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Kate Sloan

(b Bath, Oct 26, 1934).

English conceptual artist, writer, and educator. Ascott was a leading figure in the fields of cybernetic, telematics, and interactive art starting in the 1960s. After finishing school, he completed his National Service in RAF Fighter Command between 1953 and 1955, an experience that had an enduring influence upon his development as an artist. Following his military service, Ascott trained at King’s College at the University of Durham campus in Newcastle (1955–1959) under Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton. He quickly assimilated the core lessons of his teachers, who were both leading figures in the Basic Design movement in British art education. This pedagogical approach used a grammar of abstract form as the basis for shared preliminary courses for art and design students. As a student he won a scholarship to visit Paris, where he met with the sculptor Nicolas Schöffer. Upon graduation Ascott was employed as a studio demonstrator at King’s College (...

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Mark Allen Svede

(b Riga, Sept 6, 1943).

Latvian painter, stage designer and graphic designer. After a childhood spent in Siberian exile, he studied decorative art and trained as a painter in the Latvian Art Academy (1963–72), preparing for a career as a stage designer. Stage design and the applied arts were less constrained by Socialist Realist dictates during the 1970s, and he quickly became one of Latvia’s most innovative artists. His fluency with process art and installation, for example, was already evident in his designs for a 1973 Riga production of Žanna d’Arka (Joan of Arc) by Andrej Upīts, the stage metamorphosing from Minimalist cavity to an assemblage in Arte Povera style. Abandoning the theatre in 1987, Blumbergs continued his prolific output. His compositions, sometimes abstract, often figurative and allegorical, are notable within Latvian art for their spare elegance and uncontrived expressiveness, successfully combining grand literary allusion and subtle metaphysical content. His graphic virtuosity earned him a degree of international celebrity rare among his Latvian peers. Exceptional, too, for his political candour, he was a harbinger of ...

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Margarita González Arredondo

(b Mexico City, June 10, 1940).

Mexican painter, sculptor, illustrator and stage designer. He was self-taught when he took up painting in 1956 with the encouragement of Diego Rivera, but from 1956 to 1960 he studied graphic design with Gordon Jones. During those years he worked in an Abstract Expressionist manner, although he soon incorporated figurative elements and, from c. 1963, elements of fantasy. In 1967 he went to Paris on a French government grant. In the following year he was a founder-member of the Salón Independiente, where he began to exhibit acrylic sculptures of the female torso. These were followed between 1974 and 1976 by a series entitled Mutations, in which he explored the possibilities of the cube and which opened the way to later sculptures and paintings in which geometry is balanced with sensuality. Venus and Mars (Mexico City, U. N. Autónoma) is one of the best of his public sculptures. He also worked as a stage designer, for example on a production in ...

Article

Horacio Safons

(b Buenos Aires, Sept 28, 1949).

Argentine painter and stage designer. After a series of pictures featuring hallucinatory images of disembodied mouths and orifices, bodies and pits, he began to treat circus scenes, exploiting their symbolic suggestiveness by representing candles, ladders, insects and animals of arbitrary size alongside ambiguous human forms. Falling somewhere between the merry and the tragic, they have a theatrical aspect consonant with his experience as a stage designer. Combining a lively, almost festive palette with thick paint, sometimes violently applied, Fazzolari emerged in the 1980s as one of the leading Neo-Expressionist painters in Argentina....

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Melissa Chiu

(b Quanzhou, Dec 8, 1957).

Chinese installation artist. Cai studied at the Shanghai Theatre Academy, completing his degree in stage design in 1985. He is best known for ephemeral, large-scale explosion-works using gunpowder—a medium he began to experiment with in China and often explained as a childhood reference to witnessing skirmishes between China and Taiwan along what was known as the Fujian Front.

In the 1980s, he applied gunpowder to canvas, which he then lit to create bold, charred designs. When Cai emigrated to Japan in 1986, he began to use gunpowder for environmental installations. Since 1989 he called these works Projects for Extraterrestrials. Cai believed that most explosions visible from space have been related to war, and that his work sends a non-violent message. A good example is The Horizon from the Pan Pacific: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 14 (1994), executed off the coast of Iwaki, a small town in Japan, where Cai installed a 5000-metre trail of gunpowder in the ocean that illuminated the horizon. The work evoked the experience of living in this small fishing village, where the ocean is a central part of everyday life. Such a conceptually charged, yet rudimentary application of gunpowder, characterizes Cai’s works created in Japan....

Article

Andreas Franzke

(b Bleckede, nr Lüneburg, June 14, 1945; d Düsseldorf, May 28, 2007).

German painter, draughtsman and sculptor. He entered the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf in 1963, spending three semesters studying stage set design before becoming a student of Joseph Beuys. After producing a series of pictures in 1966 using babies as his prime motif, he adopted a word suggestive of baby talk, ‘Lidl’, for performances and political demonstrations in Düsseldorf and other cities from 1968 to 1970. These activities, for which he enlisted the support of other artists, continued after he began teaching art in 1968 at a secondary school in Düsseldorf; he remained a teacher there until 1980.

Immendorff’s renewed application to painting coincided with his first meeting with A. R. Penck in East Berlin in 1976. They wrote a brief manifesto on working collaboratively and met again in 1977, when they decided to organize joint artistic activities and exhibitions. It was at this time that Immendorff began his Café Deutschland series, e.g. ...

Article

Patti Stuckler

(b Waco, TX, Oct 4, 1941).

American performance artist, writer, draughtsman, printmaker and stage designer. He studied painting in Paris under the American painter George McNeil (b 1908) in 1962, before completing a degree in interior design at the Pratt Institute in New York from 1962 to 1965. After serving an apprenticeship in architecture to Paolo Soleri in Phoenix, AZ, from 1965 to 1966, he returned to New York and began to work as a performance artist, creating a range of theatrical productions that combine music, text, dance and design. He earned his reputation with productions such as Deafman Glance (first staged in 1970 at the University Theater in Iowa City, IA) and A Letter to Queen Victoria (première at the Teatro Caio Melisso in Spoleto, Italy, and extensively toured in 1974); many of these were large-scale, marathon extravaganzas in which a series of images, formed from the conjunction of actors, dancers and set designs, unfolded to the accompaniment of music. Abandoning traditional theatrical elements such as ordered narrative content and the compression of real time, he favoured an avant-garde approach influenced by composers, choreographers and artists active in New York from the early 1960s....