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(b Geneva, June 24, 1948).

Swiss draughtsman, performance artist, painter, and sculptor. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Geneva (1966–7) and at the Glamorgan Summer School, Britain (1969). Armleder is known primarily for his involvement with Fluxus during the 1960s and 1970s, which included performances, installations, and collective activities. He was a member of the Groupe Luc Bois, based in Geneva in 1963. In 1969, with Patrick Lucchini and Claude Rychner, he was a founder-member of the Groupe Ecart, Geneva, from which stemmed the Galerie Ecart (1973) and its associated performance group (1974) and publications. Armleder’s first exhibition was at the Galerie Ecart in 1973, followed in the same year by one at the Palais de l’Athénée, Geneva. The anti-establishment and anti-formalist philosophy of the Fluxus groups continued in Armleder’s mixed-media works of later years, which include the Furniture Sculpture of the 1980s. In works that couple objects (second-hand or new) with abstract paintings executed by Armleder himself, and which often refer ironically to earlier modernist abstract examples, he questioned the context in which art is placed and the notion of authenticity in art. Such concerns continued to appear in his work. Armleder’s ...

Article

Ben  

Vanina Costa

[Vautier, Benjamin]

(b Naples, Italy, July 18, 1935).

French painter and performance artist. In 1949 he settled in Nice, where in 1958 he bought a record shop, which he used to stage exhibitions. In this gallery, which he initially called Laboratoire 32, and later Galerie Ben Doute de Tout, he held his first one-man show in 1960. Self-taught, he was by this time producing paintings of large handwritten words on a plain background, often coloured black and white, as in Je suis un menteur (1959; see 1987 exh. cat., p. 24). In an equally subversive spirit he created the Vomit Pictures (1958; see 1987 exh. cat., p. 14), which consisted of black canvases on to which he vomited. In the early 1960s he became associated with Fluxus, inscribing a ping-pong ball ‘Dieu’ for his Fluxbox Containing God (1961; see 1987 exh. cat., pp. 54–5) and in 1962 taking part in the Festival of Misfits at Gallery One in London. His Fluxus editioned works were often containers filled with everyday objects or materials, 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

Marco Livingstone

(b Nashville, TN, June 1, 1937).

American painter, sculptor, installation artist, draughtsman, performance artist and film maker. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1955), at the New School for Social Research in New York (1956) and under Hans Hofmann in Provincetown, MA (1957). Together with Allan Kaprow, Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine, Robert Whitman (b 1935) and others, he was briefly an instrumental figure in the history of performance art in New York during the late 1950s with the Happenings he presented as early as 1957, most famously The Burning Building (1959), which took place in his loft at 148 Delancey Street (designated the Delancey Street Museum). With their narrative flow and elements of comedy, Grooms’s highly engaging performances were closer to the ‘painter’s theatre’ of Dine than to the events created by Kaprow or the Fluxus artists. The energy that went into these performances was soon redeployed into films, beginning with ...

Article

Anna Bentkowska

(b Wielopole, nr Kraków, April 6, 1915; d Kraków, Dec 8, 1990).

Polish painter, draughtsman, theatre director and stage designer. He studied painting and stage design under Karol Frycz (1877–1963) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, graduating in 1939. After the outbreak of World War II he organized in Kraków an experimental underground theatre (1942–4), exhibitions and art discussions. He painted and produced numerous drawings and stage designs for future performances. He was influenced by various artistic movements such as Constructivism, Expressionism and Futurism, as well as by the writings of Bruno Schultz (1892–1942) and Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (ii), whose plays he later staged. In 1947 he went to Paris, where at the Palais de la Découverte he ‘discovered’ the infinity of nature that he examined through the microscopic images of cells and cross-sections of minerals. As the scientific approach to this was beyond his means, he began to explore the natural world by developing the concept of inner, intellectual and spiritual space through the act of artistic creation. He called it ‘the umbrellic space’. A series of abstract and metaphorical paintings and drawings followed, with the motif of an umbrella that could ‘fold’ and ‘unfold’ the space (e.g. ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Düsseldorf, April 11, 1939; d Düsseldorf, Nov 24, 1996).

German painter and dealer. He studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (19587ndash;62) and in 1963 co-staged two events, part exhibition and part happening, that betrayed the influence of both Pop art and the Fluxus movement. The first, Malerei und Grafik. Sonderausstellung, was organized with fellow graduates Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter and Manfred Kuttner in May of that year, in a disused shop at 31A Kaiserstrasse in Düsseldorf. The impact of popular contemporary trends from France, Britain and the USA was evident in the second happening that Lueg staged with Richter five months later, Leben mit Pop – eine Demonstration für den Kapitalischen Realismus, in a furniture department store (Möbelhaus Berges, Flingerstrasse 11, Düsseldorf). This featured the two artists as living sculptures alongside papier-mâché figures of American President John F. Kennedy and the art dealer Alfred Schmela, as well as works by Lueg, Richter and Joseph Beuys, amongst the furniture displays. The event was critical not only of the consumerism of post-war West Germany, but also of the art scene in Düsseldorf, which was dominated by Galerie and by the Zero group. Lueg’s subsequent work under the banner of ‘Capitalist Realism’ was a loose exploration of both popular imagery and commercial patterns, in paintings such as ...

Article

Constance W. Glenn

(b Kastoria, Greece, Sept 14, 1936).

American painter, sculptor and photographer of Greek birth. He immigrated to West New York, NJ, in 1948 and graduated from Rutgers University in 1959. He participated in the earliest Happenings, and he studied art history with Meyer Schapiro and acting at the Stella Adler Studio Theater. In 1960 he created the first of his well-known boxes, for example Box No. 3, 1962–1963 (New York, Whitney). His choice of media ranged from the sensuous to the menacing, and he preferred opulent textures and colours. Tacks, pins and shards of glass encrusted such early works as Book #4 (Dante’s Inferno) (1962; New York, MOMA). Always self-referential, he first secreted a photograph of himself in early boxes and constructions. On moving to New York in 1964 he created another unconventional self-portrait: a gallery installation, Room, inspired by his claustrophobic New Jersey bedroom.

From 1969 Samaras began to produce photographs using his body as subject and metaphor in a series entitled ...

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 ...