsman, and printmaker. She studied sculpture and art history at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA (1954–8). In 1958 Jonas travelled to Europe before studying sculpture at the Boston Museum School (1959–61) and various subjects at Columbia University (MFA 1964). She was particularly influenced by her experience of the New York art scene in the early to mid-1960s and by the work of John Cage and Claes Oldenburg and their interest in ‘non-linear’ structure. Believing any potential for innovation in sculpture and painting to be exhausted, Jonas turned to the relatively unexplored area of performance art. Her early performances (1968–71), called Mirror Pieces, were held in large spaces and included large and small mirrors, either as a central motif or as props or costume elements. From the early 1970s her works became increasingly symbolic, game-like, and ritualistic: in, for example, ...

Article

Michelle Yun

(b Ithaca, NY, 1966).

American multimedia artist. A second generation Korean–American, Joo grew up in Minneapolis, MN, and studied briefly at Wesleyan University as a biology major. He took a two-year sabbatical to work at a seed science firm in Austria and subsequently received his BFA from Washington University, St. Louis, MO. In 1989, Joo went on to receive an MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art, in New Haven, CT, in 1991, after which he moved to New York.

Joo’s diverse body of work includes sculpture, video, installations and works on paper that deal with issues relating to cultural identity, the body and the relationship between science and art. His projects overlap thematically and formally as part of an ongoing series. Joo has variously implemented a wide range of materials, including monosodium glutamate, salt, taxidermy animals and even his own body, to explore the transformative moment that signals a change of state between matter and energy. Through this exchange, Joo seeks to illuminate the slippages in meaning of the subject within a prescribed cultural context. Time often functions as a cyclical and multilayered catalyst for transformation, exemplified best through his video installations such as ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b London, Feb 21, 1960).

English film maker. He studied fine art at Central St Martin's School of Art from 1980 to 1984. He began his career making broadly political films that dealt with gender relations inside the black radical movement. He later went on to create more abstract and esoteric films such as The Attendant (1992; see 1996 London exh. cat., p. 42). In this short film, Julien made his first attempt at creating a cinema of fetishism as a tool for political radicalism, depicting scenes of homosexual sado-masochism between white and black men, where the roles are freely interspersed among the participants. He also made full-length movies, such as Young Soul Rebels (1993), a feature film set in the context of the Jubilee celebrations of 1977 in which he explored the relationships between a group of young friends, and a documentary on the West Indian political philosopher and anti-colonialist writer Frantz Fanon (...

Article

Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander

(Jennifer )

(b Barre, VT, Feb 15, 1974).

Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander

American film maker, artist, and writer.

She attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, but left after her second year and never returned to school. She has had no formal artistic training. After leaving Santa Cruz, she moved to Portland, OR, where she began exploring performance art and film-making. One of her earliest projects, Joanie4Jackie (1995), demonstrates July’s early and continued interest in collaborative artistic practice. In this work July circulated pamphlets where she invited women to send her short films on VHS tapes, and in return, she would send them films made by other women. The project acted as an arena for free film distribution to create a conversation among and women film makers. Though she has worked in a wide array of media, much of her work explores similar subjects such as human relationships, intimacy, and mortality. Her online project, Learning to Love You More...

Article

M. N. Sokolov

(Nestorovich)

(b Kukhi, nr Kutaisi, Aug 20, 1889; d Tbilisi, May 10, 1952).

Georgian painter, collagist, stage designer and film maker. He was born into a peasant family and studied from 1909 to 1916 in the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics at the University of St Petersburg. From 1910 to 1915 he also studied painting and drawing in the studio of L. Ye. Dmitriyev-Kavakazsky (1849–1916). With Pavel Filonov he became a member of the St Petersburg artistic group Intimnaya Masterskaya (The Intimate Studio). The group’s manifesto (1914) proclaimed the beginning of a new era in art, awarded a central importance to Filonov’s principle of sdelannost’ (‘madeness’) and drew attention to the fundamental structural principles of artistic language. The manifesto was one of the most original developments of the pre-revolutionary avant-garde in Russia.

Kakabadze was an outstanding representative of the artistic avant-garde in Georgia. In his work innovation was always combined with a deep interest in Georgian national traditions, on which he was an expert. He studied medieval Georgian ornament while still a student, and in ...

Article

(b Garwolin, nr Warsaw, April 15, 1944).

Polish painter, sculptor, performance artist and film maker. He trained as a painter at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (1965–71) under Stefan Gierowski. His ‘ritual actions’ organized in streets in Warsaw attracted the attention of critics and passers-by. Carefully planned to avoid the appearance of a ‘happening’, they reflected Kalina’s concern with a number of artistic and social issues. In 1977 Kalina created The Passage (sculptures now at Wrocław, N. Mus.), a monument to an anonymous pedestrian: for a week on the pavement at a crossroads in Warsaw he placed life-size, grey figures of people going up and down an imaginary subway and intermingling with real crowds. He also joined other artists in boycotting state-organized artistic events and took part in independent exhibitions held in churches, such as Apokalipsa—Światło w ciemnościach (‘Apocalypse—light in the darkness’), held in the church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw in ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Johannesburg, April 28, 1955).

South African draughtsman, film maker and sculptor. The son of one of South Africa’s most prominent anti-apartheid lawyers, Kentridge first studied politics and African Studies at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (1973–6) before studying Fine Art at Johannesburg Art Foundation (1976–8). Throughout this time he was heavily involved in theatre, designing and acting in a number of productions. His interest in theatre continued throughout his career and clearly informs the dramatic and narrative character of his art as well as his interests in linking drawing and film. His work as a draughtsman has been expressionistic and dominated by pastel and charcoal, and generally the drawings are conceived as the basis of animated films. From 1989 to 1996 Kentridge made an important cycle of films that allegorize South Africa’s political upheavals through the lives of three characters: a greedy property developer, his neglected wife and her poet lover. The eight-minute animation ...

Article

Maria F. Porges

(Leisha)

(b Washington, DC, Oct 28, 1967; d San Francisco, CA, June 26, 2001). American painter, printmaker, graffiti and installation artist. Kilgallen was a key figure of the Bay Area Mission School, a folk art–influenced movement that emerged in San Francisco in the early 1990s, whose graffiti and street art–influenced group of artists included Chris Johanson (b 1968), Alicia McCarthy (b 1969), Ruby Neri (b 1970), Rigo 23 (b 1966), Clare Rojas (b 1976), Thomas Campbell (b 1969), and, most notably, Barry McGee (b 1966), Kilgallen’s collaborator and husband. Kilgallen received a BA from Colorado College in Colorado Springs (1989) and an MFA degree at Stanford University (2001). She moved to San Francisco in 1990 and for several years worked as a conservator at the San Francisco Public Library, where she studied the Victorian type fonts that became central to her work. These were often deployed in combination with flat, cartoonish figures of women, painted on pieces of recycled wood or directly on the wall. Kilgallen’s compositions were influenced by a uniquely American mixture of visual subcultures such as ‘tramp’ art, train graffiti, sideshows/carnivals, and shop signs. She was a skilled banjo player and dedicated surfer and often portrayed her cast of female characters engaged in these activities in a nostalgic palette of greens, tans, browns, and oranges. Whether large or small, her paintings and drawings invoked an earlier era in which the mark of the (often self-taught) hand was everywhere....

Article

Kate Wight

(b Oakland, CA, March 31, 1911; d New York, NY, May 12, 2000).

American painter of Chinese descent. Best known for his watercolor paintings and work in the Hollywood film industry, Kingman’s work is considered influential in developing the “California Style” school of painting.

Kingman, born Dong Moy Shu, traveled to Hong Kong with his family at the age of 5 and began his formal education at the Bok Jai School. There he was given the school name “King Man,” which means “scenery” and “composition” in Cantonese. He later combined the two names. Kingman’s education continued at the Chan Sun Wen School, where he studied calligraphy and painting. In his late teens he returned to Oakland and in 1929 Kingman attended the Fox Morgan Art School, where his focus turned primarily to watercolor painting.

In 1936 Kingman gained success and national recognition with a solo exhibition at the San Francisco Art Association. Kingman’s work was largely watercolor paintings, which depicted landscapes and urban environments. Throughout the late 1930s Kingman painted over 500 works as an artist in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and served as an artist with the US Army during World War II. In the years after the war Kingman settled in Brooklyn, NY, and was an instructor at Columbia University and Hunter College. He was also a founding faculty member of the Famous Artists Painting School of Westport, CT....

Article

Blair French

Australian group of performance, video and installation artists. The four members of The Kingpins, Angelica Mesiti (b 1976), Técha Noble (b 1977), Emma Price (b 1975) and Katie Price (b 1978), met as students at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in Sydney in the 1990s. Their first public performance as The Kingpins took place in early 2000. Later that year they won the Drag Kings Sydney competition. Their early performances involved sophisticated, dynamic and highly entertaining ‘dragging’ of overtly masculine music genres, such as gangsta rap and hard rock. This was continued in related video works emerging from their performances, extending their mimicry into the realm of music video art direction. This approach culminated in the video installation work Versus (2002), in which, in a confident act of appropriation, The Kingpins reworked a 1993 karaoke performance by Leigh Bowery’s performance group Raw Sewage of Aerosmith’s ‘Walk this Way’ (...