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Article

Roberto Pontual

(b São Paulo, 1935).

Brazilian painter and printmaker. After studying engraving in São Paulo, he moved to New York in 1959 to complete his studies at the Pratt Graphic Center, where his contact with international Pop art merged with his own interest in Brazilian popular imagery, for example in the portfolio of woodcuts Mine and Yours (1967). Immediately afterwards he began painting ambiguous and ironic still-lifes collectively titled Brasíliana, which use bananas as symbols of underdevelopment and exploitation, for example BR-1 SP (1970; São Paulo, Pin. Estado) and Bananas (1971; Washington, DC, Mus. Mod. A. Latin America). In 1971 he won a trip abroad in the National Salon of Modern Art (Rio de Janeiro), which took him again to New York between 1972 and 1973. On his return to São Paulo he began the series Battlegrounds, in which he submitted the previously reclining bananas to slashing, torture and putrefaction. Subsequently shapes were reorganized into configurations of an undramatic Surrealism, playful, colourful, tumescent and as firmly rooted as ever in his native Brazil and Latin America....

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

Marco Livingstone

(b Washington, DC, Dec 26, 1924; d in Albany, NY, Feb 9, 2013).

American sculptor and painter . He studied art in 1949–50 under Amédée Ozenfant in New York. During the 1950s he designed and made furniture in New York, but after a fire that destroyed most of the contents of his shop in 1958 he turned again to art, initially painting abstract pictures derived from memories of the New Mexican landscape.

Artschwager continued to produce furniture and, after a commission to make altars for ships in 1960, had the idea of producing sculptures that mimicked actual objects while simultaneously betraying their identity as artistic illusions. At first these included objets trouvés made of wood, overpainted with acrylic in an exaggerated wood-grain pattern (e.g. Table and Chair, 1962–3; New York, Paula Cooper priv. col., see 1988–9 exh. cat., p. 49), but he soon developed more abstract or geometrical versions of such objects formed from a veneer of formica on wood (e.g. Table and Chair...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Dodge City, KA, June 7, 1934).

American painter. He studied at City College, Los Angeles (1953–5), California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA (1955–6) and Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles (1956–7). Between 1961 and 1973 he lectured at various art colleges. After initially studying ceramics, Bengston began to concentrate on painting in 1956 and participated in the first group show at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1957, which put him at the centre the region’s new avant-garde, alongside such figures as Ed Kienholtz and Ed Moses. He is best known for the elegiac, Dada-esque tone of his work in the 1960s, when he was heavily influenced by the motorbike and car culture of Southern California, from which he drew motifs such as chevrons, Draculas and love hearts. Mr. Britt (1960; see 1988 exh. cat, pl. 3) is typical in its placement of sergeant stripes in a square in the centre, surrounded by a flat covering of forest green. ...

Article

Margo Machida

Asian American mixed-media and installation artist and cultural activist. Ken Chu came to the United States from Hong Kong in 1971, settling in California where he received a BFA in film studies from San Francisco Art Institute (1986). Relocating to New York City after graduation, his encounters with local Asian American artists, activists and cultural organizations supported his artistic efforts, in which he often drew upon subjects that emerged organically from personal experience in the US as a gay Asian man. Adopting popular cultural idioms from film and comics, while also drawing upon symbols and motifs from Chinese and other Asian cultures, his imagery from this pivotal period featured Asian men cast as prototypically American masculine figures, such as California surfers and cowboys, who populate colorful, imaginary scenarios of cross-cultural contact, mixing and desire. In Western societies, where the dominant norms are non-Asian and few viable role models for Asian men exist, Chu’s art strongly asserted their collective presence and place. His socially inspired work has since also engaged matters of anti-Asian violence, internalized racism, stereotyping, homophobia and the impact of AIDS on Asian diasporic communities....

Article

Frederick R. Brandt

(b Buffalo, NY, June 16, 1930; d Dec 17, 1998).

American painter and printmaker. He studied painting in Mexico City from 1957 to 1959 with John Golding (b 1929) under the terms of the G.I. Bill. His reputation as a Pop artist was established by his first New York one-man exhibition in 1963 where he showed his first acrylic paintings of the American highway and industrial landscape, such as Highway U.S. 1 – No. 3 (1963; Richmond, VA Mus. F.A.). Such large-scale canvases visually transported the viewer through a time sequence, as if travelling along a highway, catching glimpses of trees, dividing lines, signs and route markers. In subsequent works D’Arcangelo continued to examine the American landscape both as directly experienced and in the form of generalized contemporary symbols. An essentially flat and impersonal style allowed him to suggest an illusionistic space without sacrificing the viewer’s consciousness of the picture plane. This ambiguity between real and fictive space is further enforced in works such as ...

Article

Jean E. Feinberg

(b Cincinnati, OH, June 6, 1935).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, illustrator, performance artist, stage designer and poet. He studied art at the Cincinnati Arts Academy (1951–3) and later at the Boston Museum School and Ohio University (1954–7). In 1957 he married Nancy Minto and the following year they moved to New York. Dine’s first involvement with the art world was in his Happenings of 1959–60. These historic theatrical events, for example The Smiling Workman (performed at the Judson Gallery, New York, 1959), took place in chaotic, makeshift environments built by the artist–performer. During the same period he created his first assemblages, which incorporated found materials. Simultaneously he developed the method by which he produced his best known work—paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that depict and expressively interpret common images and objects.

Clothing and domestic objects featured prominently in Dine’s paintings of the 1960s, with a range of favoured motifs including ties, shoes and bathroom items such as basins, showers and toothbrushes (e.g. ...

Article

Reena Jana

(b Cologne, Germany, 1969).

American mixed-media artist of German birth and Asian descent. Ezawa studied at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1990–94) before moving to San Francisco in 1994. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (1995) and an MFA from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (2003). Ezawa is not a photographer, but his work centers around photography; he has used a variety of media, from digital animations to paper collages and aquatint prints, to revisit some of the world’s most familiar, infamous and historically significant news photographs, television broadcasts and motion-picture stills (see The Simpson Verdict). All of Ezawa’s work utilizes the artist’s signature style of flat, simple renderings that are cartoonlike and also suggest the streamlined and colorful style of Pop artist Katz, Alex.

Ezawa’s project, The History of Photography Remix (2004–6), exemplifies his approach to exploring the power of photographs as a mirror of reality and yet also a force that can manipulate memories of events and people. The project consists of images appropriated from art history textbooks, such as American photographer Cindy Sherman’s ...

Article

Tom Williams

(b Oklahoma City, OK, March 23, 1937).

American painter and sculptor. During the late 1950s he moved from Oklahoma City to Los Angeles and attended the Chouinard Art Institute (1959–61) with his childhood friend Ed Ruscha. He subsequently became associated with the emerging Pop art movement when his paintings of milk bottles appeared in Walter Hopps’s 1962 exhibition New Paintings of Common Objects at the Pasadena Art Museum.

Although Goode’s work has often been compared to that of such Pop artists as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, it shares little of their preoccupation with either the mass media or technological reproduction. In many respects, his paintings and sculptures have much more in common with the work of Jasper Johns than they do with advertisements and consumer objects. In particular, his work develops the tension between the object and the image that was so central to Johns’s flag and target paintings during the late 1950s. In his milk bottle paintings, for example, he positioned painted bottles in front of low-hung, nearly monochrome canvases to explore the dynamic between the painting as an illusion and a decorative backdrop. During the late 1960s, he also constructed a series of staircases that ran up the walls or into the corners of the gallery. These works made coy reference to the recession of pictorial space in perspectival painting (not to mention Marcel Duchamp’s ...

Article

Julia Robinson

(b Valrico, FL, 1930).

American performance artist and sculptor. Hay started out in the performance scene at Judson Memorial Church in downtown New York City in the early 1960s. He arrived in New York from Florida in 1959, after studying at the Florida State University (1953–8). His wife, the dancer Deborah Hay, was a key figure in the Judson Dance Theater, launched in the summer of 1962, and Alex Hay performed in many of its productions. In the early 1960s he assisted Robert Rauschenberg on set designs for Merce Cunningham, and danced with him with roller-skates and parachutes in Rauschenberg’s now famous performance piece Pelican (1963). After these collaborations, Hay was invited to participate in 9 Evenings: Theater & Engineering at New York’s 69th Regiment Armory (fall 1966). This initiative, conceived by Rauschenberg with critical contributions from the engineer Billy Klüver, was an idealistic effort to pair artists with engineers, to merge art and new technologies. That project evolved into ...

Article

Joseph R. Givens

(b Los Angeles, CA, May 3, 1932; d Los Angeles, CA, March 20, 2005).

American dealer, curator, and museum director. Hopps pioneered international awareness of Pop art and helped to establish Los Angeles as an internationally recognized art centre. He opened museum doors to contemporary art and paved the way for the explosion of the contemporary art market in the 1980s.

As a teenager, Hopps was introduced to modern art through frequent visits to the famous collection of Walter and Louise Arensberg. Hopps went to college to study medicine at the behest of his parents, first at Stanford University then at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), but classes in art history, jazz concert promotion, and the creation of Syndell Studio eclipsed his science curriculum. Hopps’s ambition for a large-scale exhibition of West Coast Abstract Expressionism outgrew Syndell’s salon-style space. In 1953 he arranged Action 1, one of the first exhibitions of action painting outside New York. Hopps’s partnership with artist Edward Kienholz...

Article

Kristine Stiles

(b New Castle, IN, Sept 13, 1928).

American painter, sculptor, and printmaker. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1949–53), the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine (summer 1953) and Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art (1953–4), before settling in New York in 1954. There in the late 1950s he began assembling wood sculptures from found materials, often stencilling painted words on to them, as in Moon (h. 1.98 m, 1960; New York, MOMA). He called these works Herms after the quadrangular, stone stelae guardian figures that served as signposts in crossroads in ancient Greece and Rome. Indiana called himself a ‘sign painter’ to suggest the humble origins of his artistic activity in the American work ethic and to indicate his fascination with the use of words in signs. Joining his interest in Americana with the formal and signifying elements of signs, he visualized the superficial and illusory American Dream in paintings characterized by flat bright colours and clearly defined contours influenced by the hard-edge paintings by friends such as Ellsworth Kelly and Jack Youngerman....

Article

Michael Crichton

(b Augusta, GA, May 15, 1930).

American painter, sculptor, and printmaker. With Robert Rauschenberg, he was one of the leading figures in the American Pop art movement, and he became particularly well known for his use of the imagery of targets, flags, maps, and other instantly recognizable subjects. Although he attended the University of South Carolina for over a year, and later briefly attended an art school in New York, Johns is considered a self-taught artist. His readings in psychology and philosophy, particularly the work of Wittgenstein; his study of Cézanne, Duchamp, Leonardo, Picasso, and other artists; and his love of poetry have all found expression in his work. His attention to history and his logical rigour led him to create a progressive body of work.

In 1954, after a dream, Johns painted a picture of the American flag (see fig.). At the time he was living in New York, as a struggling young artist. During the three years that followed, Johns painted more flags, as well as targets, alphabets, and other emblematic, impersonal images. None of this work was formally exhibited until ...

Article

Melissa Marra

(b Wethersfield, CT, Aug 10, 1942).

American fashion designer. Known for her exuberant, colourful designs, in the 1960s Johnson emerged as the most prominent designer in New York City’s pop scene—her use of unorthodox material was kindred to the Pop art mentality. Her designs project a sense of unabashed levity and humour that has endured.

Johnson fostered childhood aspirations of becoming a dancer, which produced an enthusiasm for costume and inspired her creativity in fashion. After one year of study at New York’s Pratt Institute, Johnson transferred to Syracuse University where, as an art major and drama minor, she took classes in fabric design. After graduating in 1964, she won Mademoiselle’s Guest College Editor contest, which garnered her an internship as assistant to the magazine’s fabric editor. During this time, she was introduced to the unconventional materials she would later use in her own designs, such as vinyl, foils, and even the industrial insulation used for space vehicles. The internship led to a position as an illustrator in ...

Article

Mary Emma Harris

(b Detroit, Oct 16, 1927; d Sag Harbor, NY, Jan 13, 1995).

American painter, draughtsman, and performance artist. He studied with Josef Albers at Black Mountain College, NC, from 1945 to 1948, where he met John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and Richard Lippold. His collages, paintings, drawings, and performances have been associated with geometric abstraction, Pop art, Neo-Dada, and conceptual art, although they do not fit neatly into any existing categories. Relationship, correspondence, interaction, metaphor, and flux are all themes of Johnson’s work, which reflects an often witty and satirical, but essentially poetic, perception. Delicate collages such as Anna May Wong (1971; New York, Whitney) incorporate found objects, altered photographs, textured surfaces, drawing, painting, words and syllables, printed text, and other materials. Similar combinations of text and image were used in his book, The Paper Snake (New York, 1965). Operating from 1968 as the New York Correspondence School and from 1975 as Buddha University, he circulated collages and other materials using the US postal system, establishing ...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(Dickey)

(b Jackson, FL, 1925; d East Hampton, NY, March 4, 2015).

American sculptor. King’s figurative human representations are recognized for their often humorous character models, which blend smooth and rough surfaces to form a unique signature style. King’s sculptures are identified as Pop art and abstraction, and are represented by a diverse range of scales from the miniature to the monumental and executed with a versatile range of media, from clay to ceramics, wood, and welded or bent metals. His early influences were Isamu Noguchi and Elie Nadelman.

King attended the University of Florida between 1942–4, and moved to New York in 1945 to study at Cooper Union where he graduated in 1948 and continued studies in art at the Brooklyn Museum Art School in New York. King traveled to Europe on a Fulbright Grant to study in Rome Italy (1949–50) and in London at the Central School (1952). King’s first solo exhibition of sculpture was in ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Cleveland, OH, Oct 29, 1932; d Los Angeles, CA, Oct 21, 2007).

American painter and printmaker. Born Ronald Brooks and brought up by his mother and Viennese Jewish stepfather, at an early age he developed a cosmopolitan outlook and compassionate socialism that had a permanent effect on him. Fired by discussions about the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War and by the seam of European history represented by his stepfather and stepgrandmother, who also came to live with the family, he educated himself as much through various voyages as a merchant seaman in Latin America as through spells at art schools, first at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, in 1950 and in 1951–2 at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, under Albert Paris von Gütersloh. After his marriage in 1953 to Elsi Roessler, a fellow American student whom he had met in Vienna, he made his first extended visit to the quiet Catalan port of San Felíu de Guixols, to which he was to return on numerous occasions over the next 30 years. From ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

(b São Paulo, Dec 21, 1931).

Brazilian painter and draughtsman. In the 1950s he studied painting and printmaking in São Paulo, New York and Paris. His early work was influenced by Dada, especially Duchamp, and by Pop art, for example The [red-light] District: Rosario Did Not Go Away. Why? (1964; Nagaoka, Contemp. A. Mus.). At the João Sebastião Bar in São Paulo in 1963 he staged the first happening in Brazil. He was an influential promoter of new trends in São Paulo, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, for example through his creation of the Rex Gallery and the newspaper Rex Time in 1966–7. His espousal of mixed media led him to carry out a series of proposals for the synthesis of the arts from 1964 to 1968; the installation Helicóptero, a circular structure 4 m in diameter, painted on both sides and containing electrical components (1967; São Paulo, Mus. A. Assis Châteaubriand), was exhibited at the opening of the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo in ...

Article

Frederick R. Brandt

American patrons and collectors. Sydney Lewis (b Richmond, VA, 24 Oct 1919; d Richmond, VA, 12 March 1999) and his wife, Frances Lewis (b Brooklyn, NY, 27 June 1922), began collecting in the early 1960s by acquiring works by leading Pop artists, to which they added major works by other contemporary American and European artists. In the late 1960s they also began to collect turn-of-the-century decorative art, beginning with Art Nouveau and later including Art Deco and products of the Arts and Crafts Movement; these collections were donated in 1985 to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA, together with funds to help build an extensive wing to house them. The Lewises also acted as patrons both as individuals and through their company, Best Products Co., Inc., supporting younger artists, sponsoring museum exhibitions and commissioning innovative architectural projects throughout the USA; among the architects and firms employed to design their striking buildings, which quickly became a trademark of the company, were ...

Article

Ernst A. Busche

(b New York, Oct 28, 1923; d New York, Sept 29, 1997).

American painter, sculptor, printmaker, and decorative artist. His paintings based on the motifs and procedures of comic strips and advertisements made him one of the central figures of American Pop art.

He first studied under Reginald Marsh in a summer course at the Art Students League, New York, in 1939, continuing from 1940 to 1943 at Ohio State University in Columbus. He was particularly influenced by the teaching of Hoyt L. Sherman, a late Fauvist painter, designer, and architect who introduced his students to modernism in a period dominated by American Scene painting. Sherman was interested in the psychology of perception and problems of pictorial representation. In his teaching he insisted that the act of representation should be separated from everyday experience and considered solely for its formal qualities, as an ‘abstraction’.

After military service in Europe in World War II Lichtenstein returned to Columbus in 1946, completing his Master of Fine Arts in ...