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Mark Firth and Louis Skoler

Silvery white metal. The third most abundant element in the earth’s crust (after oxygen and silicon), aluminium is found only in the form of its compounds, such as alumina or aluminium oxide. Its name is derived from alumen, the Latin name for alum, and in the 18th century the French word alumine was proposed for the oxide of the metal, then undiscovered. The name aluminium was adopted in the early 19th century and is used world-wide except in the USA, where the spelling is aluminum, and in Italy where alluminio is used. Following the discovery of processes for separating the metal from the oxide, at first experimentally in 1825, then commercially in 1854 and industrially in 1886–8, aluminium rapidly came to be valued as an adaptable material with both functional and decorative properties. Thus in addition to being used in engineering, transport, industrial design and household products, it was also widely adopted in architecture, sculpture and the decorative arts....

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 Making art historical references to ...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

Francis Summers

(b Philadelphia, Dec 17, 1960).

American sculptor, active in England. He obtained a BFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA, and an MFA from Goldsmiths’ College, London, in 1988. Exploring his interest in the government of behaviour by social constraint, he first used clothes and hair as materials before turning to animal remains and casts of human organs for his increasingly unsettling work. His The Cat and the Dog (1995; London, Saatchi Gal., see 1996 exh. cat., p. 4) consists of two skinned animal hides with perfectly reconstructed heads and feet. Described by the artist as frozen smiles, the animal objects act as abstract surrogates for socially repressed bestial tendencies. Be Your Dog (1997; see 1998 exh. cat., p. 10), consisting of scalped dog ears mounted on a wall as an invitation to wear them, illustrates this theme even more forcefully. Other works by Baseman represent human body parts. Muscle (1997...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Bradford, July 22, 1951).

English painter. He studied at the Bradford School of Art (1968–71) and then in London at Goldsmiths’ College (1971–4) and the Slade School of Fine Art (1974–6). In his early work he painted single figures in a manner that suggested extreme psychological states. His use of charcoal and intensely chromatic acrylic paint, which he makes himself, give his painting a distinctively rich, scorched appearance. Bevan developed his psychological portraiture throughout the 1980s and 90s, often working in series on individual subjects. The Prophet (1982; Munich, Staatsgal. Mod. Kst), is a large portrait of a handcuffed male with a pair of open scissors lodged in his head. The psychic state it represents is so extreme, it seems, that it can only be represented metaphorically. The social psychology of his work became more explicit in The Meeting (2.94×2.85 m, 1992; see 1993 exh. cat.), a painting of nine male figures (distributed over six canvases) singing in a mechanical, disconnected fashion. The underlying existentialism of this work recalls the paintings of Francis Bacon, Bevan’s obsession with open mouths providing another point of comparison. The tense frontal aspects also bring to mind the Expressionistic portraiture of Edvard Munch, the pose embodying states of anxiety, introspection and despair. Toward the end of the 1990s Bevan stripped his images to a bare minimum, producing a disturbing series of paintings in which disembodied heads float like scarred, trussed balloons, for instance ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Hexham, Northumberland, Feb 13, 1966).

English painter and sculptor. He completed a foundation course at Norwich School of Art (1984–5), a BFA at Bath Academy of Art (1985–8), and an MFA at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1990–92). His paintings typically reproduce the work of artists such as Frank Auerbach and Karel Appel in a slick, ‘photographic’ manner. He arrived at this manner of working after basing paintings on photographs of modernist buildings; a sense of thwarted utopianism became a central tenet in his later work. His first painting after Auerbach, Atom Age Vampire (oil on canvas, 0.82×0.72 m, 1991; priv. col., see 1996 exh. cat., p. 19), was a minutely copied, flattened rendering of the thickly impastoed original. Although such works are critical of the expressionist doctrine of emotional investment in gesture and materiality, they also retain an element of adolescent fantasy and absorption, as suggested by the title. Another strand of Brown’s art consists of copies of science fiction illustrations by Chris Foss (...

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

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

John-Paul Stonard

(b Nottingham, 1966).

English photographer, sculptor and film maker. He studied at Trent Polytechnic (1985–6), and then at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1986–9), at which time he was included in the exhibition Freeze (London, Surrey Docks, 1988). For his first solo exhibition in 1990 (London, Riverside Studios), he created One Photo, Four Broads and a Stretcher (photograph on wood with broad light, 5.49×2.74 m, 1990; artist’s priv. col., see 1997 exh. cat., p. 44), comprising a colour photographic reproduction of Watteau’s L’Enseigne de Gersaint (1721; Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg), greatly enlarged and cursorily attached to a wooden frame. By displaying a reproduction in this way, Collishaw highlights issues of representation, raised in the original painting through the juxtaposition of the false idyll of the fête galante, and the actualities of the art market. Much of Collishaw’s subsequent work makes historical and art-historical references that hinge around the broad theme of the interaction between nature and culture. ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b La Coruña, March 2, 1965).

Spanish painter active in England. After obtaining a BA in Philosophy at the Universidad de Santiago in Spain, she studied art in London at Chelsea School of Art, Goldsmiths’ College and the Slade School of Fine Art, concluding in 1996. She came to attention with oversized, ‘broken’, monochrome canvases that so dominate the spaces in which they are shown that they take on the nature of sculptural installations. The emphasis on the character of the canvases as objects, their sheer physicality, is often combined with titles that suggest human attributes. She has described her apparently abstract paintings as ‘figurative objects’. Homeless (1995; see 1998 exh. cat., unpaged), a large cream monochrome installed as if flung against the wall, suggests something of the melancholy that pervades her work; she once remarked that it was not out of anger, but sadness and frustration, that she first broke a painting; fractured stretchers barely able to support the canvas became poignant metaphors, and physical evidence of the activity of making art. Suggestions of violence or dejection are common in her work: the small blue canvas ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Sidcup, Kent, July 8, 1966).

English painter. He trained at the Northwich College of Art and Design, Cheshire (1984–5), and Goldsmiths’ College, London (1985–8). He exhibited in an influential exhibition, Freeze, curated by fellow student Damien Hirst at Surrey Docks in London in 1988, and in 1991 he was nominated for the Turner Prize. In 1999 he was a prizewinner in the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition. His abstract paintings are made by pouring layers of household paints on to prepared canvases and boards tilted so that gravity and the consistency of the paint determine the final configuration of the areas of colour. His systematic approach, predetermining both materials and process, results in paintings whose effect is based on physical immediacy rather than any theoretical or narrative background, although the procedures of American painters of the 1950s and 60s associated with Post-painterly Abstraction, notably Morris Louis, have been cited as antecedents. His typical paintings of the early 1990s, such as ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Launceston, Cornwall, April 28, 1961).

English sculptor. After studying at Exeter College of Art and Design (1981–4), Davey took a Diploma at Goldsmiths’ College in 1985; his first solo exhibition followed at the Lisson Gallery, London, in 1987. Influenced by the sculpture of Tony Cragg and Richard Deacon in the early 1980s, Davey explored the formal character of the objecthood of sculpture often with a brisk humour. Button (painted steel, 0.36×1.5 m diam., 1998; London, priv. col., see 1989 exh. cat., p. 28) is characteristic of his early work: an overblown switch with cleanly finished grey top and cream-coloured rim, it borrows its form from mass-produced industrial objects, delighting in their highly finished quality, their bright colours and their abstract beauty, while denying their function. Gold (Table) (1991; see 1992 exh. cat.) marks a development towards larger work that addresses itself more directly to the viewer, in this case through its anthropomorphic size. Its title suggests a prosaic use, but its large size (with the top at head-height) again denies functionality, insisting instead on its identity as an object for pure aesthetic delectation. ...

Article

Martine Reid

(b Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC, Nov 4, 1946).

Native American Haida sculptor, metalworker, printmaker and blanket-maker. He was the grandson of the Haida blanket- and basket-maker Florence Davidson (1895–1993), and great-grandson of the Haida wood-carver Charles Edenshaw. He began carving argillite as a teenager in Masset, and in 1966 he met Bill Reid, who offered him workshop space in Vancouver. There Davidson developed new carving skills and learnt the fundamentals of the two-dimensional (‘formline’) designs used by the Haida and other tribes of the northern Northwest Coast (see Native North American art, §III, 2). In 1969 he returned to Masset to carve a 12.2 m-high totem pole, the first heraldic column to be raised on the Queen Charlotte Islands since the end of the 19th century. In 1987 Davidson and his crew produced a set of three totem poles entitled Three Variations on Killer Whale Myths for the Pepsicola Sculptural Garden in Purchase, NY. In these totem poles Davidson worked within the strict conventions of the Haida style, refining it by introducing subtle variations in design but preserving a degree of conservative austerity in which movement and individual expression are sacrificed to overall unity of form. In his early work in silver Davidson used flat patterns influenced by Edenshaw, and he went on to develop these into an innovative style of his own in screenprints, silver and bronze. Davidson’s younger brother, ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Edinburgh, 1970).

Scottish painter. He completed a foundation course at the Central School of Art and Design, London (1988–9), a BFA at the University of Brighton (1989–92), and an MFA at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1994–6). In 1995 Davies was included in a number of exhibitions (Multiple Orgasm, White Trash and Gothic) at the artist-run gallery, Lost in Space, London. Following these he was included in Die Yuppie Scum (London, Karsten Schubert, 1996), Sensation (London, RA, 1997), Die Young Stay Pretty (London, ICA, 1998) and Neurotic Realism (Part II) (London, Saatchi Gal., 1998). He had his first solo exhibition, New Paintings, at The Approach, London, in 1998. His painting Fun With the Animals: Joseph Beuys Text Painting (acrylic on canvas, 3.96×2.44 m, 1998; London, Saatchi Gal.) shows a large, impossibly complicated and multi-coloured diagram listing artists’ names, movements and themes. In this and other text paintings Davies comments on the vagaries and fashions of an art scene that can be reduced to a litany of key words. In ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

[Catherine]

(b London, Oct 10, 1960).

English sculptor. She studied at the Camberwell School of Art (1980–83) and Goldsmiths’ College (1985–7). From the mid-1980s she made exquisite and intricate sculptures, at once seductive and grotesquely threatening. In the late 1980s her work carried an atmosphere of erotic restraint; Trace (galvanised steel, red silk chiffon, dimensions variable, six parts, 1990), was made by distending and bolting together metal strips to create brassiere-like structures. The latent sexual threat of her objects was often underscored in the early 1990s by provocative titles such as Defying Death I Ran Away to the Fucking Circus (1991; see 1997 exh. cat., p. 71), and Once Upon a Fuck (1992; see 1997 exh. cat., p. 70). Throughout this decade her work became more subtly seductive, early contrasts of red velvet and steel were exchanged for a faded, more ornamental aesthetic. From 1994 her work also became larger, more pictorial, often wall-mounted. ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Munich, 1964).

German photographer and film maker. He studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich (1987–9), the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (1989–92), Cité des Arts, Paris (1992), Goldsmiths’ College, London (1993–4), and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (1995). Demand’s large photographs of generic interior and exterior views are of imaginary places that he constructs himself from paper and cardboard. Works such as Diving Platform (C-print, 1.18×1.5 m, 1994; New York, Max Protetch Gal.) show scenes that at first appear plausible, but on scrutiny reveal their carefully contrived nature. His models are built in front of a fixed camera, with progress checked through the viewfinder, using a minimum of technology to create an equivalent to contemporary ‘virtual’ digital environments. In the mid-1990s Demand produced photographs whose banal appearance belied dark or sordid historical referents. Flur (Corridor) (colour print on perspex, 1.84×2.7 m, London, Victoria Miro Gal., see ...

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

Andrew Cross

(b Rochdale, Lancs, March 10, 1961).

English sculptor. He completed a BFA at Goldsmiths’ College in 1983, but did not begin showing his work until later in that decade. You Can’t Touch This (London, Hales Gal., 1993) was the title of his first one-person exhibition, which consisted of a false wall made from tightly stretched metalized polyester over a wooden frame; the illusion created was of a shiny golden lobby of an upmarket comtemporary building. A year later he constructed a ‘gold’ facsimile of a timber shed, Untitled (Shed) (1994; exh. London, Hales Gal., 1994), using the same technique. These two works had a particular resonance in the context of the site for which they were made, a confined basement gallery in a deprived area of South London, suggesting an ironic comment on the corporate façade of politics and commerce during the 1980s. When shown in Young British Artists IV (London, Saatchi Gal., ...

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, ...