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Article

Lisa M. Binder

(b Anyako, Ghana, June 13, 1944).

Ghanaian sculptor, active in Nigeria. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sculpture (1968) and a postgraduate diploma in art education from the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana (1969). After graduation he taught at the Specialist Training College (now University of Winneba), Ghana, in a position vacated by the eminent sculptor Vincent Kofi. From 1975 he was Professor of Sculpture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Anatsui’s practice often makes use of found objects including bottle caps, milk-tins and cassava graters. However, he is not concerned with recycling or salvaging; instead he seeks meaning in the ways materials can be transformed to make statements about history, culture and memory.

His early work consists of ceramic sculptures manipulated to reconfigure pieces of memory. In 1978 he began his Broken Pots series, which was exhibited the following year at the British Council in Enugu, Nigeria. Several of the ceramic works were made of sherds that were fused together by a grog-like cement of broken pieces. Making art historical references to ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Merseyside, June 23, 1966).

English sculptor and conceptual artist. She studied at Kingston Polytechnic, Surrey (1986–9), and at Goldsmiths’ College of Art in London (1992–3). She had her first solo exhibition at City Racing, London, in 1994, and in the following year was included in General Release: Young British Artists at the XLVI Venice Biennale. Banner came to prominence with her ‘wordscapes’, large text works that recount the plots of feature films or other events. The first of these was Top Gun (pencil on paper, 2.13×4.57 m, 1993), a hand-written account of the film Top Gun presented on a cinematic scale. The ‘wordscapes’ led to the publication in 1997 of The Nam, 1000 pages of continuous text describing the Vietnam war movies Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Hamburger Hill and The Deer Hunter. This unreadable text points to the excess of violence in such films, the numbing of critical faculties, as well as the mythologizing and fictionalizing framing devices used to interpret historical events. Towards the end of the 1990s she became interested in the implications of punctuation signs, dwelling on their qualities as abstract marks that give structure to text. By selecting a variety of fonts, enlarging the full stop signs to ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

revised by Courtney Gerber

(b Fort Frances, Ont., Aug 29, 1966).

Canadian installation artist active in England. She studied at Goldsmiths’ College, London, graduating in 1988. In the same year she exhibited alongside artists such as Damien Hirst in the influential exhibition Freeze, curated by Hirst. Critics quickly identified the artists in this exhibition, including Bulloch, as the Young Britist Artists (YBAs), a nomenclature with which Bulloch expressed discomfort because it suggested a hermetic grouping (Bussel, p. 33). Bulloch’s work consistently focuses on interfaces and context shifts, it explores the myriad of outcomes and power plays brought about when contact between audience and art, site and art, form and content, or a combination of these connections occurs within given boundaries. In her interactive pieces, viewers perform some kind of action in order to trigger a response from the work at hand. Because Bulloch sets the parameters within which such interactions transpire, viewers do not gain absolute control over the artwork, in spite of their collaboration in its interpretation. In ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Lahore, 1962; d London, Sept 1994).

British sculptor of Pakistani birth. He studied at Goldsmiths College, London (1987–90). After initially working in a wide variety of media, Butt settled exclusively on installations in the late 1980s. Because of his early death little of his work has become widely known, but that which has demonstrates by an interest in alchemy and a thematic preoccupation with seduction, pleasure and danger. Transmission (1990; see 1995 exh. cat., p. 65) comprises a circle of objects that look like open books, resting on the floor. The glass pages reveal a triffid motif that is lit by dangerous ultra-violet light. The series Familiars includes some of his best-known work and is concerned with the dichotomy between physical impurity and divine grace. It also derives from his interest in chemical properties, each of the three parts employing a different member of the chemical family of halogens: Substance Sublimation Unit (1992; see 1995 exh. cat., pp. 72–3) employs iodine confined in tubes set up in a ladder formation (the form was inspired by the mythical Santa Scala, or Holy Ladder of Perfection); ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b London, Nov 8, 1965).

English conceptual artist, photographer and film maker. He studied History of Art at Manchester University (1985–8) and Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ College, London (MFA, 1992–4). In 1990 he began a series of works by placing advertisements in the London magazine Loot and various newspapers, inviting people who thought they looked like God to send in their picture; this evolved into The God Look-Alike Contest (1992–3; London, Saatchi Gal.), exhibited in the Sensation exhibition (London, RA, 1997) and consisting of the original advertisement and the responses he received. For Involva (1995; see 1999 exh. cat., pp. 19–21), he advertised in a sex contacts magazine, illustrating a drawing of a woodland clearing with the caption ‘Please will you join me here?’. He then photographed the letters he had in reply in a clearing similar to the one shown in his announcement. The process of asking a question that at first appears naive or absurd is a key strategy in Chodzko’s work, the final form of which is the product of other people’s imaginations. In the late 1990s he began to target specific groups for his projects, as in ...

Article

Zachary Baker

(b Kent, Oct 4, 1966; d Scotland, March 29, 2008).

English conceptual artist, photographer, painter and installation artist. He is associated primarily with the Goldsmiths’ College group, sometimes known as the ‘Freeze Generation’, which emerged in the late 1980s during Michael Craig-Martin’s period of teaching there. In February 1988, as a second year student, Fairhurst organized a small group exhibition at the Bloomsbury Gallery of the University of London Institute of Education; it included, alongside his own work, art by fellow students Mat Collishaw, Abigail Lane and Damien Hirst. This was a kind of precursory event for the more dynamic and famous Freeze exhibition of summer 1988, curated by Hirst, in which he also participated. In the early 1990s he was involved in many seminal events and exhibitions such as A Fête worse than Death (1993), on Charlotte Road and Rivington Street, London, curated by Joshua Compston (1971–96) and Factual Nonsense, and Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Karachi, Pakistan, April 18, 1968).

British film maker, installation artist and conceptual artist of Pakistani birth, active in England. She completed a BFA at Goldsmiths’ College, London, between 1991 and 1994. For her degree show she created Pushed/Pulled (1994; see 1998 exh. cat.), changing the door panels at the entrance to the college’s studios so that they read ‘Pushed’ and ‘Pulled’ rather than ‘Push’ and ‘Pull’. This kind of conceptual slippage is typical of Floyer’s work. In Light (1994; Berne, Ksthalle), a disconnected lightbulb is illuminated by the beams from four slide projectors; the blandly descriptive title, like the work itself, is both truthful and paradoxically misleading, undermining the viewer’s expectations of the object’s functionality. Floyer uses these dislocations to produce situations in which viewers are made to feel very selfconscious about what they should be seeing, often using projections as a means of producing apparent displacements of objects or sounds. In the video ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Glasgow, 1963).

British installation artist. She studied at Kingston Polytechnic (1984–5), and Goldsmiths’ College, London (1985–8). In 1992 she created the installation Red on Green at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. For this she beheaded ten thousand roses and laid the blooms in a dense mass on a thick bed of their stalks. A core aspect of her work is change and transformation: in this case it occurred as a decay, the flowers decomposing throughout the period of the exhibition. The strong poetic associations of this work, the rose as symbol of love rotting in what could be seen as a mass grave, were tempered by formal associations with the work of Minimalist predecessors such as Carl Andre and Richard Serra. The title of the installation also made reference to a painting by Mark Rothko. In all these cases Gallaccio recasts hitherto masculine traditions within a feminine aesthetic. Both the ephemerality and site-specificity of all her work make it notoriously difficult to document. Gallaccio is careful to discard all the material related to an installation once it has closed and resists photographic documentation; in this sense her work is anti-monumental, unconcerned with a legacy outside the memories of those who witnessed it. For instance, ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Aylesbury, April 13, 1964).

English conceptual artist. He studied at Hertfordshire College of Art (1983–4) and Goldsmiths’ College, London (1984–7). Gillick characterized his early work as ‘displacement activity’, a method of working that was parallel to certain professional methods but that opened their processes to question. His first exhibition (London, Karsten Schubert Gal., 1989) demonstrated this device in relation to architecture: using a computer programme, Gillick produced a series of drawings for buildings that were deliberately faulty or unworkable as architecture. In the early 1990s he launched a similar project with photographer Henry Bond (b 1966) in which they operated as a news team in order to examine the procedures behind news-gathering; the result became the series Documents (1991). Following these works, Gillick began to produce art in the form of scripts and text-based proposals, sometimes in book form, though related works also emerged from them: ...

Article

Octavia Nicholson

(Steven)

(b Bristol, June 7, 1965).

English sculptor, installation artist, painter, and printmaker. He was a leading figure in the group of ‘Young British Artists’ who emerged, predominantly in London, in the 1990s. He studied at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1986–9), and in 1988 curated the exhibition Freeze, which provided a new platform to show his own work and that of many of his Goldsmiths’ contemporaries, some of whom have since become internationally renowned. His works are explicitly concerned with the fundamental dilemmas of human existence; his constant themes have included the fragility of life, society’s reluctance to confront death, and the nature of love and desire, often clothed in titles which exist somewhere between the naive and the disingenuous. The works typically make use of media that challenge conventional notions of high art and aesthetic value and subject-matter that critiques the values of late 20th-century culture.

Dead animals are frequently used in Hirst’s installations, forcing viewers to consider their own and society’s attitudes to death. Containers such as aquariums and vitrines are also hallmarks of his work; reflecting the formal influence of Minimalism and certain sculptures by Jeff Koons, they are used as devices to impose control on the fragile subject-matter contained within them and as barriers between the viewer and the viewed. ...

Article

Andrew Cross

(b London, May 13, 1963).

English sculptor, installation artist and draughtsman. After completing his BFA at Loughborough College of Art in 1983, he returned to London to take an MFA at Goldsmiths’ College in London (1985–8); his fellow students included Damien Hirst, Gary Hume and Sarah Lucas on the BFA course. He showed with other Goldsmiths’ graduates in the exhibitions Freeze I (London, Surrey Docks, 1988) and East Country Yard Show (London, 1990). His work at this time combined a formalism with a realist aesthetic: vast installations mimicking Minimalist sculpture but employing the materials and vernacular of street market stalls, including Market (installed London, Building One, 1990). Accompanied by video footage of actual street markets, the work indicated Landy’s concerns with the value of commodity exchange and production as well as with the interplay between materiality in art (with a nod to the Minimalism of Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt) and an aesthetic based on everyday activities. The social relations present in the processes of production and exchange continued to inform installations such as ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Penzance, 1967).

English sculptor and installation artist. She studied at Bristol Polytechnic (1985–6) and Goldsmiths’ College, London (1986–9). She had her first solo exhibition, Abigail Lane: Making History, at Karsten Schubert, London, in 1992. Lane’s work of the early 1990s dealt with the presentation of bodily traces as forensic evidence. For her installation Bottom Wallpaper (exh. Lucerne, Ksthalle, 1992) she papered the gallery walls with a repeating pattern of female bottom-prints, the space also containing a chair whose seat had been converted into a large blue ink-pad; a smaller version of this work, Blue Print (1992; London, Saatchi Gal.), consists of a single chair facing one framed print of this type. Wallpaper was used again in the exhibition Skin of the Teeth (London, ICA, 1995), this time with a motif of bloody hand-prints and drips, based on a police photograph of a murder scene. The space contained other objects, such as a Jack Russell terrier petrified in cement and cast body parts hanging from the ceiling, forming an unsettling and highly suggestive scene. The uncanny (...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b London, Oct 23, 1962).

English sculptor, installation artist and photographer. She studied in London at the Working Men’s College (1982–3), London College of Printing (1983–4), and Goldsmiths’ College (1984–7) and emerged as one of the major Young British Artists during the 1990s, with a body of highly provocative work. In the early 1990s she began using furniture as a substitute for the human body, usually with crude genital punning. In works such as Bitch (table, t-shirt, melons, vacuum-packed smoked fish, 1995; see exh. cat., 1996, pp. 54–5), she merges low-life misogynist tabloid culture with the economy of the ready-made, with the intention of confronting sexual stereotyping. As with earlier works in which she had displayed enlarged pages from the Sunday Sport newspaper, the intention was to attack stereotyping on its own ground, using a base language given critical viability by an affinity to previous movements such as Situationism and Surrealism. She is also known for her confrontational self-portraits, such as ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Düsseldorf, Dec 27, 1965).

German sculptor, painter and installation artist, active in Wales. She studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1987–90), before going on to study for an MA in Sculpture at Chelsea College of Art and Design, London (1991–2). Her work in the mid-1990s focused on modelling small three-dimensional recreations of paintings by German Romantic artists such as Caspar David Friedrich, contained in glass tanks which were filled with saline solution and dye to reproduce the dramatic sunsets and skies. Neudecker accentuated the kitsch fantasy of these landscapes, making the imagined mountains and hills ‘real’ as objects, albeit in miniature form. The Sea of Ice 1997; Eastbourne, Towner A.G. & Local Hist. Mus.) is typical of these works. The associations with German history, and in particular with Hitler’s appropriation of Romanticism, forms a cultural backdrop to these landscapes that unsettles the innocent, childlike imagery. Maps are another important motif in Neudecker’s exploration of the ways in which cultural identity is affected by personal conceptions of geography and history. In an ongoing project initiated in ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b London, Dec 12, 1958).

English sculptor, painter, printmaker and installation artist. He studied at Goldsmiths’ College (1979–82) under Michael Craig-Martin, for whom he briefly worked as an assistant, and emerged as an influential figure on the British art scene in the 1980s, with a highly inventive series of painted metal sculptures. These humorous and playful sculptures combined a loosely painted imagery with steel shapes, as in the case of This One Took Ages to Make (1983; New York, Mr and Mrs A. Safir priv. col., see 1994 exh. cat., p.15), representing a red typewriter supported by the loose pages that fall from it. Towards the end of the 1980s his sculptures became larger, more austere and minimal, and were often based on a relationship between art and architecture. As his work developed it dealt increasingly with the exploration of visual and spatial experience, often with reference to digital simulation. Imagine You are Walking (1–18)...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Redhill, Surrey, May 26, 1970).

English conceptual artist. He studied at Goldsmiths’ College in London (1989–92) and quickly established himself in the mid-1990s with a highly formalist conceptual art concerned with issues relating to sign systems, copies, perception and representation. Diptych (1995; see 1996 exh. cat.), one of his earliest pieces, renders the symbols of two road signs on separate small cushions. Carcass (dissected map in acrylic case, 2×1.1×0.4 m, 1995; London, Saatchi Gal.) is a map of England, Wales and Scotland, turned upside down and suspended in a clear box, from which everything has been painstakingly cut out apart from major motorways and arterial roads. Such works typify one thread of investigation within his practice, which concerns our ability to recognize common symbols even when they are altered. He explored this further in a series of pieces with national flags, such as Commune (1998; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 34), which consists of 31 flags whose individual markings remain conventional, but whose colours are all a uniform dark red. Parsons also explored issues surrounding mark-making and abstraction: these came together with his interest in sign systems in the painting ...

Article

Andrew Cross

revised by Mary Chou

(b London Aug 9, 1962).

British sculptor, painter and installation artist. Born to Nigerian parents, he grew up in Nigeria before returning to England to study Fine Art in London at Byam Shaw School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College where he completed his MFA. Shonibare’s West African heritage has been at the heart of his work since he started exhibiting in 1988, when he began using ‘Dutch-wax’ dyed fabrics, commonly found in Western Africa, both for wall-mounted works (as pseudo paintings) and for sculpted figures. Generally perceived as ‘authentic’African cloth, the tradition of Batik originated in Indonesia, and was appropriated by the Dutch who colonized the country. Manufactured in Holland and Britain, the cloth was then shipped to West Africa where it became the dress of the working class in nations such as Nigeria. Shonibare used the material as a way of deconstructing the more complex histories that determine these and other images of ethnicity. As such, he has been described as a ‘post-cultural hybrid’ or the ‘quintessential postcolonial artist’ by critics as well as the artist himself....

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Castle Eden, nr Hartlepool).

English sculptor, installation artist, curator and writer. She studied at Sunderfield Polytechnic between 1980 and 1983 and Goldsmiths’ College, London, between 1984 and 1986. In the early 1990s she used furniture and domestic objects as sculptural materials, reworking them so that they became art objects, as with Shadow Box (1990; see 1997 exh. cat.). Here a padded leather seat, which seems to be a typical gallery bench, is echoed by an abstract wall relief, also in leather; closer inspection reveals that the latter is sewn into squares that could be the interior of the seat, inducing the sensation both of sitting on the installation and of looking at what is normally ignored or unseen in the gallery. For Gold Card (1992; see 1997 exh. cat.) Smith placed gold credit cards bearing the message ‘I wanna be your fantasy’ in various phone booths along Charing Cross Road in London, adjacent to cards advertising the services of prostitutes; the invitation to use the card to buy intimacy linked ‘acceptable’ consumer lust with the taboo sale of the fantasises on display next to them. Smith often created viewing situations that encourage a reassessment of the values represented by everyday objects and scenarios, transforming the ordinary into trophies or mementos that lay bare uncomfortable associations. In the sculpture ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Tokyo, July 20, 1966).

Japanese installation artist active in England. She studied painting at the Tama Art University, Tokyo (1985–9), and then moved to London to take a foundation course (1990–91) and complete a BFA at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1991–4), followed by postgraduate study in sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1994–6). From 1997–8 she was an Associate Research Student at Goldsmiths’ College, London. She achieved widespread recognition after winning the seventh EAST International Exhibition Prize in 1997, and in 2000 was shortlisted for the Turner Prize. She had her first solo exhibition, Company Deal, at Claydon Heeley International, Battersea, London, in 1997. In her complex and cluttered installations Takahashi raises questions concerning technology and consumerism, obsolescence and waste, order and chaos. Her installation Line Out (1998; mixed media, London, Saatchi Gal.), which formed the central work for the exhibition New Neurotic Realism...