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Article

Joan Kee

(b Taichung, Feb 16, 1964).

Taiwanese conceptual artist, active also in the USA. Lee spent his childhood in Taichung, where he studied Chan Buddhism from the age of eight. At 12, Lee spent time among Taiwanese expatriates in the Dominican Republic, and two years later moved to the USA, where he later studied biology at the University of Washington, Seattle. He transferred, however, to the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA, where he focused on architecture and textiles (1993). During this time, Lee made work that originated from personal memories, such as One Hundred Days with Lily (1995), which he started after his grandmother’s death. This work was a long-term endeavour documenting the life cycle of a lily that Lee took with him as he went about his daily activities in San Francisco.

After graduating from Oakland, Lee went on to receive a master’s degree in sculpture from the Yale School of Art. At Yale, Lee expanded upon his interest in interpersonal communication, which resulted in the production of works such as ...

Article

Hripsimé Visser

(b Breda, Oct 26, 1946).

Dutch photographer and conceptual artist. He first trained as a carpenter before studying at the academy in Breda (1963–5). From 1970 to 1980 he specialized in photographs of volatile and ephemeral materials such as smoke or shadow, which he referred to as ‘photo-sculptures’. Like other conceptual artists in the late 1960s, he used photography to create personal worlds and to visualize ideas rather than to record reality. The photograph Untitled (1979; see 1983 exh. cat., p. 159) shows a man crouching on a table that he is sawing in half; on either side of him are a telescope and a microscope. Inherent in the image are attitudes to death, suicide and existence, and the relationship between art and science. Language has been important for Mol in all the media in which he has worked, and his works are often titled in English. In 1985 he produced a series of works on the theme of ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Leicester, Feb 4, 1969).

English sculptor and painter, active in the USA. Monk came to prominence in the late 1990s for work situated, highly self-consciously, within the tradition of conceptual art. Taking up various strategies that had become popular in the 1960s, such as wall paintings, monochromes, ephemeral sculpture, and photography, his work has been consistently preoccupied with being part of the second generation of the movement. Hence the photographic series None of the Buildings on Sunset Strip reprised Ed Ruscha’s series of 1966, All of the Buildings on Sunset Strip: Monk’s images merely show the turn-offs on the road. While this is intended as a witty homage, it also betrays an anxiety about how to draw on work that was never intended to serve as a model or basis for a continuing movement. This preoccupation with development and appropriation has been furthered in other ways in Monk’s art: in the exhibition at Yvon Lambert, Paris, in ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Ossining, NY, Aug 3, 1936; d Chicago, April 30, 1977).

American conceptual artist, draughtsman, and sculptor. She trained but never practised as a nurse. In 1960 she took her first art classes at the Jacksonville Museum, Jacksonville, FL. Morton then attended the University of Rhode Island, Kingston (1965–8), where she received her BFA, and the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia (MFA, 1970). Having first exhibited at the McLennon Community College, Waco, TX, in 1969, in 1970 she showed work in the Contemporary American Sculpture Annual at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In 1972 Morton moved to New York. In her work she explored an interdisciplinary approach in installations. She acknowledged the influences of Morris family §(2), Bruce Nauman, Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois, Claes Oldenburg, and Richard Artschwager. Her formal concerns centred on spaces, enclosures, and boundaries, and included pictures, found objects, sculptures, and her signature trait—delineations of spaces with dotted lines, usually tape, on gallery walls and floors in loosely ordered arrangements. In many of her installations there are strong mythological and metaphorical suggestions, evocative of Native American ceremonies, mysterious rituals, and Japanese gardens. Her installation ...

Article

Ewa Mikina

(b Kielczewice, nr Lublin, July 5, 1949).

Polish sculptor and conceptual artist. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, from 1971 to 1976. Her works Procession (1974), featuring sowings of motherwort on a suit of clothes, Cradle (1975), on the flat of the hand, and on a 70 m Easter tapestry or carpet for the church in her native Kielczewice (1974), are meditative in character and draw on the fundamental laws of nature and the elements, the life-giving qualities of water and the transformational power of the sun’s light. Sculpture for the Earth (1974; Ubbenboga, Sweden) contains a hemisphere hollowed out in the earth, juxtaposed with a hemispherical mound. Negative and positive are reiterated in cross-section by graphic Yin and Yang symbols. In the next Sculpture for the Earth (begun 1976) a simple geometric quadrilateral encloses the source of a river; two of its sides pass into the side of a mountain, while the other two form a clay wall. The essence of ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

revised by Mary Chou

(b Tokyo, 1962).

Japanese painter and sculptor. He studied at Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music (BFA 1986, MFA 1988, PhD 1993). Murakami began to gain recognition as a sculptor in the early 1990s. Drawing on Minimalism and conceptual art, his work often explored the clash between contemporary Japanese and American culture. Sea Breeze (1992), which was made in response to an island location, consists of a large trailer with shutters that open to emit a powerful light; it suggests something of the aggressive, sardonic character of his work, as well as the influence of commercial display. In the late 1990s Murakami gained more recognition as a painter, and began to blend abstraction and cartoon imagery in highly coloured images painted in flat space. Some works are abstract: Cream (1998) depicts a long skein of blue-white seminal fluid flying across a pink backdrop. Others, such as ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b St Albans, Herts, Sept 7, 1945).

English painter and conceptual artist. His paintings of the 1960s consisted of colour fields built up with thin layers of paint, influenced by the colour field paintings of American artists such as Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. In the mid-1970s he turned to conceptual installations, through which he began to develop a concern with the gaps between language and experience. In the late 1970s he produced The Hieroglyphic Series, in which he combined found images and texts. He turned to painting again in the early 1980s, adopting the format of an abstract, painterly field, again using thin layers to create an indefinable illusion of depth, within which was painted a ‘found’ object. The poetic, metaphoric intentions behind these paintings are indicated by their titles, phrases borrowed from translations of European (usually French) literature, suggesting an involvement with both lyrical and conceptual sources and methods. In paintings such as Petals of Lust (Epidendrum nocturnum)...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Stockton-on-Tees, Dec 24, 1973).

English sculptor. He studied in London at Chelsea College of Art and Design (1994–7) and came to prominence in the late 1990s with art combining conceptual elements with a popular and often comic edge. Animal (see 1999 exh. cat., p. 99) brings these aspects together in characteristic fashion: a polyurethane resin model, it is most immediately recognizable as a medical diagram of internal organs, yet the shape of the figure suggests that it derives from the cartoon character Snoopy. It is typical of Musgrave’s work in its humorous and sometimes perplexing contrast of different forms and codes of representation. Similar interests inform the series of drawings entitled Doodles (1996–9): these were produced by first making roughly sculpted plasticine models, which were then translated into photocopied images, and subsequently into meticulous biro drawings; the result was a series of dark and almost sinister images of the poorly crafted models. Through this series he drew attention to the power of basic reproductive techniques to transform the quality of ordinary objects, and in so doing to make poetry out of everyday life. In according value to cheap and popular materials in this way, Musgrave shares much with his contemporaries in Britiain. Similar qualities are suggested by ...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(b Fort Wayne, IN, Dec 6, 1941).

American conceptual artist. Recognized as one of the most influential, innovative, and provocative 20th century American artists, Nauman extended the media of sculpture, film, video, photography, and sound with performance and spatial explorations. Nauman attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1960 to 1964, with early studies in mathematics and physics, which broadened to the study of art under Italo Scanga (1932–2001). He received a master’s degree in Fine Art from the University of California, Davis in 1966 under William T. Wiley, Robert Arneson, Frank Owen (b 1939), and Stephen Kaltenbach (b 1940) and honorary degrees from the San Francisco Art Institute (1989) and California Institute of Art (2000). In 1966 he began to teach at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Nauman’s interactive artworks and performances explore the syntactical nuances of language, text, and figurative gesture to create material culture and in-between places, which often result in a heightened sense of physical and emotional awareness. Nauman’s artistic explorations of spatial perception, bodily consciousness, physical and mental activity, and linguistic manipulation were demonstrated in interactive spatial compositions that accentuated various relationships between the human body and built environments. Early works included body castings and holographic self-images with subsequent works situating the viewer within their own mental and bodily perceptions. In ...

Article

Denise Carvalho

(b Belo Horizonte, Nov 12, 1967).

Brazilian painter, interventionist, installation, conceptual and video artist. She studied at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and at the Royal College of Art in London. Some of her works invite comparisons with an earlier artist from the same city, Lygia Clark, as well as with fellow Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica.

Central themes in Neuenschwander’s work include relationships and communication—or lack thereof—and the role of chance and uncertainty. Gallery visitors were often welcome to participate in her works. In I Wish Your Wish (2003; exhibited at the Carnegie International in 2008; see image page for more views), hundreds of participants were asked about their wishes, which were then silkscreened on colourful ribbons and exhibited in the gallery. Visitors then tied ribbons on their wrists, leaving a wish behind; the wish would come true only when the worn ribbon fell off, an idea based on a popular tradition of votive exchange. In ...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

American group of artists active in the 1950s and 1960s who were part of a movement that was reacting to Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism and conceptual art by choosing to represent traditional subjects of nudes, portraiture, still lifes, landscapes and urban street scenes that often were plain and ordinary. The rise of consumerism and mass production inspired New Realist artists who returned to representing subjects as everyday and common visual encounters and experiences. The New Realist movement is in contrast to earlier forms of realism practiced by European artists whose works embody idealism or romanticize the commonality of the subject. New Realism is also associated with the emergence of Photorealism, where the camera captured the momentary fleeting naturalism of the subject. A common approach characteristically unifying New Realist artworks is the notion of the presence of the subject, which is understood as the representation of a neutral peripheral visual experience that exposes the subject prior to its discovery as a cognitive translation, intellectual or emotional response. Paintings and drawings present the perception of the real in a direct, clear and straightforward way using conventional drawing and painting techniques, and classical compositional approaches. Subjects are acutely observed and revealed with precise attention to detail and technical draftsmanship to disclose the detached presence of the subject itself....

Article

Karen M. Fraser

(b Hyogo Prefecture, 1945).

Japanese photographer, sculptor, and conceptual artist. He studied at Kyoto City University of Fine Arts, where he earned a BFA in 1967 and an MFA in 1969. Nomura was initially trained as a sculptor. In his MFA thesis project, Tardiology (1969), Nomura explored the idea of non-permanent sculptural form, creating an eight-metre tall cardboard sculpture and then using photographs to record the changes in form as the boxes gradually collapsed under their own weight. From that point on photography was one of his primary media. Nomura was interested in investigating processes of scientific and natural phenomena with a particular focus on the passage of time. He used photographs to capture movement and changes over time and to make previously unseen things visible. Many of his projects were created over lengthy periods, with photographs being taken daily or monthly and for years. In his 1991 Analemma series (The Analemma ’91-Noon...

Article

Marta Filipova

(b Žilina, Slovakia, 1966).

Slovak conceptual artist. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava and has held residencies in the USA, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland. He has been exhibiting since 1996. His work usually involves the participation of exhibition visitors, who help to carry out experiences that Ondák designs. The visitor is no longer just a spectator – his or her presence, sound, or visual contribution become part of the work of art. Ondák thus challenges the dichotomies of the private and the public spheres, the inside and the outside, the real and the anticipated.

Ondák involved museum visitors in the creation of a work entitled Measuring the Universe (2007, Munich, Alte Pin.; 2009, New York, MOMA). The participants were asked to mark their height on a white wall in an empty gallery room, creating black lines with people’s names all around. Drawing on an internationally popular custom of marking children’s height at home, he brought a private affair into a public space. The marks, which held great personal importance for the individuals involved, became anonymous and lost amongst other people’s indications....

Article

Matthew Gale

(b Vergato, nr Bologna, Nov 24, 1943).

Italian painter, sculptor, conceptual artist and film maker. His first one-man show (1970; Milan, Gal. S Fedele) reflected his awareness of Arte Povera in the multifarious cut-outs of corrugated cardboard and rubber. Ontani’s major occupation was, however, enacting ritualized performances, as in the fire-walking film Fuochino (1972) shown at the Venice Biennale of 1972. In common with several contemporaries, he transformed himself, updating artistic quotations as a critique of past culture; he assumed a pose from David’s Rape of the Sabines in the punningly entitled Rattondo David (‘Raping David’, photographic tondo, 700 mm, 1974; see 1991 exh. cat., p. 43) to comment upon this process, as well as the retrospective sanitization of European culture. In performances at the Galleria L’Attico, Rome (with Jannis Kounellis, Francesco Clemente and others), Ontani acted out emblematic characters, from Don Quixote (1974) to Dracula (1975). In addition to such referential photographs as ...

Article

Anna Bentkowska

(b Abbeville, Aug 27, 1931).

Polish painter, etcher and conceptual artist. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Łódź (1949–50) and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (1950–56). His early works were influenced by Neo-Constructivist tendencies, then very prevalent in Polish art. He gradually moved towards conceptual art and developed monochrome compositions that repeat a particular motif in rhythmic sequences. Chronomes (1961–3; Łódź, Mus. A.) are abstract paintings composed of a multitude of minute dots. In Banners (1967; Warsaw, N. Mus.), a series of etchings, Opałka took a fragment of a photograph showing a street demonstration and repeated it many times in different sizes in the same work. He also created the series Three-dimensional Structures (1964–7; artist’s col.), made of battens and canvas, composed of only horizontal lines. In a series of etchings based on biblical themes, Description of the World (1968–70; Warsaw, N. Mus.), Opałka again explored the idea of the repetition of similar motifs, as in ...

Article

(b Mason City, WA, Sept 6, 1938; d New York, NY, Jan 21, 2011).

American conceptual and performance artist. He studied art at California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA (1959–64) and at Stanford University, Stanford, CA (1964–5). His early work was Land art and involved large-scale outdoor projects documented by photographs. In Directed Seeding—Cancelled Crop (1969; see 1974 exh. cat.), he organized the planting of a field of wheat at Finsterwolde in Holland according to a specific pattern and then had a huge cross shape harvested out of the grown crop. He prevented any of the crop from being sold, an act he likened to ‘stopping raw pigment from becoming an illusionistic force on canvas’ (1974 exh. cat.). In the early 1970s he turned to such performance works as Reading Position for Second Degree Burn (1970; see 1974 exh. cat.), in which he lay in the sun for five hours with a book across his chest so that his skin burned, leaving a silhouette of the book. He saw this as a form of painting....

Article

Reiko Tomii

(b Tokyo, May 1965).

Japanese conceptual artist who has used photography, video, painting, sculpture, installation and performance. He received degrees in oil painting (1989) and mural painting (1991) from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Ozawa belongs to the so-called subculture generation of Japan; those immersed in manga and anime in their childhood. Like his contemporaries (such as Takashi Murakami (b 1962) and Makoto Aida (b 1965)), he freely borrowed from both traditional and modern cultures to critique the institutions of art, life and society, while humorously exploiting everyday culture, such as Jizō (Sk: Kshitigarbha; a popular Buddhist deity of salvation), soy sauce and milk-bottle receptacles.

For his first major project Jizoing, begun in 1988, he photographed a small handmade figurine, or a rudimentary drawing of Jizō, at some 80 places in Japan, as well as China, Tibet, Korea, Moscow, Tehran and New York over a period of more than 10 years. The photographs, monochromatically printed and tinted in pale blue to invoke a time of twilight, were compiled into a book (...

Article

Ađalsteinn Ingólfsson

(b EskifjörÐur, Dec 25, 1929).

Icelandic stage designer, sculptor, printmaker, performance artist and conceptual artist. He studied stage design in Birmingham, Reykjavík and Vienna (1949–56) and was periodically engaged in stage design for Reykjavík theatres from 1956 to 1975. In the late 1950s he became disillusioned with traditional theatre and began to think in terms of proto-happenings or visual tableaux. None of these went beyond the planning stage, but they were undoubtedly precursors of the ‘collage’ plays (random collections of dialogue from literature as well as ephemeral printed material) and performances that Pálsson organized with his students in Reykjavík, the Netherlands and Norway in the 1980s.

Pálsson’s interest in the visual arts was fuelled by his friendship with Dieter Roth. Though their concerns were essentially very different, they shared an ironic, even aggressive attitude to art and an interest in ephemeral or fragile materials. During the 1960s Pálsson’s work was mostly neo-Dadaist: for example the mimeographed prints of ...

Article

Lucius Grisebach

(b Antwerp, Feb 5, 1940).

Belgian conceptual artist. He adopted the pseudonym Panamarenko at the outset of his artistic career. He studied at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp (1955–60), and at the National Hoger Instituut, Antwerp (1962–4). He was active in various Happenings in Antwerp between 1964 and 1966. With friends Hugo Heyrman (b 1942), Bernd Lohaus (b 1940) and Wout Vercammen (b 1938) among others, he produced a photocopied magazine called Happening News (c. 1964–6). From 1966 to 1968 he made what he called ‘poetic objects’, which included such quiet, contemplative works as Snow (leather bag, rubber boots, twigs and snow, 1966; priv. col., see 1978 exh. cat., p. 98) and Moths in Reeds (moths, reeds and motor, 1967; Naarden, Becht Col., see 1978 exh. cat., p. 103), and also a large, bicycle-driven structure, Aeroplane (aluminium and mixed media, 1967...

Article

Matthew Gale

(b Lussara, Reggio Emilia, March 1, 1943).

Italian conceptual artist. He trained at the Istituto Statale di Belle Arti, Modena, and held his first one-man show in Bologna in 1965. The example of Marcel Duchamp and of Piero Manzoni was apparent early on in his manipulation and presentation of objects, for example the arrangement of a globe and a pickle jar containing a crumpled map (1968; see 1981 exh. cat., p. 8). He did not ally himself with any particular group, but he shared with some of his contemporaries, such as Michelangelo Pistoletto and Giulio Paolini, a progression from conceptual works, including installations, photo-works and books, towards a use of assemblage.

Parmiggiani’s work is chiefly concerned with reassessing accepted meanings in art, by applying an understanding of philosophical systems to works from the past. From photo-tableaux in which he recorded juxtapositions of paintings and other objects (e.g. see 1981 exh. cat., p. 65), he developed three-dimensional assemblages in which he re-examined familiar myths by adapting classical sculpture. The strength of Parmiggiani’s work lies in the many strata of meaning laid bare by such comparisons....