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Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Saïda, Algeria, 1953).

French painter, sculptor, photographer, film maker, writer and installation artist of Algerian birth. Born to Spanish parents, he was much affected by North African as well as Southern European culture. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre. Despite a pervasive and diverse use of media, Alberola often stressed the coexistence of his different artistic practices as leading to painting alone. His paintings relied heavily on evocative narratives, at once personal and ‘historical’. Alberola conceived of his role as a storyteller, on the model of African oral cultures. Convinced that narratives could not be renewed, he argued that a painter’s main task was to reactivate his work through contact with his pictorial heritage. The main points of reference for his paintings of the early 1980s were Velázquez, Manet or Matisse, whose works he quoted in a personal way. In the early 1980s he undertook a series of paintings inspired by mythological subjects, which he combined with his own history as the principal subject-matter of his work. The biblical story of Susannah and the Elders as well as the Greek myth of Actaeon provided his most enduring subjects, both referring to the act of looking as taboo, as in ...

Article

Carol Magee

(b Dec 8, 1956).

Ethiopian painter, installation artist, graphic designer, and writer, active in the USA. She grew up in Addis Ababa in a family of painters before moving to the USA. She graduated from Howard University, Washington, DC, with a BFA in painting (1975) and returned in 1994 for an MFA. Her early works, based on dreams or visions, have richly textured surfaces. In the 1980s she abandoned her early palette of reds, ochres, and greens for one of purples and blues. Later paintings depict an urban environment and frequently evoke the feeling of dislocation and nostalgia that comes from living in a country that is not one’s own. Her use of themes and motifs from myriad cultures (including those of Ethiopia and Latin America) comes out of her experiences as a diasporic subject as well as the lives of the women around her. Her pieces often tell their stories, as in the Dream Dancers series (...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Nigeria, 1963).

Nigerian photographer, film maker, installation artist and writer active in Scotland. He studied Chemical Engineering at Strathclyde University, Glasgow (1981–85), before completing an MA in Media, Fine Art, Theory and Practice at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1996–8). Bamgboyé’s earliest work was photographic: The Lighthouse series (1989; see 1998 book, p. 65) initiated his interest in the representation of black masculinity by depicting his own naked body in often theatrical contortions, amid mundane domestic rooms; the frames of the photographs are attached to coat hangers, underlining the theme of domesticity and pointing to his interest in the changeable character of subjectivity. These themes were further explored in films, which he began to make in 1993: Spells for Beginners (1994; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 74) explores the breakdown of his long-term relationship with a woman through a broken mix of confessional dialogue and fleeting images of their home. The installation of which this film is a part takes the form of an ordinary living room and is typical of Bamgboyé’s technique of adumbrating his imagery with sculptural motifs that emphasize his themes. In other films he explored the issue of migration: ...

Article

Michelle Yun

(b New York, Feb 5, 1960).

American multimedia artist, curator, and writer. Blake received a BA from Bard College, Annadale-on-Hudson, NY, in 1982 and an MFA from the California Institute of Arts in Valencia in 1984. Upon graduation he moved to San Francisco where he worked as a curator at New Langton Arts, San Francisco, until his return to New York in 1996. Most notable of his curated exhibitions was In a Different Light, at the University Art Museum, Berkeley, in 1995, the first museum exhibition to examine the influence of lesbian and gay artists on contemporary art. In 2003 Blake became the founding Chair of the International Center of Photography/Bard Masters Program in Advanced Photographic Studies at the International Center for Photography in New York.

Blake’s performances, installations, and curated exhibitions have consistently tackled issues relating to sexuality, race, and representation. In his youth the artist was influenced by Joseph Cornell, and early sculptures such as ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Pittsburgh, PA, Aug 23, 1940).

American conceptual artist, draughtsman, painter, and writer. He studied painting at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh (BFA, 1962). In 1964 Bochner moved to New York. His first exhibition (1966), described by Benjamin Buchloch as the first conceptual art exhibition, was held at the Visual Arts Gallery, School of Visual Arts, New York, and titled Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to be Viewed as Art. In his work he investigated the relation between thinking and seeing. In his first mature works (1966), which are both conceptual and perceptual in basis and philosophical in content, he was interested to eliminate the ‘object’ in art and to communicate his own feelings and personal experience, and he did not wish to accept established art-historical conventions. He also experimented with word-drawings (see fig.) and number systems. For his Measurement series (late 1960s) he used black tape and Letraset to create line drawings accompanied by measurements directly on to walls, effectively making large-scale diagrams of the rooms in which they were installed. Bochner continued to make series of installational line drawings into the 1970s and 1980s, but from ...

Article

Hilary Gresty

(b Sheffield, July 24, 1941).

English conceptual artist, writer and photographer. He studied painting at the Royal College of Art from 1962 to 1965 and philosophy and fine art at Yale University from 1965 to 1967. From the late 1960s he adhered to Conceptual art using combinations of photographic images and printed texts to examine the relationship between apparent and implicit meaning. In his ...

Article

Sophie Howarth

(b Córdoba, 1955; d Córdoba, Nov 2, 1993).

Spanish draughtsman, painter, sculptor, installation artist, performance artist and writer. In both his art and writing Espaliú, who studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Seville, was influenced by the existentialist philosophy of the French writer Jean Genet (1910–86). His works of the mid-1980s included drawings of masks and faces and a series of hollow leather sculptures known as Saints. Later, Espaliú’s works all related to his identity and experience as a homosexual and, eventually, to his HIV-positive status; he was to die of AIDS-related illnesses while still in his late thirties, and a strong sense of his frailty and imminent mortality marks his mature work. Several sculptures from 1992 involved steel cages used as metaphors for both confinement and protection. These include Untitled (1992; Seville, La Máquina Española, see 1994 London exh. cat.), an installation made originally for the Hospital de la Venerable Orden III in Madrid. As illness made Espaliú weaker and more dependent on others, he embarked on a project entitled ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Woking, Surrey, Sept 29, 1944).

English writer, installation artist and sculptor. He studied at Guildford School of Arts and Crafts (1960–65) and at the Royal Academy Schools, London (1965–8). Furlong has come to be known above all for his work with recorded sound, yet his earliest pieces had a more traditional notion of sculptural form and appeared to emerge out of the Constructivist tradition. Construction of a System (1967–8; see 1969 exh. cat.) is a wall-mounted box containing wires and electrical components that suggest the insides of a machine. In 1973 he founded Audio Arts, a tape-based magazine project, which proved formative to his career. It grew out of his fascination with the new technology of the cassette recorder, which he used to record interviews and more informal dialogues with other artists, conducted both by himself and others. In some sense this documentary project remained separate from Furlong’s work as an artist, but sometimes the two were combined, as in ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

(b Mexico City, 1955).

Mexican–American performance and installation artist and writer. Guillermo Gómez-Peña studied linguistics and Latin American literature at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (1974–8) in Mexico City. He moved to Los Angeles in 1978 and received both his BA (1981) and his MA (1983) from the California Institute of the Arts. A performance artist, writer, activist and educator, Gómez-Peña’s work addresses the north–south border and US–Mexican interactions. He pioneered performance art, experimental radio, video and installation art.

Gómez-Peña relocated to San Diego in the early 1980s, where he co-founded the performative collaborative Poyesis Genética in 1981 with Sara-Jo Berman. In 1984 he was a founding member of the Border Art Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo (BAW/TAF), originally based at the Centro Cultural de la Raza, Balboa Park, where he collaborated until 1990.

Gómez-Peña became known for his densely written texts, often expressed through newspaper, radio or experimental publications, including the early border journal ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant and Margaret Rose Vendryes

(b Cleveland, OH, 1959).

American printmaker, film maker, installation and conceptual artist and writer.

Green, of African descent, has worked primarily with film-based media, and has published criticism and designed installations that reveal her commitment to ongoing feminist and black empowerment movements. She earned her BA from Wesleyan University in 1981 and also spent some time at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1980, returning in the late 1980s to study in the Whitney Independent Study Program, graduating in 1990. At the age of 24 she began exhibiting her comparative compositions containing found objects, images, and texts that question recorded history.

Green’s work deals with issues of anthropology and travel. By undertaking projects via the methodology of the 19th-century explorer, she exposed the arbitrary and prejudiced nature of classification, as in Bequest (1991; see 1993 exh. cat.), an installation she made at the invitation of the Worcester Museum of Art to commemorate their 50th anniversary. Using the museum as a ready-made stage set, she installed works of art alongside 19th-century texts explaining stereotypes of whiteness and blackness. Green characteristically intervened in the history of her chosen site to produce a fiction that included her own responses as an African American woman to her findings. In ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Newport, Wales, April 5, 1942).

British film maker, painter, writer, draughtsman, curator and installation artist. He was brought up in Walthamstow, London, studying design at Walthamstow School of Art between 1960 and 1964. After he left college he decided that he would go into the film industry and worked as a film journalist and an editing assistant before getting a job at the Crown Film Unit in 1965. He spent the next 11 years as an editor at the unit making short public information films. He continued to paint, with an increasing preoccupation being the classification and numbering of objects and events, as in Computer Vocabulary (1968; see 1998 exh. cat., pl. 12). In the mid-1960s he began to make short experimental films that often incorporated these ideas, as in A Walk Through H (1978) that includes shots of his paintings used as maps and landscapes. In the 1980s he gained a large new audience with his feature films, which continued to use painterly tableaux and intricate classification, as in ...

Article

Annie Dell’Aria

American painter, sculptor, conceptual artist, writer and curator. Hammond became active in feminist and lesbian art circles following her move to New York in 1969 after receiving her BA from the University of Minnesota in 1967. Hammond soon co-founded the feminist cooperative gallery AIR in ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Chorley, Lancs, Oct 18, 1964).

English conceptual artist, curator and writer. He studied Fine Art at Newcastle Polytechnic (1984–7). Strongly influenced by the tradition of text-based conceptual art, he depended consistently on literary sources, treating texts as ready-mades to create what he describes as ‘found conceptual art’. A keen reader of detective novels, in the early 1990s he began to make work by isolating comments about artists from crime or romance genre fiction. The installation Total Despair (exh. London, Frith Street Gal., 1995) involved mounting all the pages of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Despair in a grid and crossing out all the words except those of an artist who complains about his lack of success. Evolving out of this came a project to commission artists to produce pictures from descriptions of abstract paintings featured in crime novels; Chris Ofili and Peter Doig both participated in this venture, the results of which were exhibited in London at the Anthony Wilkinson Gallery in ...

Article

Klaus Ottmann

(b New York, Sept 24, 1955).

American sculptor, installation artist, draughtsman, photographer, and writer. Horn studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and at the Yale University School of Art. From 1975 she began to travel frequently to Iceland, whose primordial, unstable landscape influenced her artistic practice.

Always intent to maintain the integrity of her chosen materials, be it solid glass, literature, or the volcanic topography of Iceland, Horn created complex relationships between the viewer and her work. She was less interested in the meaning of the work (the ‘why’ and ‘what’) and more in the interaction of action and being the ‘how’, ultimately creating art that unites both.

Her series of aluminium sculptures, which feature fragments from the writings of Franz Kafka and Emily Dickinson, such as Kafka’s Palindrome (1991–4) or Keys and Cues (1994), are reminiscent of the Minimalist sculptures of Donald Judd and Michael Fried’s famous definition of Minimalist art as ‘literal art’. However, Horn’s ‘literal’ transfer of words onto matter changes the meaning of both the original words and the materials used: taken out of context, the meaning of the original words becomes amalgamated with the meaning embedded in the material. By adding literacy to matter, the sculpture becomes nonliteral, but not devoid of content....

Article

M. N. Sokolov

[Francisko; Fransisko]

(b Vasil’yevka, Saratov region, June 4, 1943).

Russian installation artist and theorist. The son of a Spanish Republican émigré, Infante studied at the Surikov Art Institute in Moscow from 1956 to 1962. From 1962 to 1968 he was a member of the group Dvizheniye (Movement), which elaborated the principles of kinetic art. In 1970, together with his wife, the artist Nonna Goryunova (b 1944), and the designer Valery Osipov (b 1941), he organized his own group, ARGO, which became prominent in the Moscow avant-garde of the period. Characteristic of his work in the 1960s are abstract geometric paintings, blueprints for his subsequent three-dimensional compositions. Underlying these compositions is the notion of the artefact, the handmade object, symbolizing the harmony of art, the technosphere and nature. Although to some extent he continued the traditions of Russian Constructivism, he succeeded in infusing his work with a sense of ideal ecological balance, free from technocratic utopianism. His work comprises series of numerous temporary landscape installations, for example ...

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

Joan Marter

(b Albert Lea, MN, June 7, 1941).

American conceptual artist and writer. Kelly received instruction in fine art and music at the College of St Teresa, Winona, MN, and fine art and aesthetics at the Pius XII Institute, Florence (MA 1965). She taught art briefly in Beirut in the 1960s. In 1968 she moved to London, where she received a postgraduate certificate in painting at St Martin’s School of Art. From 1968 Kelly worked in London as artist, teacher, editor, and writer. She practised a long-term critique of conceptualism, informed by feminist theory. Her work was related to her active involvement in the women’s movement throughout the 1970s. Kelly is best known for projects addressing questions of sexuality, identity, and memory. Her installations feature large-scale narratives including relevant documentation. Kelly’s work is renowned for its enquiry into cultural identity, particularly the construction of femininity and power in Western capitalist society, and it draws on and criticizes the work of Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, and other cultural theorists....

Article

Nancy Ring

(b Toledo, OH, Jan 31, 1945).

American conceptual artist and writer. He was deeply interested in philosophy and the social sciences and conducted a sustained, methodical inquiry into the rules that govern art. He trained at the Toledo Museum School of Design (1955–62), also taking private lessons, and completed his studies as a painter at the Cleveland Art Institute (1963–4). In 1965 he began to produce works with a basis in language, some fashioned from neon and glass, others linking objects, images, and texts into simple and self-referential series. The work One and Three Chairs (1965; Cologne, Paul Maenz Gal.), for example, consists of a full-scale photograph of a chair, an actual chair and a dictionary definition of the word ‘chair’ lined in a row, together forming a closed system that resists any kind of transcendent meaning.

Kosuth dispensed with objects entirely in his Titled (Art as Idea as Idea) series (...

Article

(b Newark, NJ, Jan 26, 1945).

American conceptual artist, designer, and writer. She enrolled at Parsons School of Design, New York, where her teachers included the photographer Diane Arbus and Marvin Israel (1924–84), a successful graphic designer and art director of Harper’s Bazaar, who was particularly encouraging. When Kruger’s interest in art school waned in the mid-1960s, Israel encouraged her to prepare a professional portfolio. Kruger moved to New York and entered the design department of Mademoiselle magazine, becoming chief designer a year later. Also at that time she designed book covers for political texts. In the late 1960s and early 1970s she became interested in poetry and began writing and attending readings. From 1976 to 1980 she lived in Berkeley, CA, teaching and reflecting on her own art. Kruger later taught at Art Institute of Chicago and joined the visual arts faculty of the University of California San Diego in 2002, and later the University of California Los Angeles, dividing her time between Los Angeles and New York....

Article

Pandit Chanrochanakit

(b Bangkok, July 23, 1965).

Thai sculptor, installation artist, teacher and curator. He graduated from Silpakorn University, Bangkok in 1989 and went to study at the Sydney College of the Arts where he received a masters degree in visual arts in 1993. Kunavichayanont’s early works focused on Buddhism and the contemplation of ephemeral stages of life, creating works such as Time and Mind (1993; see 1994 exh. cat.), in which he drew on recycled paper everyday and allowed it to become his daily ritual of practising mediation. In Every Moment (1993; see 1994 exh. cat.), he examined the question of time by placing differently shaped sculptures on papers and spraying paint on them, before removing the sculptures. What was left was a trace of the sculpture once placed on the paper.

After visiting Sukhothai in 1994 and being inspired by ruined pagodas, Kunavichayanont produced a series of elephant installations. He had seen fragments of stuccoed elephants that someone had tried to reconstruct, as if to give them a new lease on life, and in his subsequent work, ...