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Article

Andrew Cross

(b Isleworth, Middx, 1947; d June 5, 2014).

English sculptor. A graduate of St Martin’s School of Art and a contemporary there of Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, he has often been considered in relation to British land art, but his work stands apart from that movement’s direct involvement with the landscape or with the romance of nature. It is more closely allied to the rigorous abstraction of Minimalist painters such as Alan Charlton (b 1948). Ackling’s work remained remarkably consistent from the time that he first started making art in the 1960s, particularly in its reliance on a single exacting process by which fine burn-marks are made onto small pieces of wood or cardboard by focusing the sun’s rays through a magnifying glass. This work, which is always executed outdoors, demands an intensity of concentration that borders on the ritualistic. His very early drawings included shapes reminiscent of figures or clouds, but from the early 1970s his drawings were made using only straight horizontal lines etched into the surface from left to right. Ackling always draws on found objects marked by previous use, such as cardboard from the back of a notepad or wood from a chair leg, either gathered from around the world or discovered washed ashore near his coastal home on the Norfolk coast. Since his art continued to be defined by his chosen method of mark-making, there was little overt development or stylistic evolution. Instead, it was the particular surface characteristics of chosen objects—their shape, size and surface texture—that dictated in each case the placement and banding of the scorched lines, allowing the work its own inner logic....

Article

Sofia Hernández Chong Cuy

American installation artists, active also in Puerto Rico. Jennifer Allora (b Philadelphia, Mar 20, 1974) graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Richmond, Virginia (1996), and Guillermo Calzadilla (b Havana, Cuba, Jan 10, 1971) graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Escuela de Artes Plastica in San Juan, Puerto Rico (1996). Allora and Calzadilla met in Italy in 1995 during a study abroad program in Florence. They then lived together in San Juan for a year before moving to New York City where they started working collaboratively while each participated in different residency and study programs. In 1998–1999, Allora participated in the year-long Whitney Independent Study Program, while Calzadilla participated in the P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center National Studio Program.

Allora & Calzadilla’s first important international exhibition was the XXIV Bienal de São Paulo in 1998 curated by Paulo Herkenhoff, which investigated the idea of cultural cannibalism known in Brazilian literature as ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

(Henry) [Spinky]

(b Charlotte, NC, Nov 29, 1907; d April 27, 1977).

African American painter, sculptor, graphic artist, muralist and educator. In 1913, Charles Alston’s family relocated from North Carolina to New York where he attended DeWitt Clinton High School. In 1929, he attended Columbia College and then Teachers College at Columbia University, where he obtained his MFA in 1931. Alston’s art career began while he was a student, creating illustrations for Opportunity magazine and album covers for jazz musician Duke Ellington.

Alston was a groundbreaking educator and mentor. He directed the Harlem Arts Workshop and then initiated the influential space known simply as “306,” which ran from 1934 to 1938. He taught at the Works Progress Administration’s Harlem Community Art Center and was supervisor of the Harlem Hospital Center murals, leading 35 artists as the first African American project supervisor of the Federal Art Project. His two murals reveal the influence of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (1886–1957). His artwork ranged from the comic to the abstract, while often including references to African art. During World War II, he worked at the Office of War Information and Public Information, creating cartoons and posters to mobilize the black community in the war effort....

Article

Arman  

Alfred Pacquement

[Fernandez, Armand]

(b Nice, Nov 17, 1928; d New York, Oct 22, 2005).

American sculptor and collector of French birth. Arman lived in Nice until 1949, studying there at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs from 1946 and in 1947 striking up a friendship with the artist Yves Klein, with whom he was later closely associated in the Nouveau Réalisme movement. In 1949 he moved to Paris, where he studied at the Ecole du Louvre and where in an exhibition in 1954 he discovered the work of Kurt Schwitters, which led him to reject the lyrical abstraction of the period. In 1955 Arman began producing Stamps, using ink-pads in a determined critique of Art informel and Abstract Expressionism to suggest a depersonalized and mechanical version of all-over paintings. In his next series, the Gait of Objects, which he initiated in 1958, he took further his rejection of the subjectivity of the personal touch by throwing inked objects against the canvas.

Arman’s willingness to embrace chance was indicated by his decision in ...

Article

revised by Margaret Barlow

(b Harrisburg, PA, Nov 20, 1946).

American sculptor, draughtswoman, and installation and environmental artist. She studied liberal arts at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (1964–8), and obtained an MA in studio art at Hunter College, City University of New York (1968–71), where she worked under Robert Morris and became familiar with systems theory. From the 1960s Aycock developed phenomenologically site-orientated works to include metaphor and simile, referring to machinery and construction sites, archaeological sites, models, children’s play areas and funfairs, and other public or social settings. For example in A Simple Network of Underground Wells and Tunnels (1975) six concrete wells (1.62 sq. m) with connecting tunnels were sunk into an area of ground c. 6.1×12.2 m at Merriewold West, Far Hills, NJ (destr.). The curious sense of authority within her sophisticated, well-made structures is simultaneously articulated and undermined by a nonsensical, non-functional, and fantastical element. Her works are often a synthesis of diverse elements. The imagery of the ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Glasgow, 1967).

Scottish installation artist and sculptor. Boyce studied at Glasgow School of Art, in the Department of Environmental Art, from 1986 to 1990, and, after a break of five years returned to Glasgow School of Art to complete his MA (1995 to 1997). He also visited the California Institute for the Arts, Valencia, in 1996. An early work Around Every Corner (1996; see 2000 exh. cat., pp. 18–19), made whilst still at college, is a wall painting that uses a grid and the words of its title. Combining the utopian tropes of the Modernist project with a sense of menace, Boyce made more wall drawings employing words and grids, such as Over Your Shoulder and Disappear Here (both 1999; see 2000 exh. cat., pp. 40–41 and p. 33 respectively). Other works directly reference Modernism by incorporating International Style design products. For example, Boyce used the classic Eames storage unit in ...

Article

Cecilia Suárez

(b Quito, Sept 8, 1939).

Ecuadorean painter, graphic designer, sculptor, installation artist, architect and teacher. He studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Bogotá, Colombia. He worked for the Graham Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC, and received a grant to attend the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, where he worked with György Kepes. Later he became a professor at the arts faculty of the Universidad Central, Quito. Bueno worked first in graphic design before going on to experiment with the incorporation of technology into art, using laser beams, mechanical pumps, plastic, glass and such elements as water, fire and air, for example in 49 Tubes, exhibited at the Bienal de Arte Coltejer in Medellín in 1972. He also combined visual art with music in such works as Flame Orchards, with music by Paul Earls, which won joint first prize with Kepes in the same exhibition. Exploration into ecological and environmental art led him to experiment with the idea of an aerial view of the urban landscape incorporating military camouflage sheets....

Article

Eva Meyer-Hermann

(b Sonthofen, Allgäu, Aug 1, 1944).

German painter, sculptor and environmental artist. He studied in Kassel between 1964 and 1967, first at the Werkkunstschule and then at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste with Arnold Bode. In 1969 he moved to Cologne. His first journey to Morocco in 1970 was decisive for the course of his artistic development, and thereafter Marrakesh was his second home. At Documenta 5 in Kassel (1972) Buthe was one of the artists whose work was grouped under the heading of ‘Individuelle Mythologien’, exhibiting the environment Homage to the Sun (see von Weise, p. 21).

Buthe’s works cannot be characterized by one style, but rather they emerge from an attitude that makes no differentiation between art and life. The artist builds spaces (for himself), using a large variety of materials, which may be transitory, ‘poor’, or precious (e.g. gold), as well as trivia: everyday objects as well as keepsakes become cult objects, fetishes, linked to folk myths and fairy tales. Murals or installations were built up on a collage principle, and earlier works could be reworked with a new status. Sumptuous colours and imagery such as stars, suns, palm-trees and stylized flowers reveal the influence of Africa, for example ...

Article

Mary M. Tinti

(b Houston, TX, 1951).

American sculptor, installation and conceptual artist. His multimedia works investigate the pathology of contemporary culture. Mel Chin was born and raised in Houston, Texas to parents of Chinese birth and received his BA in 1975 from the Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee. The works in Chin’s oeuvre are diverse in both medium and subject, but a consistent undercurrent of social, political, and environmental responsibility runs throughout. Whether a sculpture, film, video game, installation, public project or earthwork, Chin’s artworks consistently targeted a broad spectrum of pressing cultural and ecological interests and spread their message in subtle, if not viral ways.

In the 1980s, Chin produced a number of sculptures that set the stage for his ever-evocative artistic journey. The Extraction of Plenty from What Remains: 1823 (1988–9) is a frequently referenced piece from this period. It is a symbolic encapsulation of the effects of the Monroe Doctrine, referencing the complicated dealings between the US (represented by truncated replicas of White House columns) and Central America (represented by a cornucopia of mahogany branches, woven banana-tree fiber, and a surface layer of hardened blood, mud, and coffee grinds). From the 1990s, however, Chin moved away from strictly gallery-based installations and began creating works that directly engaged contemporary culture in a variety of physical and theoretical landscapes....

Article

Derrick R. Cartwright

(b Albany, CA, Oct 1, 1935; d Los Angeles, CA, July 25, 2013).

American sculptor. He studied history at the University of California, Berkeley (1953–7), and then art, under David Park (MA, 1959). In 1960 he moved to New York where he associated with other Californians including the sculptor and painter Robert Morris, the dancer Yvonne Rainer (b 1934) and the composer La Monte Young (b 1935). His sculpture of the early 1960s reveals a debt to Dada and other 20th-century avant-garde movements then under revision by young artists. His simple, often cryptically inscribed works owe much of their oblique spirit and deadpan execution to Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades, yet they explore the appeal of pure, usually serialized forms, which become characteristic of Minimalism.

De Maria’s first exhibitions consisted of machine-turned objects in highly finished wood, metals and other industrial materials. At the same time he began to experiment with alternative exhibition spaces such as the desert of the south-western USA. In early projects like ...

Article

Annika Öhrner

(b Stockholm, Aug 30, 1888; d Stockholm, April 28, 1973).

Swedish painter, designer and sculptor. Derkert studied at the Kungliga Akademien för de Fria Konsterna (Royal Academy of Fine Arts), Stockholm. She went to Paris in 1913 where she visited the Académie Colarossi, Académie de la Grande Chaumière and Académie Russe. In 1914 she travelled around Algiers with some female artist friends. The same year she met the Finnish artist Valle Rosenberg (1891–1919); their son Carlo was born in Italy in 1915. From 1915 to 1916, influenced by urban life and the avant-garde scene in Paris, Derkert developed a fine Cubist idiom in landscape paintings and portraits (see fig.). During this period Derkert, together with Rosenberg, also took an interest in fashion design (see sig.). Derkert returned to Stockholm in 1916 and the following year she staged a modern dance piece at the Theatre Intiman, in which she also danced and designed the costumes (together with Rosenberg who sent drawings from Italy). Her visionary designs were discovered by the fashion house Birgittaskolen (directed by Elisabeth Glanzberg) in Stockholm and she received a contract for two annual collections for women’s fashion. She worked with them until the house went bankrupt in ...

Article

Renato Barilli

(b Rosario, Santa Fé, Feb 19, 1899; d Comabbio, nr Varese, Sept 7, 1968).

Italian painter, sculptor and theorist of Argentine birth. He moved with his family to Milan in 1905 but followed his father back to Buenos Aires in 1922 and there established his own sculpture studio in 1924. On settling again in Milan he trained from 1928 to 1930 at the Accademia di Brera, where he was taught by the sculptor Adolfo Wildt; Wildt’s devotion to the solemn and monumental plasticity of the Novecento Italiano group epitomized the qualities against which Fontana was to react in his own work. Fontana’s sculpture The Harpooner (gilded plaster, h. 1.73 m, 1934; Milan, Renzo Zavanella priv. col., see 1987 exh. cat., p. 118) is typical of his work of this period, with a dynamic nervousness in the thin shape of the weapon poised to deliver a final blow and in the coarse and formless plinth. Soon afterwards, together with other northern Italian artists such as Fausto Melotti, Fontana abandoned any lingering Novecento elements in favour of a strict and coherent form of abstraction. In ...

Article

Naomi Miller

Sculptural or architectural structure that channels a spring or source of water and shapes it by means of jets or sprays, the water falling into one or more containers or basins.

Fountains may serve decorative or practical purposes and have, in a multitude of forms, been a feature of both public and private spaces since ancient times. They have been erected to celebrate technological advancement in a civilization, for example in the harnessing of water for public use; to serve as objects of religious significance or to commemorate events of historical importance; and to create poetic and theatrical displays.

Whereas the fountain is documented throughout the world, its absence from some areas is due to such factors as the lack of an adequate hydraulic system for its construction or, in terms of the fountain’s decorative function, the prevalence of a different aesthetic for the display of water.

The latter has historically been the case in East Asia. An essential feature of ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Cheshire, July 26, 1956).

English sculptor and photographer. He studied fine art at Bradford School of Art (1974–5) and at Preston Polytechnic (1975–8). Goldsworthy works in the open air with natural materials such as stones, leaves and ice. Like other artists associated with ‘Land Art’, such as Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, he uses photographs as permanent documents of the ephemeral structures left in isolated locations. His sculptures are, as he puts it, ‘there all the time’, their aesthetic and formal qualities revealed by his work in and with the landscape. Changing seasons and weather conditions play a large part, often dictating the possibility of making a work, as well as its final appearance. The changeable British weather gives both transience and urgency to sculptures that can melt, topple over or be blown away. Goldsworthy records his work photographically before such damage occurs. Although most are created outdoors in isolation, he has also produced sculptures for galleries (...

Article

(Mark David)

(b London, Aug 30, 1950).

English sculptor and draughtsman. He studied archaeology, anthropology and art history at Trinity College, Cambridge (1968–71) and Buddhist meditation in India and Sri Lanka (1971–4), experiences that profoundly inform his work. Influenced by the ideals of Indian sculpture as much as by those of modernism, his sculptures use the human form to explore man’s existence in and relation to the world. He is primarily known for the lead figures cast from his own body. Free of individualizing surface detail, with welding lines emphatically exposed, these remain physical casings rather than imitative representations of the universal human form. His belief that the spiritual and physical selves are inseparable is reflected in works such as Land, Sea and Air II (1982). Three figures, crouching, kneeling and standing, were placed on the seashore, embodying the process of Buddhist spiritual awareness. The work also referred to the earthly condition of the body and man’s relationship with his surroundings. These concerns are further reflected in Gormley’s full use of installation space, with sculptures suspended from ceiling and walls. Many works were made specifically for natural environments, most controversially ...

Article

Bojan Ivanov

(b Prilep, March 19, 1925; d Skopje, May 28, 1986).

Macedonian sculptor. He was apprenticed to a local stonecutter in Prilep from c. 1940, and from 1945 he attended the class of Dimo Todorovski (1907–83), founder of modern Macedonian sculpture, at the School of Applied Arts in Skopje. Grabuloski graduated from the Academy of Arts in Belgrade in 1952, having studied under Lojze Dolinar (1893–1970) and Sreten Stojanović (1898–1960). He returned to Skopje and in 1953 founded the Denes group. In the following years he attempted to embody in his work the group’s programme for a synthesis of the arts and architecture. Between 1968 and 1974 he came closest to achieving that aim when he created the huge spherical Monument of Ilinden at Kruševo, central Macedonia, with eight mine-like, radial protrusions arranged on two levels. Comparable in spirit to this monumental project were the ‘ambient sculptures’ that he displayed at his one-man exhibition in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje (...

Article

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 ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Gallipolis, OH, July 29, 1950).

American installation and conceptual artist. Her studies included general art courses at Duke University, Durham, NC (1968–70), and then painting, printmaking, and drawing at the University of Chicago before completing her BFA at Ohio University, Athens (1972). In 1974 she took summer courses at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, entering its MFA programme in 1975 and beginning her first work with language, installation, and public art. Holzer moved to New York in 1977. Her first public works, Truisms (1977–9), appeared in the form of anonymous broadsheets pasted on buildings, walls, and fences in and around Manhattan. Commercially printed in cool, bold italics, numerous one-line statements such as ‘Abuse of power comes as no surprise’ and ‘There is a fine line between information and propaganda’, were meant to be provocative and elicit public debate. Thereafter Holzer used language and the mechanics of late 20th-century communications as an assault on established notions of where art should be shown, with what intention and for whom (e.g. ...

Article

Kristina Van Kirk

(b Long Beach, CA, Sept 12, 1928).

American painter and sculptor. He studied at the Otis Art Institute (1948–50) and at the new and progressive Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles (1952–4), where he adopted an Abstract Expressionist painting style. Through his association with the Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles (1959–66), he came into contact with such artists as Ed Moses (b 1926) and Billy Al Bengston. Irwin disdained his early paintings for their lack of ‘potency’. In the early 1960s he began a continuous series of experiments. He broke with figuration, searching like Minimalist artists for a way to make the work of art autonomous in content, that is representing nothing but itself, as in the Disc series that he began in 1966 (exh. 1968, Pasadena, CA, Norton Simon Mus. A.). Designed to exacting dimensions, colour tones, and lighting criteria, the Discs appeared suspended, free from the wall and comprising an uncertain mass that dematerialized into its environment....

Article

Joan Marter

(b New York, Sept 8, 1940).

American environmental artist. Johanson is known for art projects created in the natural landscape that solve environmental problems. She is considered a pioneer in ecological art and has made permanent installations in gardens and parks in the United States and abroad. Johanson was born in New York City, where she was a frequent visitor to parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. She graduated from Bennington College where she studied with sculptor Tony Smith. While at Bennington (1958–62) she also met artists Kenneth Noland, David Smith, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline and Philip Guston. In 1964 Johanson completed a master’s degree in art history at Hunter College.

A publishing project offered her the opportunity to catalogue the art of Georgia O’Keeffe, who became her mentor. Johanson’s paintings from the 1960s were Minimalist, as she explored the optical effects of colors. In 1966 she began producing large-scale sculpture, also Minimalist in style. ...