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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’ (...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(b Kliding, nr Koblenz, 1943).

German photographer, performance artist and video artist. He studied art at the Werkschule in Cologne from 1964 to 1970. In his work Klauke acted as his own model, exploring themes such as sexuality and social taboo, as in the 12-part photo-sequence Viva España (photographs on canvas, 1976–9; see von Weise), or banality, as in the 9-part photo-tableau Formalization of Boredom (1980–81; see 1981 exh. cat.). Klauke’s performances, such as Made in Germany (1978; Sydney, A.G. NSW), reflected the same concerns as his photography, for example the futility of existence and loss of identity in modern society. A number of his photographic series were published.

Klauke, Jürgen Sekunden, Tageszeichnungen und Polaroidfotos (Wiesbaden, 1970) Photosequenzen, 1979–1982 (Frankfurt, 1982) Zeitlebens (Cologne, 1983) Eine Ewigkeit, ein Lächeln (Cologne, 1986) Sequenzen: Fotofolgen zeitgenossischer Künstler (exh. cat. by U. M. Scheede, Hamburg, Kstver., 1977) S. von Weise: ‘Viva España’, Ausstellungsbl. Mod. Abt. Kstmus. Düsseldorf...

Article

Richard Dagenhart

(b Rotterdam, Nov 17, 1944).

Dutch architect, architectural theorist, and urbanist. Brought up in Rotterdam, Jakarta, and Amsterdam, Koolhaas studied script writing at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy in Amsterdam and was a film scriptwriter in Amsterdam and Los Angeles. He studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London (1968–72), where his ideas were shaped by the architectural neo-avant-garde of the 1960s. He continued his architectural studies at Cornell University (1972–5) and initiated conceptual design projects focused on contemporary metropolitan culture and New York City, including The City of the Captive Globe (1974), Hotel Sphinx (1975), and New Welfare Island/Palace Hotel (1975-6). He founded the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam in 1975 and wrote Delirious New York (1978) while he was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City. These experiences combined to set out a critical framework for his design practice by engaging and revealing the contradictions between architecture and urbanism—one humanist, human-scaled, and moral; the other technocratic, amoral, and global. This is the context that has framed his prolific writing and architecture/urban design practice in OMA and its media based twin, AMO....

Article

Sook-Kyung Lee

One of the characteristics of Korean contemporary art is a continuous effort in employing and interpreting international art practices and discourses. Art movements from Europe and North America in particular, including Abstract Expressionism, Art informel, Minimalism, Conceptual art and Post-modernism, have influenced many Korean artists’ styles and ideas since the 1950s, providing formal and conceptual grounds for critical understandings and further experiments. Whilst some artists who maintained traditional art forms such as ink painting and calligraphy exercised modernist styles and abstract forms largely within the norms and conventions of traditional genres, a large group of artists proactively adapted to Western styles, employing new materials and techniques as well as the notions of avant-garde and experimentalism (see fig.).

A major critique of the reception of Western art and aesthetics came from ‘Minjung art’ (People’s Art) in the 1980s as part of instigating a nationalist and politically charged art strategy. Several art historians and critics who emerged in the 1990s also expanded the scope of the debate with postcolonial and pluralist points of view. The shift in social, economic and political environments played an important role in changing sensibilities in art, along with the advances of technology and new media in the 2000s. The high degree of diversity and sophistication of Korean art in terms of media and subject matters became widely acknowledged within and outside the nation, and an increasing number of artists started to work on the cutting edge of international art....

Article

Éva Bajkay

(b Beszterce [now Bistriţa, Romania], Dec 1, 1908; d Budapest, Aug 17, 1984).

Hungarian painter, printmaker, collagist, teacher and experimental film maker. In 1921 he attended the Artur Podolni-Volkmann private school in Budapest, and in 1923 he spent a year in Holland. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest (1925–30), exhibiting in a group show in 1930 with artists associated with Lajos Kassák’s Work Circle (Munka-kört). After a period in Paris and Holland in 1930, he worked at the Szentendre colony in a Constructivist-Surrealist style similar to that of Lajos Vajda, drawing upon local and folk art motifs (e.g. Szentendre Motif, 1935; Budapest, N.G.), and the musical theory of Béla Bartók. Korniss fought in World War II, returning from a prisoner-of-war camp in 1945. He went on to make small monotypes of rooftops (e.g. Illuminations, c. 1946; Budapest, N.G.). In 1946 he joined the European School, and in 1947–8 he taught at the School of Crafts and Design, Budapest. His work became abstract and geometric, although symbolic meaning is conveyed in the most effective works (e.g. ...

Article

Maria F. Porges

(b Rock Springs, WY, Dec 23, 1942).

American sculptor and video artist. Kos was one of the leading figures of Bay Area conceptual art. He studied at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), where he received a BFA in 1965 and an MFA in 1967. He remained in the Bay Area for the rest of his career, though for many summers he returned to Wyoming, his place of birth, using the long road trip as an opportunity to conceive of and make new work. Although both his degrees were in painting, Kos was one of the first artists in Northern California to make performance-based film and video, and described himself as a materials-based conceptualist. In the summer of 1968, he experienced an artistic breakthrough while working at the vineyard of Rene di Rosa (1919–2010), an important collector of northern California art and patron of many young artists. What resulted was Kos’s ephemeral outdoor installation of a tower of salt blocks titled ...

Article

Darlene Tong

[La Mamelle Magazine; Art Contemporary; Art Com Magazine; Art Com]

American alternative artist organization active in San Francisco between 1975 and 1995. Founded in 1975 as La Mamelle, the organization promoted conceptual, primarily time-based artist activities including performance art, video art, correspondence art, and artists’ use of new technologies. From 1976 the organization was located in a South of Market loft at 70 12th Street in San Francisco. The space featured a large performance area and gallery, bookstore, video viewing facility, and a growing archive and collection documenting alternative art activities. As an educational non-profit organization, its doors were open to students as well as curators seeking information about artist activities that were taking place outside mainstream museums and commercial galleries. In 1980 the organization began using the name Art Com.

Early activities included publication from 1975 to 1984 of an artist magazine in print variously entitled La Mamelle Magazine, then Art Contemporary, and finally Art Com Magazine, which ran to 25 issues. Other publications included the newspaper ...

Article

(b Antwerp, Nov 17, 1945).

Belgian sculptor, video artist and installation artist. She studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et des Arts Visuels in Brussels (1975–8). Lafontaine first became known for her large, imposing, monochromatic woven-textile sculptures (e.g. Black Monochrome, cotton, 2.0×2.5 m, 1976; Ghent, Mus. Hedendaag. Kst). She was influenced by the work of such artists as Robert Ryman and Brice Marden and their ideas about the material nature of both colour and support. In 1979 she made her first video work, The Pile-driver, for an exhibition at the International Cultural Centre in Antwerp. As with her woven sculptures, the theme of repetition was central to this and subsequent videos. Repetition of the image and the slowing down of the speed of the film disrupted any narrative and also set up a rhythm that underlined its sensuous and material nature. Lafontaine’s decision to work with video installations enabled her to develop an interest in the closely related phenomena of aggression and desire: ...