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Margo Machida

(b New York, Aug 16, 1949).

American printmaker and installation artist. Born and raised in New York City, Arai, a third-generation Japanese American printmaker, mixed-media artist, public artist and cultural activist, studied art at the Philadelphia College of Art and The Printmaking Workshop in New York. Since the 1970s, her diverse projects have ranged from individual works to large-scale public commissions (see Public art in the 21st century). She has designed permanent public works, including an interior mural commemorating the African burial ground in lower Manhattan and an outdoor mural for Philadelphia’s Chinatown. Other works include Wall of Respect for Women (1974), a mural on New York’s Lower East Side, which was a collaboration between Arai and women from the local community. Her art has been exhibited in such venues as the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, International Center for Photography, P.S.1 Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, all New York and the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Joan Mitchell Foundation....

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Deborah A. Middleton

(b Berkeley, CA, Nov 4, 1944).

American sculptor, painter, and printmaker. Heizer’s earthworks erected in the vast desert expanses of the American Midwest marked the beginning of the Heizer, Michael movement of the 1960s and liberated art from the confines of the art gallery. Heizer’s early experience and exposure to desert landscapes and Native American culture was influenced by his father Robert Heizer, an important American archaeologist, and his maternal grandfather Olaf P. Jenkins, who was an important early American geologist. He attended the San Francisco Art Institute (1963–4) to study painting and moved to New York (1966). In 1967 Heizer left New York to return to the American Midwest with colleague Walter De Maria, and began artistic collaborations with James Turrell and Robert Smithson to explore the making of land art.

Heizer’s early paintings explored the interaction of two-dimensional and three-dimensional geometric forms influenced by the Abstract Expressionists of the late 1940s and 1950s. By ...

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Stephan von Wiese

(b Laasphe, Westphalia, April 18, 1928; d Berlin, Jul 17, 2014).

German painter, printmaker and environmental artist. He studied art at the Hochschule für Bildenden Künste in Munich and the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf and then philosophy at Cologne University, graduating in 1957. In the same year he developed the Grid Picture, a type of stencilled painting made from half-tone screens with regularly arranged points in single colours (yellow, silver, white or gold), for example Pure Energy (1958; New York, MOMA). The vibrating pattern and slight shadow in these works, which were first shown in September 1957 at the first evening exhibition in Piene’s studio in Düsseldorf as avant-garde manifestations of the West German art scene, seemed to take the play of light itself as their theme. Their objectivity lay in their lack of any subjective painterly gestures. The connection between art, nature and technology remained the goal of Piene’s work, first of all within the Zero group and then, from ...

Article

(b Bamendjan, 1951).

Cameroonian sculptor and printmaker. Although largely self-taught, Sumegne studied painting with Martin Abosolo. He became best known for his sculptural works: figural constructions synthesized through the creative recycling of found objects and materials. His works engage with themes of urban life, public space, post-colonial identity, and the geopolitics of Cameroon and Africa.

Sumegne invented the word ‘jala’a’ as a name for his artistic practice, which he has described as fundamentally interdisciplinary. Through this multifaceted process, Sumegne integrates techniques from various art forms, such as weaving, jewellery-making, colouring, and sculpture. He believes that his works of reformatted refuse demonstrated the capacity for potent emotional, physical, and intellectual outcomes to emerge from waste, a phenomenon to which he has ascribed spiritual significance. Many of Sumegne’s works engage with notions of heritage and identity by importing formal qualities from regional artistic traditions. For example, the faces of his figural sculptures often incorporate characteristics of masks made by members of the Bamileke ethnic group. Similarly, his juxtapositions of bright-coloured plastics against dark industrial elements evoke the patterns of African textiles and jewellery....