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Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Carshalton, Surrey, Mar 6, 1938; d London, July 1, 1966).

English painter and collagist. She studied stained glass at Wimbledon School of Art (1954–8), and at the Royal College of Art, London (1959–61). At the Royal College she continued to work with stained glass whilst privately making Surrealist-influenced collages and abstract paintings. Painting became the focus of her practice after finishing college, and in 1961 she exhibited alongside artists such as Peter Blake and two other painters in one of the first exhibitions of British Pop Art (London, AIA Gal.). Boty became a well-known personality in London during the 1960s, attracting attention for her striking looks and minor roles in television drama as well as through her reputation as a painter. In 1962 she and her eclectic collages were featured in Ken Russell’s BBC television film documenting British Pop, Pop Goes the Easel. By 1963 she had evolved a Pop vocabulary in her paintings using images of celebrities such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe with a celebratory and humorous approach to female sexuality. In ...

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

Kristine Stiles

Process of unsticking and ripping through successive layers of glued paper. The term first appeared in print in the Dictionnaire abrégé du surréalisme accompanying the catalogue of the Exposition internationale du surréalisme held at the Galerie Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1938. The technique developed through the use of posters torn from street walls to expose underlying images as interpenetrating forms within an overall surface. The altered posters revealed the fragmentary, confusing and alienating character of representation. Décollage represents a socially engaged practice. Unlike the constructive and atemporal unification of disparate materials in collage, from which it is derived, décollage is deconstructive and historical, an archaeological process unmasking the sequential, continuous relation of apparently dissociated images and events. In 1949 Raymond Hains began to collect, and perform the décollage technique on, commercial and political posters to exhibit them as aesthetic objects and sociological documents. Throughout the 1950s he and other artists associated with ...

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

Vanina Costa

(b St Brieuc, Côtes-du-Nord, Nov 9, 1926; d Paris, Oct 28, 2005).

French décollagist, photographer and sculptor. He began taking photographs in 1944 and in the following year, while studying sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Rennes, met the French artist Jacques de la Villeglé (b 1926) with whom he worked collaboratively from 1950 to 1953. In 1949 Hains produced his first pictures using the technique of Décollage, ripping off the successive layers of posters found on city walls (for illustration see Nouveau Réalisme and Untitled, 1990). Although the emphasis in these works is often on abstract qualities of texture and colour, he had a particular eye for fragments of text and for their political implications, as in Peace in Algeria (375×325 mm, 1956; Paris, Ginette Dufrêne priv. col., see 1986 exh. cat., p. 151). These works were first shown in 1957 alongside those of de la Villeglé, in an exhibition, Loi du 29 juillet 1881 (Paris, Gal. Colette Allendy), named after the law banning the display of posters; they led to his becoming one of the founder members of ...

Article

Julia Robinson

Term used to describe a mid-20th century art movement in America. First used in May 1957, in Robert Rosenblum’s “Castellli Group” article for Arts Magazine, and then, more dramatically, in January 1958, in ARTnews with Jasper Johns’s Target with Four Faces (1955) on its cover. Between 1958 and 1963 the “Neo-Dada” moniker was picked up and used extensively by critics worldwide. Initially intended to describe the attempts of artists in the late 1950s—between Abstract Expressionism and Pop art—to transform a subjective painterly field through collage and assemblage strategies that incorporated everyday objects. The concept “Neo-Dada,” used mostly in the context of art criticism, suggested that the new generation was reprising the strategies of the Dada movement. The original term Dada defined a spirit of protest initiated by an international group of artists who came together in 1916, at the height of World War I, in Zurich in neutral Switzerland. The complexity of this historical background suggests the fallacy of reusing the concept of “Dada” to refer to the work of American artists at the dawn of the 1960s, most of whom seized found materials with an unbridled optimism....

Article

(b Leith, nr Edinburgh, March 7, 1924; d London, April 22, 2005).

British sculptor, collagist, printmaker, film maker and writer. Born of Italian parents, he attended Edinburgh College of Art in 1943 with a view to becoming a commercial artist. After brief military service, in 1944 he attended St Martin’s School of Art in London, and from 1945 to 1947 he studied sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art (then based in Oxford). While in Oxford he saw ethnographic sculpture at the Pitt Rivers Museum and also became friendly with William Turnbull and Nigel Henderson. The influence of art from non-Western cultures is evident in such early works as Fisherman and Wife (ink, wash and collage, 1946; London, Tate). In 1947 he had his first one-man show at The Mayor Gallery Ltd in London, and in the summer of that year he moved to Paris. He remained there until 1949, meeting artists such as Arp, Braque, Brancusi, Giacometti, Jean Hélion, Léger and Tristan Tzara. He was attracted to Surrealist art and ideas and was also impressed by the ...

Article

Alfred Pacquement

(b Golfe-Juan, nr Cannes, Feb 12, 1936).

French painter. He was a self-taught artist. His early works were assemblages which included plastic objects. This appropriation of prefabricated materials led to his association with Nouveau Réalisme, and in 1961 at the Paris Biennale he presented a work entitled Hygiene of Vision, which seemed to parody the shop window displays of cheap articles. Raysse exhibited a world, new, antiseptic and modern. His approach anticipated that of the Pop artists, who likewise used objects and images deriving from advertising. He also created transparent assemblages, enclosing everyday objects in plastic boxes, like a selection of samples of the outside world. He liked to exhibit the object in its own right and in its original purity.

In 1962 Raysse constructed an environment for the Dylaby exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, called Raysse Beach, for which he re-created the summery atmosphere of holidays and of the beach, juxtaposing effigies of bathers, rubber rings, swimming pools and plastic toys, juke-boxes and parasols. He introduced a neon sign into an artificial setting that could be mistaken for the leisure section of a large store. He later used continuously flashing electric lights as living colours in sculptures recalling urban signs; among the recurring motifs that featured in these were hearts, arrows and flowers (for illustration ...

Article

Daniela De Dominicis

[Domenico]

(b Catanzaro, Oct 17, 1918; d Milan, Jan 8, 2006).

Italian painter and décollagist. He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples and in 1945 moved to Rome, where he produced oil paintings in an Expressionist manner. In 1948 he adopted an abstract geometric idiom, which he rejected on returning to Italy in 1952 after spending a year on a scholarship at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Abandoning painting, he devoted himself first to phonetic poems composed of inarticulate, onomatopoeic sounds, and from 1954 to a new medium known as Décollage: having eliminated paint tubes and brushes, he now created pictures from the layered textures and coloured shapes of commercial posters torn from city walls. The first such works, for example A Little Above (640×840 mm, 1954; see Hunter, p. 32), were essentially abstract. Encouraged by the Italian critic Emilio Villa, in April 1955 he took part in Esposizione d’arte attuale, a group exhibition held in a barge on the Tiber in Rome, which led to his being labelled a neo-Dadaist. In the same year he held a one-man show at the Galleria del Naviglio in Milan, followed by exhibitions in Venice, London and Zurich, and in ...

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Bogotá, Aug 12, 1941).

Colombian sculptor, collagist, and conceptual artist. He studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá from 1959 to 1965 and began at this time to make collages influenced by Pop art. In 1966 he made the first of his Boxes, painted in strong flat colors, often red or yellow, to which he affixed industrial elements such as telephone handsets. Soon afterwards he began to make only white boxes, using the color to complement the mystery of the objects they contained, such as the heads, arms, and legs of dolls, machine parts, wooden eggs, and domestic objects; the penetrating humor and arbitrariness with which he juxtaposed such things recalled the spirit of Dada.

In the 1970s Salcedo became involved for a time with conceptual art in mordantly critical and irreverent works, such as The National Coat of Arms (1973; Bogotá, Mus. A. Mod.). He subsequently returned, however, to sculptural objects, bringing together two or more previously unconnected elements into an unsuspected poetic unity when assembled. These in turn gave way to works concerned with the representation of water, for example a group of saw-blades aligned in wavelike patterns or rectangles of glass arranged to resemble rain. Some of these included human figures, bringing to bear a sense of solitude and anxiety that added to their poetry and suggestiveness....

Article

Martin Heller

(b Basle, May 16, 1945).

Swiss painter, conceptual artist and installation artist. After training as a photographer he had his first successes exhibiting works on panels derived from Pop art (1967–9). These were followed by further conceptual works and installations. In 1969 he had his first one-man show at the Galerie Toni Gerber, Berne, and made important contributions to the exhibitions When Attitudes Become Form, held in 1969 at the Kunsthalle, Berne, and Documenta 5 in Kassel, Germany, in 1972. In 1971 he began to paint while continuing to produce three-dimensional objects (e.g. Amore; see 1986 exh. cat.). In these early works his affinity with popular and dilettante aesthetics, kitsch, trivia, and ‘do-it-yourself’ bricolage is evident. As a summation of such interests, in 1976–8 he created Apocalypso, an enormous picture on fabric that he considered a kind of ‘world view’. In the 1980s Schnyder systematically expanded and intensified his knowledge of painting and revived such traditional genres as animal painting and, particularly, landscape painting. Several small-scale series (e.g. ...

Article

Grischka Petri

(b Leverkusen, nr Cologne, Oct 14, 1932; d Berlin, April 3, 1998).

German painter, sculptor, décollagist, composer, video artist, and performance artist. He was one of the fathers of the European Happening movement. Vostell studied typography, lithography, and painting in Cologne, Wuppertal, Paris, and Düsseldorf (1950–58). In 1959 he married Mercedes Guardado Olivenza in Cáceres, Spain. Early in his career he discovered Décollage , a technique of cutting, tearing away or otherwise removing pieces of an image. His spelling of the term, dé-coll/age, underlined the term’s dialectical implications of destruction and creation. In the 1960s he worked with chemicals to transfer the process to photography, video, and film, turning it into an all-encompassing strategy of image deconstruction, often within the iconographic framework of violence and sexuality as communicated by mass media.

Vostell’s combined décollage with car parts and television sets, being one of the first artists using such a device as part of a sculpture in 1958. In 1962 he joined the ...