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Eric Fernie

(Jerzy)

(b Stara Osota, now Ukraine, Sept 12, 1915; d London, Sept 8, 2008).

Polish art historian of medieval sculpture, active in England. Zarnecki received an MA from the Jagiellonian University, Kraków, in 1938 and where he also worked until 1939 at which stage the outbreak of war disrupted his academic career. His distinguished military career led to him being awarded the Polish Cross of Valour and later the French Croix de Guerre. He was interned in Spain after escaping from a prisoner of war camp where he was held from 1940 to 1942. After serving with the Polish Army in Britain he joined the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1945 where he became Deputy Director (1961–74) and where he was based until his retirement in 1982.

It was in London that Zarnecki began his university career afresh in 1945. He did so with little previous standing as a scholar outside Poland. The two chief experiences of his immediate past were his intellectual training in Kraków from ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b Istanbul, 1901; d Amman, Sept 5, 1991).

Turkish painter . The daughter of Shakir Pasha, a Turkish general, diplomat and historian, she was brought up in a distinguished family of statesmen and intellectuals. She went to the Academy of Fine Arts, Istanbul, in 1920, where she studied under Namık Ismail (1890–1935), and then to Paris in 1927, where she studied at the Académie Ranson under Roger Bissière. On returning to Istanbul, she joined an association of young Turkish painters known as the D Group, which was founded in 1933. In 1934 she married the Hashemite prince Zeid El-Hussein, a diplomat, and accompanied him on postings to Berlin, London and Paris. She had private exhibitions in Istanbul in 1944 and 1945, and then in 1946 at Izmir and the Musée Cernuschi, Paris. After World War II, when she moved back to western Europe, she had further exhibitions in London, Paris, Brussels, New York and elsewhere. She participated in the ...

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(b Chicontepec, Veracruz, Jan 1, 1947).

Mexican draughtsman, printmaker, painter, and illustrator. Zenil is known for his reworking of recognizable Pop Mexicanist imagery—or known icons of Mexicanismo (mexicanidad; Mexican identity and culture)—such as the Mexican flag, sacred heart, Virgin of Guadalupe, calaveras (skulls), and lotería (Mexican bingo) symbols among others—while collapsing boundaries of the sacred and the profane and challenging the heteronormative. Zenil has been dubbed a member of the stylistic movement neomexicanidad (Neo-Mexicanism), alongside such Mexican artists as Javier de la Garza (b 1954), Julio Galán, and Rocío Maldonado. Zenil has acknowledged Enrique Guzmán (1952–86) as the initiator of Neo-Mexicanism in his work Oh Santa Bandera (a Enrique Guzmán) (1996; Mexico City, Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo), which is a reworking Guzmán’s ¡Oh! Santa bandera! (1977) that reiterates Guzmán’s early ironic reinterpretation of Mexican iconography as cultural critique.

A pioneer of Mexican Post-modernism in using strategies of appropriation, fragmentation, parody, and text, Zenil rejected the dominant style of ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Planegg, Bavaria, Nov 6, 1948).

German painter. He studied Philosophy and Comparative Religion at the Freie Universität in Berlin (1973–9). In May 1977 he was involved in the founding of the Galerie am Moritzplatz in West Berlin, where later that year he had his first solo exhibition, Flut. He was associated at this time with the 'Neue Wilden' painters, including Rainer Fetting, Helmut Middendorf and Salomé, whose works were shown to a wide public for the first time in the exhibition Heftige Malerei (Berlin, Haus Waldsee). He was awarded the Karl-Schmidt-Rottluff Stipend for 1979–81 and later completed residencies in Rome (1982–4) and Rapallo (1987–8). Through his richly coloured, gestural paintings Zimmer consistently explored aspects of nature and landscape. In series of paintings dealing with types of landscapes or elemental aspects of nature he often referred to journeys that he had made, as in the Wüstenbilder (‘desert paintings’) series (...

Article

(b May 28, 1952).

British performance artist, sculptor, photographer and writer. She studied Russian and Arabic at Leeds University (1970–72), and completed her foundation studies at Croydon College of Art (1972–3). She then studied fine art at Goldsmith’s College, London (1973–6), where the progressive approach to contemporary art led her to design her own course of study, which focused on all aspects of performance art. Influences upon her work include Yves Klein and Bruce McLean. Her ability to deflate the pretentious and absurd in daily life was demonstrated in unrehearsed, highly skilled displays of intuitive stagecraft. These are extended monologues that engage the audience with a mesmerising mixture of mimicry, metaphors, verbal and visual clichés and that explore the conventions of suburban existence and the domestic role of women (e.g. Rubbergloverama-Drama; 1980, London, ICA). Although known primarily as a performance artist, she also made sculptural works and ‘costume constructions’ initially created in connection with a performance, but which later existed as autonomous objects. Ziranek also took photographs, wrote (e.g. ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Sausalito, CA, Sept 6, 1965).

American sculptor and installation artist. She studied painting and sculpture at San Diego State University in San Diego, CA, graduating in 1988. She then went on to study for her MFA in sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, graduating in 1990. In 1992 she set up A–Z Administrative Services, a company which aimed to streamline domestic objects and rituals. For Prototypes for Container, Cover, Support (1993; see 1993 exh. cat., pp. 29–30), Zittel made the objects itemized in the title and gave them to a group of volunteers who then recorded their experiences of using them. Each object was designed to be as multi-functional as possible: the container, for example, could be used as a bowl, a holder and a vase. Zittel expanded on these ideas of functional living by making self-contained units for dining, study and recreation. In 1993 she began to customize the units according to the client for whom they were designed, such as the ...

Article

Robbert Ruigrok

(b Aktyubinsk, Kazakhstan, Feb 7, 1945).

Israeli painter, Playwright and theatre director of Kazakh birth. He moved to Israel with his parents when he was four. Having displayed an early artistic talent, Zohar had his first drawing lessons when he was 14. After three years in the army (from 1963), he entered the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. His teachers included Ernst Fuchs, the Viennese fantastic realist painter, who was highly influential on Zohar. Also important in his development were travels in Britain and the Netherlands, where he saw Dutch Old Master collections and in particular the work of Johannes Vermeer. Zohar’s first one-man show (1970) was at the Ahuva Doran Gallery in Tel Aviv. After exhibiting in further solo and group shows, in 1979 he lectured at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Zohar’s paintings of this period reflected strongly the influence of Vermeer in style and subject-matter. By the 1980s his work became more expressionistic and larger in scale. A retrospective in ...

Article

Matthew Gale

(b Andorno Micca, nr Biella, Piedmont, Sept 21, 1944).

Italian sculptor, performance artist and conceptual artist . He studied painting and sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Turin (1963–70) and held his first one-man show at the Galleria Sperone, Turin, in 1967. Use of such non-artistic materials as the scaffolding and foam of Chair (1967; New York, Sonnabend Gal.) ensured his inclusion in Arte Povera (1968; Bologna, Gal. de Foscherari) and performance at Arte Povera—azioni povere (1968; Amalfi, Arsenale). Zorio’s characteristic pieces rejected sculptural weight and solidity by use of cantilevers or suspension and reactions over time or with the environment. Several incorporated light; Phosphorescent Fist (1971; Paris, Pompidou) was lit and plunged into darkness, alternatively absorbing and emitting and absorbing energy, being lit and then unlit.

In common with his friend Giovanni Anselmo, Zorio raised linguistic problems, as in Odio (‘Hatred’), axed into a wall at Documenta 5, Kassel (1972), but his concern with energy led to experiments with both chemical and physical instability. He initiated gradual chemical reactions in his materials, which continued beyond the period of making, and used Olympic javelins to provide cantilevers; when combined with fragile, glass vessels or with the emblematic form of the five-pointed star (e.g. ...

Article

Tom Williams

(b Chicago, IL, 1941).

American painter. He received a BFA (1964) and an MFA (1966) from the Art Institute of Chicago, and he subsequently moved to New York. In 1979, his work was included in the important New Image Painting exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and it has subsequently been compared with that of other artists of this generation, including Jennifer Bartlett, Neil Jenney and Robert Moskowitz (b 1935). He is particularly known for using cotton balls dipped in acrylic paint to make mosaic-style images that reflected on, among other things, the history of cotton and Byzantine mosaics.

During the early 1970s, Zucker began making images by applying cotton balls in gridded arrangements to the surfaces of his canvases. The resulting compositions presented idiosyncratic elaborations of modernist painting’s medium specificity under the guise of the image’s return. Zucker achieved this effect by substituting cotton balls for the stretched cotton canvas that was so often described as the essence of painting by modernist critics. His work has often featured whimsical subjects such as pirate ships, wizards and blimps, but he has typically subjected them to a process of formal transformation that downplayed their conventional meanings. In a series of compositions from the early 1990s, for example, he stretched sash cord across wooden panels to create eccentric grids that suggested the contours of cactuses in radically abstract form. Subsequently, he made a series of “box paintings” in which he poured liquid paint into the recessed spaces of partitioned wooden panels and allowed it to dry. The resulting compositions evoked the flat, modernist geometry of works by Picasso in the late 1920s or ...

Article

David Koloane

(b Ixopo, Jan 1, 1960).

South African mixed-media artist. He obtained his BA in Fine Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. In 1995 he was invited to Reunion Island to create a work as part of a project to engage artists from around the Indian Ocean: Seven Artists, Seven Countries. He exhibited in Trade Routes: History and Geography, the Second Johannesburg Biennale, in 1997, and that same year was a member of the Amakhona Art Centre. Zulu is one of the few black artists who have departed from the trodden path of paint and brushes. In place of a brush he uses a blowtorch, and instead of paint, fire and smoke, which he controls on a blank canvas to delineate form and image; for him, beauty is in form, not content. His pieces depict struggle and make reference to history, religion, art and politics. He works in patterns and metaphors, with pyrotechnic effects. The ashes and charred surfaces are references to oppressive social conditions experienced by South African blacks, with fire symbolism, for example, suggesting the scorched earth policies employed by warring factions in different areas of the country. His fire remains under control, however, though society sometimes seems out of control. His environmental installations comprise scorched roots, grasses and bulbs that also suggest healing qualities inherent in nature and tradition....