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Article

Joseph R. Givens

(b Hartford, CT, July 9, 1952).

American art dealer, curator, and critic. Deitch is best known for transforming the American art market with the introduction of post-industrial business practices. A Connecticut native, he studied art history at Wesleyan University (1970–74) and opened his first gallery in 1972 at the Curtis Hotel in Lenox, MA. He studied the economics of art at Harvard Business School, and earned an MBA in 1978. His 1980 essay, The Warhol Product, was one of the first publications to address the post-modern phenomenon of art as commodity. In 1979 Deitch helped guide financial institutions into the business of art investment services by co-developing Citibank’s Art Advisory Service, a comprehensive service model that provided élite clients with loans, strategic collection consultation, historical information, and shipping and insurance management. After transitioning to a full-time, self-employed art dealer in 1988, Deitch brokered the secondary market sale of Jasper Johns’s White Flag (...

Article

Susan Kart

(b Nairobi, 1958).

Kenyan photographer, multimedia and performance artist, and teacher of Indian descent, active in the USA. DeSouza was born in Kenya to Indian parents. Raised in London from the age of 7, he called his background that of a ‘double colonial history’. DeSouza attended Goldsmiths College in London and the Bath Academy of Art, and although he has worked primarily in photography and as a writer on contemporary art, he has also branched out into performance art, digital painting, and textual and mixed media arts. He moved to the USA in 1992 and in 2012 became of Head of Photography at the University of California, Berkeley.

The primary themes in deSouza’s work are those of colonial encounter, seen in Indigena/Assimilado (1998), a photographic series of migrant workers in Los Angeles; migration, as explored in Threshold (1996–8), his early photographic series of airports empty of people; exile, which he explored in ...

Article

Jenifer P. Borum

(b Emelle, AL, Sept 10, 1928; d McCalla, AL, Jan 25, 2016).

African American painter and sculptor. Dial was born into poverty and left school at age nine to work various jobs, including fieldwork. At age ten, his mother gave up Thornton and his half-brother Arthur to be raised by their great-grandmother. Upon her death they were taken in by their aunt for two years, and then given to their great-aunt, Sarah Dial Lockett, in Bessemer, AL.

Throughout most of his life, Dial worked as a farmer, a gardener, a bricklayer, and a construction worker. He worked for the Bessemer Water Works for 13 years and the Pullman Standard for nearly 30 years. Dial’s labor gave him a great many skills that he would later apply to making artwork. He was handy with found objects and materials, often making cemetery decorations, as well as for his yard—both of which should be considered in the context of vernacular signifying practices within the African diaspora. Unfortunately, he buried or destroyed much of his early mixed-media yard work, as it often carried messages of social protest and could have been a source of trouble for him and his family. The practice of destroying his work changed when he met his future patron, the Atlanta collector Bill Arnett, in ...

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 ...

Article

Ricardo Pau-Llosa

(b Pinar del Río, July 26, 1953).

Cuban painter, active in the USA. He left Cuba at the age of 14 as a political exile, going first to Spain and then in 1968 to Miami, where he settled. There he became a leading figure in the Cuban–American generation of artists that emerged in Miami during the 1970s (see Latin-American Artists of the USA, §4). Working in acrylic, he was concerned with the strength of colour and texture; thematically topography and distance are the key elements of his flat, Expressionist abstraction. The influences of Peruvian painter Fernando de Szyszlo and of the Catalan Antoni Tàpies, as well as of the New York School, are visible in his work. His Wind Paintings (e.g. 1986; Miami, FL, Barbara Gilman) address motion and change, themes latent in his work after 1980.

P. Plagens: ‘Report from Florida: Miami Slice’, Art in America [cont. as A. America & Elsewhere; A. America]...

Article

Gregory Harris

(b Hartford, CT, 1951).

American photographer. DiCorcia was part of a generation of photographers that emerged in the 1980s that sought to challenge the perceived objectivity of photography by creating skilfully lit and often elaborately staged images. Born into a second-generation Italian Catholic family, diCorcia studied photography at the University of Hartford and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA), Boston, in the mid-1970s and eventually earned an MFA from Yale University in 1979. DiCorcia’s early work is often associated with the ‘Boston School’, a group of photographers who attended the SMFA and became known for the diaristic and autobiographical nature of their work. Throughout his career, diCorcia balanced his work between photographs that address personal and domestic subject-matter and photographs made in the visual tradition of ‘street photography’ that deal with public life as it plays out on streets across the world. From the early 1980s diCorcia maintained an active career as an editorial and commercial photographer alongside his fine art practice....

Article

Mary M. Tinti

Architecture, design and conceptual art partnership. Diller Scofidio + Renfro [Diller + Scofidio] was formed in 1979 by Elizabeth Diller (b Lodz, Poland, 1954) and Ricardo Scofidio (b New York, NY, 1935) as an interdisciplinary design practice based in New York.

Diller studied at the Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York (BArch, 1979) and then worked as an Assistant Professor of Architecture (1981–90) at the Cooper Union School of Architecture, becoming Associate Professor of Architecture at Princeton University in 1990. Scofidio, who also attended Cooper Union (1952–5), obtained his BArch from Columbia University (1960) and became Professor of Architecture at Cooper Union in 1965. In 1997 Charles Renfro joined the firm and was made partner in 2004, at which point the partnership changed its name to Diller Scofidio + Renfro. While the couple (who are married) initially eschewed traditional architectural projects in favor of installations, set design and landscape design, by the 21st century their firm had received commissions for both new buildings and renovations of existing architecture. Diller and Scofidio were the first architects to receive a MacArthur Foundation fellowship (...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b New Bedford, MA, 1961).

American sculptor and installation artist. He studied Fine Art at the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, CT (1981–2), and then at the School of Visual Arts, New York (1982–4). He followed an Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1984–5), before returning to the Hartford Art School (1985–6) to complete his BFA. From 1986 to 1990 he worked as a studio assistant for Ashley Bickerton. Dion established his reputation with installations in Europe and the USA, in which he applies interests in archaeology, ecology and zoology to works that explore cultural representations of nature (see fig.). His art uncovers the structures that govern the natural world, dissolving the boundary between nature and culture; in his view, ‘nature is one of the most sophisticated arenas for the production of ideology’. Apart from the strong influence of predecessors such as ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Santa Monica, CA, 1949).

American photographer. He studied at the California State University (BA 1971) and then continued his studies at the University of California (MFA 1974). His series of black and white photographs, Vandalism (1974) were taken in abandoned houses in which Divola spray painted his own grafitti then photographed it. Vandalism lead to the series Zuma (1977–8), in which he photographed a derelict house on Zuma Beach on the Pacific Coast, which was continally altered by acts of vandalism, and by being set on fire for exercises by the local fire brigade. These colour photographs, taken at dawn and dusk, contrast the beautiful landscape outside with the eroding interior, as in Zuma #20 (1978; see 1998 exh. cat., p. 10). In the 1980s, Divola began to make photographic diptychs, with the links between the two chosen images not always clearly understandable, as in Untitled (...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Edinburgh, April 17, 1959).

English painter. Raised in Canada, Doig moved to London in 1979 and studied at the Wimbledon School of Art (1979–80), St Martin’s School of Art (1980–83), and Chelsea School of Art (1989–90). In 1991 he won the Whitechapel Art Gallery’s Artist Award, gaining public recognition for the first time; two years later he was awarded first prize at the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition. Doig’s paintings are noted for their intriguing balance of figuration and abstract surface qualities. Often working from photographs and films, Doig uses a broad range of subjects, exploring the general theme of man’s relation with his environment. The surfaces of his paintings, especially those from the early 1990s, appear complex and tangled, offering frustrated, interrupted views. Concrete Cabin West Side (1994; London, priv. col., see 1998 exh. cat., no. 10) shows a typically luminescent view through dark trees of Le Corbusier’s ...

Article

Mary Panzer

(b Cambridge, MA, April 26, 1937).

American photographer and writer. After attending university in the Boston area, she worked in New York at Grove Press, arranging readings for poets such as Robert Creeley and Allen Ginsberg. Dorfman eventually settled in Cambridge, MA, a centre of intellectual alternative culture, where her friend George Cope taught her to use a camera in 1965. She began making portraits of literary figures with a 35mm camera and black-and-white film, supporting herself as a freelance editor. In 1973–4, as a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College, she produced a memoir with photographs titled Elsa’s Housebook, now considered a feminist classic.

In 1980 the Polaroid Corporation gave Dorfman and a number of other artists access to the experimental 20×24 instant camera, named for the size of the image it produced (in inches). Beginning in 1987 Dorfman rented a 20×24 from Polaroid and worked in colour. Over the next two and half decades Dorfman developed a style that combined the camera’s formal characteristics with her own ability as a writer and an artist to identify universal qualities in the most personal stories. She photographed some families more than once, and produced extended portraits of Allen Ginsberg, her husband, her son and his friends, and herself. In the 1990s she became one of the first photographers to establish a website, using it as exhibition space and archive for her photographs, books, essays, films, and reviews of her work. After the Polaroid Corporation collapsed in the early 21st century, she helped lead a movement to establish an independent company to support the 20×24 instant camera....

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Vancouver, 1960).

Canadian photographer and film maker, lives and works in Vancouver. After studying at the Emily Carr College of Art in Vancouver (1979–82), he began making films and videos that reflect on issues of culture and technology and on the relationship between popular representations of history and subjectivity. In 1988 long-term research culminated in an essay and exhibition that gathered together Samuel Beckett’s eight works for film and television. Samuel Beckett: Teleplays, which toured Canada, America and Europe for four years, touches on themes of alienation, displacement and the collapse of subjectivity that Douglas explores in his film and video installations. For his slide installation Onomatopoeia, (1985–6), lasting six minutes in each rotation, Douglas projected 154 black-and-white images of an empty textile factory on to a screen hanging over an 88-noteplayer-piano that played bars from Beethoven’s C Minor Sonata, Opus 11; the selected refrain sounded uncannily like a ragtime piece. By isolating this phenomenon Douglas pointed to the difficulties of interpreting history from an unbiased perspective. The questioning of habit and criticism of popular contemporary media was continued in ...

Article

(b Pembury, Kent, Nov 8, 1939).

American painter of English birth. Downes studied painting at the Yale School of Art after having read English literature at St. John’s College, Cambridge. A classmate of Richard Serra (b 1939) and Nancy Graves (1939–95), he studied at Yale under Al Held (1928–2005). Downes began his career as a painter of geometrical abstractions, but radically changed his painting practice in 1973 after he encountered the oil sketches of John Constable and the Tower of Babel by Pieter Breugel the elder while traveling through England, Belgium and Holland. Realizing the importance of place in art, he began to paint landscapes in Maine, where he had just bought a house, making oil sketches onsite and finished paintings in the studio. He was encouraged by the work of some of the leading figurative American painters at the time—Alex Katz (b 1927), Fairfield Porter (1907–75...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b New Haven, CT, 1949).

American painter. He completed a BA at Trinity College, Hartford, CT, in 1971 and later settled in New York. Initially influenced by Post-minimalism, process art and conceptual art, he was soon attracted to the tactility and allusions to the body in the work of Brice Marden, Robert Mangold and Robert Ryman. Spurred on by the revival of interest in Surrealism in the 1970s, Dunham began to make abstract, biomorphic paintings reminiscent of the work of Arshile Gorky and André Masson, executed with a comic twist enhanced by lurid colours and the suggestion of contemporary psychedelia. In the 1980s he began to paint on wood veneer and rose to prominence in the context of a broader return to painting in the period. Age of Rectangles (1983–5; New York, MOMA) is a highly abstract composition of differing forms, symptomatic of his work at this time: geometric sketches co-exist with eroticized organic shapes while the forms of the wood veneer show through the surface of the paint to suggest surging forces. Towards the end of the 1980s he began to move towards single, dominating motifs; wave-like forms were particularly common. In the ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Washington, AR, July 10, 1940).

Native American Cherokee sculptor, performance artist, and video artist. In 1968 he moved to Geneva, where he attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1972. After his return to the USA he lived on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and played an active part in the American Indian Movement; he also served from 1975 to 1979 as the executive director of the International Indian Treaty Council in New York. He left both organizations in 1980. Durham’s sculptures and installations can be seen against a background of activism, in which he records the plight of Native Americans in the face of Western colonial culture. His sculptures, bricolages of found objects, often take the form of vivid anthropomorphic constructions, appearing as ironic fetishes in an ethnographic display. Durham often includes words that provide witty if inconclusive suggestions of the type of protest that he is staging, as in the wall-mounted work ...

Article

Ronald R. McCarty

American architectural firm founded in 1885 by William Sylvester Eames (b Clinton, MI, 1857; d St Louis, MO, March 1915) and Thomas Crane Young (b Sheboygan, WI, 1858; d St Louis, MO, 2 March 1934). Eames and Young were a leading architectural firm based in St Louis, MO, and they gained a national reputation with numerous commercial and residential buildings around the country, including designs completed for two World Expositions in 1898 and 1904. The firm closed in 1927.

Eames moved with his family from Clinton, MI, to St Louis in 1863. He attended the St Louis School of Fine Arts graduating in 1878. In 1882 Eames was appointed the Deputy Commissioner of Public Buildings in St Louis, a post he held until 1885 when he resigned to form a partnership with Thomas Crane Young. He was elected President of the St Louis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in ...

Article

Natalie Phillips

Art scene comprised of American artists active in New York’s East Village throughout the 1980s. Characterized by colorful, interdisciplinary, collaborative, and anti-establishment art and music, the East Village scene spanned the mid- to late 1970s to the mid-1980s and evolved out of a confluence of complex political and social issues. In the early 1970s, the Watergate scandal (culminating in President Nixon’s resignation in August 1974) and the winding-down of the Vietnam War (brought to an official conclusion in 1975) wreaked havoc on American internal politics, as did the global oil crisis of 1973, the ensuing recession, and high unemployment rates. In 1979 Jimmy Carter famously diagnosed a “crisis of confidence” in the American people, and in the early 1980s escalating tensions from the Cold War, Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economics, and the developing AIDS crisis further exacerbated these anxieties.

Out of these tumultuous times arose the East Village scene. Artists seeking relief from inflated rents and the elitist gallery world migrated to this area of Manhattan and alternative art spaces quickly popped up, providing a host of new venues for artists seeking to experiment with art, music, and performance—but also pointedly raising issues of gentrification....

Article

Mark W. Sullivan

(b Long Beach, CA, Nov 4, 1944).

American painter and printmaker. Eddy studied at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu (BFA, 1967, MFA, 1969) and came to prominence in the early 1970s as an exponent of Photorealism, producing airbrushed paintings based on photographs of automobiles (e.g. Untitled, 1971; Aachen, Neue Gal.), the displays in shop windows or still-lifes, as in New Shoes for H (1973; Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.). He treated similar subjects in screenprints and in colour lithographs such as Red Mercedes (1972; see 1973 exh. cat., p. 35). Rather than basing a painting or print on a single photograph, as was the case with other photorealists, Eddy would work from as many as 40 photographs to ensure a consistently sharp focus for his often spatially complex images.

From the 1980s Eddy’s focus shifted away from photorealism towards metaphysics, with images placed in porteic relationships to one another; describing his art as ‘echoing ecosystems’....

Article

Sandra Sider

(b East Chicago, IN, 1933).

American installation and performance artist. Feminist artist Mary Beth Edelson created numerous private rituals, as well as installations and performances around the world relating to the “Great Goddess.” Edelson became famous in the early 1970s among members of the Women’s Movement for her collaged poster parodying Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper (c. 1495; Milan, S Maria delle Grazie) titled Some Living American Women Artists/Last Supper (1971), in which she replaced the central figure of Christ with Georgia O’Keeffe, and images of the disciples with women artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Louise Nevelson, and Yoko Ono. The original poster is now owned by the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Edelson, also a painter and book artist, has had artist’s books featured in several Book as Art exhibitions at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC. Recurring themes throughout her career have been female identity, how women are portrayed in art and the media, and women’s recognition as artists. Edelson’s opposition to the patriarchal establishment began while she was a senior at DePauw University, where she received her BA in ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Chicago, IL, Sept 6, 1967).

American sculptor. He completed his BFA at the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, in 1986. Edmier’s work concentrates on a perception of childhood and innocence from an adult perspective. Using recollection as the deciding factor in his choice of motif, he reprinted photographs he had taken as a child: Brookesfield Zoo (Ostrich), Valentines Day (Morning) and King Richards Renaissance Fair (all 1976–1993; see 1997 exh. cat., pp. 18–19). The photographs are linked through their opaque imagery, as in each work his finger is inadvertently placed over the lens. This use of frustrated, stillborn images shows his interest in using his own personal history as an unreadable past, in the stream of other wider cultural events. Continuing this methodology he created Evel Knievel (1996; see 1997 exh. cat., p. 21) a monument to the world-famous stunt rider, evoking a time when heroes were possible and ideology was certain in an adolescent’s mind. Edmier has evolved his artistic process into one that intertwined historical personalities with figures from his own past. ...