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Wojciech Włodarczyk

(b Kraków, July 25, 1953).

Polish sculptor and poster designer. Between 1973 and 1978 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in the sculpture studio of Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz. From 1978 he exhibited and took part in sculptural symposia (on marble and granite) in Poland, Italy, France and Germany. Between 1976 and 1981 he designed posters for the Laboratory Theatre (Teatr Laboratorium) of Jerzy Grotowski.

Bednarski became one of the leading representatives in Poland of the ‘new sculpture’ of the 1980s. He produced individual sculptures (up to the early 1980s in small numbers) and later tended towards installations and performances. Several recurrent elements (e.g. the plaster head of Karl Marx in different arrangements and variants shown at exhibitions in 1978, 1986 and 1988) and repeated motifs are evident in his work. He often drew on literature (Herman Melville and Joseph Brodsky) and on the realities of Polish Communism, usually employing familiar signs and symbols. These equivocal and diverse sculptures and installations are primarily autobiographical. His most important installation, ...

Article

Simon Njami

(b Karentaba, 1954).

Senegalese painter and furniture designer. He graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure d’Education Artistique and the International School of Art and Research, Nice. He taught at the Ecole Nationale des Arts and in 1997 was president of the National Association of Fine Arts, Senegal, as well as a member of the Economic and Social Council of Senegal. In the 1980s his ‘dense and emotive’ works were figurative and dealt with general issues such as violence. His work of the mid-1990s was made with strips of cotton cloth, fashioned on canvases so as to create areas of three-dimensional relief, and colored with browns and ochres. He also created brightly coloured figurative acrylic pieces on paper. He exhibited in the first (1995) and second (1997) Johannesburg Biennale and at other international shows in Senegal, Russia, Belgium, Switzerland, Burkina-Faso, Argentina, the USA and elsewhere. His furniture designs include a table made from old machinery parts, gears, hoes and glass, which was included in Dak’Art ’98. In the late 1990s he was considered one of Senegal’s pre-eminent artists....

Article

Pat Kirkham and Anne Blecksmith

Design process applied to goods produced, usually by machine, by a system of Mass production based on the division of labour. The terms ‘industrial design’ and ‘industrial designer’ were first coined in the 1920s in the USA to describe those specialist designers who worked on what became known as product design. The history of industrial design is usually taken to start with the industrialization of Western Europe, in particular with the Industrial Revolution that began in Britain in the second half of the 18th century. The main focus of attention then moved to the USA and Germany when they industrialized and, in the second half of the 19th century, began to challenge Britain’s supremacy as ‘the workshop of the world’. After World War II, Italy, the former Federal Republic of Germany, and Japan each challenged the USA for world supremacy in industrial design.

In the period before 1850 Britain became established as ‘the workshop of the world’, exporting manufactured goods to a host of other nations. There was a gradual separation in most areas of manufacture between design, entrepreneurial activities, and the ...

Article

A. E. Duffey

(b Bournemouth, Dec 4, 1942).

South African potter of English birth. He moved to South Africa with his parents in 1947 and trained as a commercial artist at the Durban Art School. After a six-month sculpture course he started a pottery apprenticeship at the Walsh Marais Studio in Durban and continued his training with Sammy Liebermann (1920–84) in Johannesburg. In 1961 he took over the Walsh Marais Studio, but in 1964 he closed it and travelled to Europe, where he met such leading potters as Lucie Rie, Bernard Leach and Michael Cardew. He was invited to work at the Gustavberg factory near Stockholm and later went to Germany, where he started a pottery studio and signed a year’s contract to teach at the art academy in Hamburg. In 1967 he returned to South Africa and in 1968 established a studio at N’Shongweni in Natal. In 1969 he visited Japan and befriended Shōji Hamada, who strongly influenced him. Walford produced mainly functional but individual pieces....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Tønder, Denmark, April 2, 1914; d 2007).

Danish architect and furniture designer. He trained as a cabinetmaker and subsequently worked as a furniture designer in Arne Jacobsen's architectural practice; in 1943 he established his own design studio. Wegner's furniture draws on the craftsmanship of the Arts and Crafts movement and the Nordic tradition of functionalism, but with a cross-current from Chinese furniture. At the end of the 1940s he designed a series of innovative shell chairs, in wood. His most famous chair is the ‘Round’ chair (1949), a teak, oak and cane dining chair which became the iconic image of Wegner's career and of modern Danish design; its sales in America were boosted by its appearances in the televised debates between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy in the 1963 election campaign. Wegner's other chairs include the ‘Peacock’ (1947), which had a slatted back reminiscent of a peacock's plume, the folding chair (...

Article

Mary M. Tinti

(b Warsaw, April 14, 1943).

Polish designer and installation artist, active also in the USA . Wodiczko received his MFA in Industrial Design from the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, in 1968. He came to the United States by way of Canada, and in 1991 joined the ranks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he became Director of the Center for Art, Culture, and Technology (formerly the Center for Advanced Visual Studies) and head of the Interrogative Design Group.

Concerned with the social and philosophical implications behind notions of democracy, memory, trauma, testimony, nomadism, immigration, alienation, and marginalization, Wodiczko’s body of work grew to include interactive instruments, site strategic slide and video projections, and monuments to shared histories and recollections. Through his art, Wodiczko literally and metaphorically gave voice to those who could not speak or, for certain political or personal reasons, could not be heard.

In 1980 he began his public projection series of large-scale images on real-world architectural backdrops (to which he added sound and movement in the mid-1990s). By overlaying his phantom images on the actual edifice of a public building, Wodiczko asked audiences to consider how public sites signify—or fail to convey—important contemporary truths. His projections became increasingly more collaborative, and by ...