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Article

Collage  

Lewis Kachur

[Fr. coller: ‘to stick, glue’]

Art form and technique, incorporating the use of pre-existing materials or objects attached as part of a two-dimensional surface. Despite occasional usage by earlier artists and wide informal use in popular art, collage is closely associated with 20th-century art, in which it has often served as a correlation with the pace and discontinuity of the modern world. In particular it often made use of the Objet trouvé, while the principle of collage was extended into sculpture in the form of the Assemblage. The first deliberate and innovative use of collage in fine art came in two works by Picasso in the spring of 1912. In The Letter (untraced, see Daix and Rosselet, cat. no. 275) he pasted a real Italian postage stamp on to a depicted letter, while Still-life with Chair-caning (Paris, Mus. Picasso) included printed oil-cloth simulating a chair-caning pattern, the oval canvas surrounded by a ‘frame’ made of a continuous loop of rope. Picasso followed this by affixing a piece of gingerbread (untraced) to the lower part of ...

Article

David Craven

[idea art; information art]

Term applied to work produced from the mid-1960s that either markedly de-emphasized or entirely eliminated a perceptual encounter with unique objects in favour of an engagement with ideas. Although Henry Flynt of the Fluxus group had designated his performance pieces ‘concept art’ as early as 1961 and Edward Kienholz had begun to devise ‘concept tableaux’ in 1963, the term first achieved public prominence in defining a distinct art form in an article published by Sol LeWitt in 1967. Only loosely definable as a movement, it emerged more or less simultaneously in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia and had repercussions on more conventional spheres of artistic production spawning artists’ books as a separate category and contributing substantially to the acceptance of photographs, musical scores, architectural drawings, and performance art on an equal footing with painting and sculpture. Moreover, conceptual art helped spawn the move towards multimedia installations that emerged to such prominence from the 1980s....

Article

Francis Summers

(b McPherson, KS, Nov 18, 1933; d San Francisco, July 7, 2008).

American sculptor, collagist, draughtsman and film maker. Conner attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, finishing his studies in 1955. Soon after he moved to San Francisco, where he immersed himself in its prevalent Beat culture. His early work was principally a form of Collage or Assemblage, as in Spider House Lady (1959; Oakland, CA, Mus.) in which he gathered together decayed print and other fetid matter, wrapped in string nylon, an effect that gave his work a mummified, funereal pallor. Conner also made films reflecting his practice of recycling images from America’s media culture. Using film stock from movies intended to be projected at home, Conner created a collage of various Hollywood stereotypes in A Movie (1958; see 1999 exh. cat., p. 189), a work that established him as an important underground film-maker. Conner also made strange, disquieting sculpture that paid homage to (Henri-Robert-)Marcel Duchamp, such as The Bride...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Cardiff, Jan 25, 1964).

Welsh installation artist and film maker. She studied for her BFA at South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education between 1983 and 1986, and then for her MFA at the Slade School of Art in London between 1986 and 1988. It was at her post-graduate exhibition that her work gained notice with an installation that had water seeping and dripping through the air vents of lockers in a corridor of the Slade. This use of water was translated on a smaller scale in the piece 12 Filing Cabinets, 12 Rolled Carpets and Water (1990; see 1998 exh. cat., p. 19). Here soaking rolls of carpet were revealed in the bottom drawers of the filing cabinets. Counsell’s interventions in the space and with the objects seem to be at first rather slight, but gain in impact as the strangeness of the presence of the water is felt. In 1993, at the Coronet Cinema in Mile End in London, Counsell installed a black-and-white film (see ...

Article

Fiona Bradley

(b Wakefield, Oct 21, 1968).

British visual artist and musician. He was brought up in Glasgow from the age of three, and studied in London at the Slade School of Fine Art, graduating in 1990.

Creed’s work plays on definitions of art and captures the public imagination while also attracting critical acclaim for its thoughtful, accessible approach. His art puts ideas out into the world in a variety of materials; he uses simple things such as planks of wood, stacks of chairs, and pieces of crumpled paper; some professional materials such as acrylic paint and neon; and some more unusual live components such as runners, ballet dancers, musicians, and dogs. He has made sculptures, installations, paintings, drawings, videos, songs, events, live performances, and one ballet.

Creed’s works are numbered sequentially (although some numbers are not used), and often have subtitles in the form of descriptive instructions. He first became known for sculptural gestures whose slightness and humorous inadequacy called into question the nature of sculpture: for example, ...

Article

Gregory Sholette

American artists’ collective founded in 1987, still active. Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) is known for its carefully researched installations, performances, videos and publications that explore the intersections of multiple disciplines including art and science, while simultaneously engaging in a sophisticated political critique of state and corporate power. As a form of ethical cultural practice the collective’s approach is grounded in the belief that the common person or amateur should be the true nexus of knowledge in a plural, democratic society. The artistic approach of CAE takes advantage of the shift away from object making established by the Conceptual artists of the 1960s and 1970s. The group’s aesthetic vocabulary has been influenced by the interventionist approach of such collectives as the Situationists (see Situationism), the Yippies, Guerrilla Art Action Group, Royal Chicano Art Front and Gran Fury. Like these groups, CAE’s aim is to imaginatively disrupt everyday life. In addition the Ensemble has published six books with the Brooklyn-based Autonomedia Press that document the group’s critical investigations; the books have been translated into some eighteen languages....

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Cork, 1956).

Irish sculptor, installation artist and photographer. She completed a BA in 3D Design at Leicester Polytechnic (1974–7), and an MA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute, CA (1980–82). Her sculptures of the early 1980s were hybrids combining religious architecture with mechanical and found objects, as in Bishop (1984–5; see 1991 exh. cat., fig.), which uses a megaphone and chair to parody the authority of the Irish Catholic Church. In the late 1980s she took over a space in a disused electricity plant near Dublin, turning it into a studio in which objects collected from the abandoned space formed the basis of her major series of installations, Powerhouse (1989–91). The exclusively male domain of the disused plant is subverted, in works such as Screen (Ladies Changing Room) (1990–91): behind screens constructed from old locker doors, hard hats with nipples attached to their tops, cast in bronze, hang from hooks. Exploring gender differences, she produces surrealistic combinations of objects that upset conventional notions of identity and power. In the 1990s Cross used cowhides and udders as a central motif in her work, as in ...

Article

Robin Adèle Greeley

(b Mexico City, 1968).

Mexican sculptor, installation artist, and multimedia artist. A figure in the generation of Mexican artists that came to prominence in the 1990s, Cruzvillegas studied pedagogy at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (1986–1990). Informally, he also studied caricature with Rafael “El Fisgón” Barajas (1985) and with Gabriel Orozco in the Taller de los viernes (“Friday workshop,” 1987–1991). In 2007 Cruzvillegas began developing the aesthetic platform of autoconstrucción (“self-building”). Rooted in the ad hoc building tactics prevalent in squatter settlements on the outskirts of megacities, his autoconstrucción works inventively repurpose found detritus to produce a materialist critique of object experience in the 21st-century’s global consumer economy.

Cruzvillegas’s early artistic ventures were informed by, among other factors, his participation in the Taller de los Viernes; his engagement with the underground music, political caricature, and comic book scenes; and his encounters with artists and curators committed to opening Mexico’s then relatively insular art world to international ideas. At the informal Taller de los viernes run by Orozco, Cruzvillegas explored artists and ideas not readily available in Mexico at the time, assimilating everything from Robert Filliou’s ...

Article

Edward Hanfling

[William] (Franklin)

(b Port Chalmers, Jan 23, 1935).

New Zealand photographer, sculptor, installation artist, and painter, active also in France and Great Britain. Culbert consistently explored the workings of both natural and artificial light in his works, as well as the transformation of found objects and materials. A student at Hutt Valley High School, his artistic ability was fostered by the radical art educator James Coe. From 1953 to 1956, Culbert studied at the Canterbury University College School of Art in Christchurch. Moving to London in 1957 to attend the Royal College of Art, he became interested in the photographic works of László Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray, while his paintings were informed by Cubism. In 1961 Culbert moved to Croagnes in Provence, France; he remained in France and the UK for the rest of his career.

During 1967–8, Culbert shifted his focus from the analysis of form and light in painting to the analysis of actual light, often arranging light bulbs in grid formations. In ...

Article

Constance W. Glenn

(b Worcester, MA, Oct 7, 1943).

American photographer and conceptual artist. He studied painting at the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston (1961–5), and the University of Illinois, Urbana (1965–7). He first won recognition for his 8×10 view camera photographs, for example Chair Trick (1973; see Alinder, pl. 12). In such works as these, where he constructed the objects and their settings and then photographed them, Cumming explored perception, illusion, logic, time and motion. In the 1980s he began using drawing, printmaking and colour photography, for example X-ray Crystallography Mounts (DNA Molecule Research) MIT (photograph, 1986; Cambridge, MA, MIT; see 1988 exh. cat., pl. 24), with the same attention to pragmatic detail and often magical humour. His interest in narrative fantasies first provided storylines for photo-sequences and later led him to write, illustrate, and publish five books including Discourse on Domestic Disorder (Orange, CA, 1975).

J. Alinder: Cumming Photographs: Untitled 18...

Article

Nancy Ring

(b Munich, April 29, 1941; d Hamburg, March 9, 2009)

German conceptual artist. She moved to New York in 1965, after studying at the Hochschule für Bildende Kunst in Hamburg, and began to produce delicate point and line drawings that gave form to sets of mathematical calculations. Although she lived in almost total solitude, her work became part of a collective effort to replace the discrete art object with Conceptual art, grounded in ideas and actions. In the late 1960s she began to use the divisions of the calendar as the conceptual basis of her art. One Month, One Year, One Century (1971; Aachen, Neue Gal.) consists of 402 books, each containing series of numbers extrapolated from a single date and grouped with other volumes to represent months, years, and finally a whole century. Her books and mounted images, painstakingly handwritten, embody not only an abstract span of time but also the actual time of the artist’s labour.

In the 1970s Darboven often allied her work, which she considered a form of writing, to the accomplishments of writers such as Heinrich Heine and Jean-Paul Sartre, directly transcribing portions of their texts or translating them into patterns. She further expanded her scope by including musical arrangements and photographs in her displays. In the ...

Article

Traudi Allen

(b Trieste, 1947).

Australian painter of Italian birth. De Clario became an Australian resident in 1956. He began to win art awards from his early 20s: the Italia Prize for painting (1969), the Perth International drawing Prize (1971), the Corio Prize for Painting, Geelong Art Gallery (1973), the Minnie Crouch Drawing Prize (1973), the Mildura Non-Permanent Sculpture Prize (1975), the University of NSW acquisitive prize (1987), and the University of Queensland Museum, National Artists’ Self Portrait Award (2011).

The conceptual thrust of his work has been expressed in painting and drawing and in performances with atleast part installation settings. His early interest in psychologically driven autobiography gave way to deconstructions of religious iconography, from the Catholicism of his Italian background to Hinduism and Buddhism. Performances have often centred on the artist, blindfolded to stress his role as medium, playing all night piano improvisations that stand as a trope for the temporal, visual, aural, and emotional sensations of mindful attention. His painting is also psychologically and spiritually orientated and translates his interest in the phenomenology of life to layers of physical paint....

Article

Matthew Gale

(b Ancona, 1947).

Italian conceptual and performance artist. At 17 he mounted his own exhibition (1964; Ancona, Gal. D.D.), before moving to Rome where he was influenced by Arte Povera. His one-man show (1969; Rome, Gal. Attico), for which he published an obituary announcing his death, included traces of ‘invisible objects’: a square outlined on the floor constituted Invisible Pyramid. Such dematerialization was associated with mortality, with which de Domenicis was primarily concerned, investigated through autobiography and self-portraiture, as well as through juxtapositions of Urvasi, the Hindu goddess of beauty, and the partially divine Ghilgamesh, who sought immortality in vain. Invisibility became a paradoxical and primary conceptual means: D’io (‘of me’/‘God’, 1971) filled the Galleria L’Attico with a recording of laughter. Having included live animals in his Zodiac exhibition (1970; Rome, Gal. Attico), de Domenicis increasingly used people to embody such concepts as ageing (e.g. the opposition of a young and an old man at Incontri Internazionale d’Arte, Rome, ...

Article

Anne Kirker

(b Maryborough, Queensland, Feb 6, 1957).

Australian Aboriginal installation artist of the Kuku and Erub/Mer peoples (see fig.). Deacon became an artist after receiving formal university training in politics and spending 10 years as a teacher. Her first substantial debut as a self-taught artist was in 1991 at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative in Sydney. By 1995 her staged photographs, installations and videos, which radically reappraise black feminine subjectivity, territorial rights and western canons of ‘high art’, earned her a place in the Johannesburg Biennale of that year and in Documenta 11 (2002). Effective through its pointed rawness and wit, Deacon’s work debunks the myths of ‘white fella’ histories of national identity and reclaims the kitsch of popular culture. Destiny Deacon: Walk & Don’t Look Blak, an exhibition held in 2004 at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), was her first solo museum exhibition.

Deacon’s imagery largely falls within the realm of social portraiture and satire, partly fictitious and partly autobiographical. Her characteristic use of dolls in her rudimentary photographic tableaux brings her troubling messages home through childhood toys. The dark-skinned dolls are often depicted as mutilated or are placed in simply constructed settings that present Aborigines as second-class citizens: impoverished or socially maligned. For instance, we are encouraged to imagine two trouser-clad males sitting in a gutter near a graffiti wall with a box of matches alongside ready for striking, or a woman hanging clothing on a line, in domestic servitude, or a female child (from the so-called ‘Stolen Generation’) captioned ...

Article

Kristine Stiles

Process of unsticking and ripping through successive layers of glued paper. The term first appeared in print in the Dictionnaire abrégé du surréalisme accompanying the catalogue of the Exposition internationale du surréalisme held at the Galerie Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1938. The technique developed through the use of posters torn from street walls to expose underlying images as interpenetrating forms within an overall surface. The altered posters revealed the fragmentary, confusing and alienating character of representation. Décollage represents a socially engaged practice. Unlike the constructive and atemporal unification of disparate materials in collage, from which it is derived, décollage is deconstructive and historical, an archaeological process unmasking the sequential, continuous relation of apparently dissociated images and events. In 1949 Raymond Hains began to collect, and perform the décollage technique on, commercial and political posters to exhibit them as aesthetic objects and sociological documents. Throughout the 1950s he and other artists associated with ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b London, March 30, 1966).

English conceptual artist. He completed a BA in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London (1985–8), and an MA in Art History at Sussex University (1991–2). His eclectic work engages on a broad level with popular and traditional culture; his forays into folk art are deliberately low-brow, anti-urban and characterized by an entertaining lightness of touch. He often works collaboratively; for the 1996 work Acid Brass, presented live and on CD, he instigated the incongruous transcription of a number of acid house anthems for a traditional brass band: these performed first at the Liverpool School of Art, and later at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, and at the gala opening night ceremony at Tate Modern, London. The strange juxtaposition of traditional brass band and contemporary dance music forced a revealing relationship between the old and the new and suggested the possibility not just of a collision but of an interaction between the cultures represented by these distinct musical forms. This approach was continued in the exhibition ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

revised by Jennifer Way

(b Wervik, Jan 14, 1965).

Belgian sculptor. He studied at the Stedelijke Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten from 1983 to 1987. From the late 1980s, Delvoye created thematic series featuring ordinary objects, ornament and representations of the human body, often with sexual, religious, economic and historical content. He adorned petrol cans, saws, shovels, ironing boards, birdhouses and toilets with decorative patterns recalling histories of the applied arts and evoking the ready-made of the modern avant-garde. Delvoye also worked with wood, metal, stained glass, photography, x-rays, software, faeces, machinery, food, bacteria and enzymes. Scholars and critics associated his art with Dada and Surrealism, including the art of fellow Belgian René(-François-Ghislain) Magritte, and with the material and visual culture of science, contemporary popular media and consumerism, and installation, performance and post-Pop art. Delvoye’s enamel painted shovels recall Marcel Duchamp’s In Advance of A Broken Arm (1915).

Delvoye aligned his practice with the post-studio tendency to use any materials, techniques and labour necessary for realizing a project or series. He created art ‘glocally’, by dispersing its production between local and global sites, for example, by drawing in a studio in Ghent while engaging support personnel and specialist fabricators located far from Belgium. In addition, Delvoye’s art references diverse ethnic and national histories. Delvoye employed fabricators in Indonesia to carve French Baroque ornamentation in teak and thus sculpted a life-size, wooden iteration of a concrete mixer truck, ...

Article

Lauren O’Neill-Butler

(b Boston, MA, 1966).

American photographer and installation artist. Deschenes studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, where she was awarded a BFA in photography in 1988. Beginning in the 1990s, she exhibited widely across various continents. With a focus on materiality and site-specificity, her work examines light, perception, architecture, and photography. Yet often she worked without a camera, adopting a post-conceptual and post-minimal stance that walks a fine line between abstraction and representation. Instead of making straightforward photographs that depict a given past event or a vision of the world, Deschenes posed real-time questions about the philosophical potentials of the medium, stripping its apparatus bare while pushing at its traditional definitions and emphasizing the constantly changing nature of photography. For her Green Screen series (2001), Deschenes took a green screen—typically used as a special effects tool in film-making and television—as her subject, photographing and scanning these large-scale monochrome backdrops. In her ...

Article

Nicholas Wegner

Czech avant-garde group of architects, painters, sculptors, collagists, photographers, film makers, designers and writers, active 1920–31. Its name is a composite of the words ‘nine’ and ‘forces’. The group’s leader, Karel Teige, advocated a reconciliation between utilitarianism and lyrical subjectivity: ‘Constructivism and Poetism’. Devětsil’s architects, including Jaromír Krejcar and Karel Honzík, invested the geometry of architecture with an element of poetry, while painters and photographers such as Toyen and Jindřich Štyrský moved towards Surrealism, and when the group dissolved many of its members, including Teige, joined the Czech Surrealist group.

See also Periodical, §III, 5, (iii).

Czech Art of the Twenties and Thirties, 2 vols (exh. cat. by J. Kotalík and Bernd Kimmel, Darmstadt, Ausstellhallen Mathildenhöhe, 1988) Czech Modernism, 1900–1945 (exh. cat., Boston, MA, Mus. F.A., 1990) Devětsil: Czech Avant-garde Art, Architecture and Design of the 1920s and 1930s (exh. cat., ed. R. Svacha; Oxford, MOMA; London, Des. Mus.; 1990)...

Article

Francis Summers

(b New York, June 6, 1957).

American draughtsman and installation artist. She studied at the School of Visual Arts, New York, completing her BFA in 1979. She was awarded her MFA from Columbia University, New York, in 1981. She came to prominence with work that took a strong anti-commercial stance. Favouring the medium of the wall drawing in part because of its non-commodifiable nature, her wall texts and patterns, such as I Hate Business (1989; see 1989 exh. cat., pp. 16–17) and Money as Barbed Wire (1990; see 1991 exh. cat., p. 64) display a sharp satirical humour. Examining international relations between the USA and other foreign powers, for example in the sculpture Uncle Sam Hat with Friendly Dictators (1990; see 1991 exh. cat., p. 65) and the wall drawing Collapsing Super Power Scrolls with Rising Sun (1990; see 1991 exh. cat., pp. 68–9), Diamond posited herself as an activist artist. Changing direction slightly, Diamond went on to spread her messages in a more subtle, oblique vein. With her ...