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Article

Lisa M. Binder

(b Anyako, Ghana, June 13, 1944).

Ghanaian sculptor, active in Nigeria. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sculpture (1968) and a postgraduate diploma in art education from the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana (1969). After graduation he taught at the Specialist Training College (now University of Winneba), Ghana, in a position vacated by the eminent sculptor Vincent Kofi. From 1975 he was Professor of Sculpture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Anatsui’s practice often makes use of found objects including bottle caps, milk-tins and cassava graters. However, he is not concerned with recycling or salvaging; instead he seeks meaning in the ways materials can be transformed to make statements about history, culture and memory.

His early work consists of ceramic sculptures manipulated to reconfigure pieces of memory. In 1978 he began his Broken Pots series, which was exhibited the following year at the British Council in Enugu, Nigeria. Several of the ceramic works were made of sherds that were fused together by a grog-like cement of broken pieces. Making art historical references to ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Merseyside, June 23, 1966).

English sculptor and conceptual artist. She studied at Kingston Polytechnic, Surrey (1986–9), and at Goldsmiths’ College of Art in London (1992–3). She had her first solo exhibition at City Racing, London, in 1994, and in the following year was included in General Release: Young British Artists at the XLVI Venice Biennale. Banner came to prominence with her ‘wordscapes’, large text works that recount the plots of feature films or other events. The first of these was Top Gun (pencil on paper, 2.13×4.57 m, 1993), a hand-written account of the film Top Gun presented on a cinematic scale. The ‘wordscapes’ led to the publication in 1997 of The Nam, 1000 pages of continuous text describing the Vietnam war movies Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Hamburger Hill and The Deer Hunter. This unreadable text points to the excess of violence in such films, the numbing of critical faculties, as well as the mythologizing and fictionalizing framing devices used to interpret historical events. Towards the end of the 1990s she became interested in the implications of punctuation signs, dwelling on their qualities as abstract marks that give structure to text. By selecting a variety of fonts, enlarging the full stop signs to ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Philadelphia, Dec 17, 1960).

American sculptor, active in England. He obtained a BFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA, and an MFA from Goldsmiths’ College, London, in 1988. Exploring his interest in the government of behaviour by social constraint, he first used clothes and hair as materials before turning to animal remains and casts of human organs for his increasingly unsettling work. His The Cat and the Dog (1995; London, Saatchi Gal., see 1996 exh. cat., p. 4) consists of two skinned animal hides with perfectly reconstructed heads and feet. Described by the artist as frozen smiles, the animal objects act as abstract surrogates for socially repressed bestial tendencies. Be Your Dog (1997; see 1998 exh. cat., p. 10), consisting of scalped dog ears mounted on a wall as an invitation to wear them, illustrates this theme even more forcefully. Other works by Baseman represent human body parts. Muscle (1997...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Hexham, Northumberland, Feb 13, 1966).

English painter and sculptor. He completed a foundation course at Norwich School of Art (1984–5), a BFA at Bath Academy of Art (1985–8), and an MFA at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1990–92). His paintings typically reproduce the work of artists such as Frank Auerbach and Karel Appel in a slick, ‘photographic’ manner. He arrived at this manner of working after basing paintings on photographs of modernist buildings; a sense of thwarted utopianism became a central tenet in his later work. His first painting after Auerbach, Atom Age Vampire (oil on canvas, 0.82×0.72 m, 1991; priv. col., see 1996 exh. cat., p. 19), was a minutely copied, flattened rendering of the thickly impastoed original. Although such works are critical of the expressionist doctrine of emotional investment in gesture and materiality, they also retain an element of adolescent fantasy and absorption, as suggested by the title. Another strand of Brown’s art consists of copies of science fiction illustrations by Chris Foss (...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Lahore, 1962; d London, Sept 1994).

British sculptor of Pakistani birth. He studied at Goldsmiths College, London (1987–90). After initially working in a wide variety of media, Butt settled exclusively on installations in the late 1980s. Because of his early death little of his work has become widely known, but that which has demonstrates by an interest in alchemy and a thematic preoccupation with seduction, pleasure and danger. Transmission (1990; see 1995 exh. cat., p. 65) comprises a circle of objects that look like open books, resting on the floor. The glass pages reveal a triffid motif that is lit by dangerous ultra-violet light. The series Familiars includes some of his best-known work and is concerned with the dichotomy between physical impurity and divine grace. It also derives from his interest in chemical properties, each of the three parts employing a different member of the chemical family of halogens: Substance Sublimation Unit (1992; see 1995 exh. cat., pp. 72–3) employs iodine confined in tubes set up in a ladder formation (the form was inspired by the mythical Santa Scala, or Holy Ladder of Perfection); ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Nottingham, 1966).

English photographer, sculptor and film maker. He studied at Trent Polytechnic (1985–6), and then at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1986–9), at which time he was included in the exhibition Freeze (London, Surrey Docks, 1988). For his first solo exhibition in 1990 (London, Riverside Studios), he created One Photo, Four Broads and a Stretcher (photograph on wood with broad light, 5.49×2.74 m, 1990; artist’s priv. col., see 1997 exh. cat., p. 44), comprising a colour photographic reproduction of Watteau’s L’Enseigne de Gersaint (1721; Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg), greatly enlarged and cursorily attached to a wooden frame. By displaying a reproduction in this way, Collishaw highlights issues of representation, raised in the original painting through the juxtaposition of the false idyll of the fête galante, and the actualities of the art market. Much of Collishaw’s subsequent work makes historical and art-historical references that hinge around the broad theme of the interaction between nature and culture. ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Launceston, Cornwall, April 28, 1961).

English sculptor. After studying at Exeter College of Art and Design (1981–4), Davey took a Diploma at Goldsmiths’ College in 1985; his first solo exhibition followed at the Lisson Gallery, London, in 1987. Influenced by the sculpture of Tony Cragg and Richard Deacon in the early 1980s, Davey explored the formal character of the objecthood of sculpture often with a brisk humour. Button (painted steel, 0.36×1.5 m diam., 1998; London, priv. col., see 1989 exh. cat., p. 28) is characteristic of his early work: an overblown switch with cleanly finished grey top and cream-coloured rim, it borrows its form from mass-produced industrial objects, delighting in their highly finished quality, their bright colours and their abstract beauty, while denying their function. Gold (Table) (1991; see 1992 exh. cat.) marks a development towards larger work that addresses itself more directly to the viewer, in this case through its anthropomorphic size. Its title suggests a prosaic use, but its large size (with the top at head-height) again denies functionality, insisting instead on its identity as an object for pure aesthetic delectation. ...

Article

Martine Reid

(b Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC, Nov 4, 1946).

Native American Haida sculptor, metalworker, printmaker and blanket-maker. He was the grandson of the Haida blanket- and basket-maker Florence Davidson (1895–1993), and great-grandson of the Haida wood-carver Charles Edenshaw. He began carving argillite as a teenager in Masset, and in 1966 he met Bill Reid, who offered him workshop space in Vancouver. There Davidson developed new carving skills and learnt the fundamentals of the two-dimensional (‘formline’) designs used by the Haida and other tribes of the northern Northwest Coast (see Native North American art, §III, 2). In 1969 he returned to Masset to carve a 12.2 m-high totem pole, the first heraldic column to be raised on the Queen Charlotte Islands since the end of the 19th century. In 1987 Davidson and his crew produced a set of three totem poles entitled Three Variations on Killer Whale Myths for the Pepsicola Sculptural Garden in Purchase, NY. In these totem poles Davidson worked within the strict conventions of the Haida style, refining it by introducing subtle variations in design but preserving a degree of conservative austerity in which movement and individual expression are sacrificed to overall unity of form. In his early work in silver Davidson used flat patterns influenced by Edenshaw, and he went on to develop these into an innovative style of his own in screenprints, silver and bronze. Davidson’s younger brother, ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

[Catherine]

(b London, Oct 10, 1960).

English sculptor. She studied at the Camberwell School of Art (1980–83) and Goldsmiths’ College (1985–7). From the mid-1980s she made exquisite and intricate sculptures, at once seductive and grotesquely threatening. In the late 1980s her work carried an atmosphere of erotic restraint; Trace (galvanised steel, red silk chiffon, dimensions variable, six parts, 1990), was made by distending and bolting together metal strips to create brassiere-like structures. The latent sexual threat of her objects was often underscored in the early 1990s by provocative titles such as Defying Death I Ran Away to the Fucking Circus (1991; see 1997 exh. cat., p. 71), and Once Upon a Fuck (1992; see 1997 exh. cat., p. 70). Throughout this decade her work became more subtly seductive, early contrasts of red velvet and steel were exchanged for a faded, more ornamental aesthetic. From 1994 her work also became larger, more pictorial, often wall-mounted. ...

Article

Andrew Cross

(b Rochdale, Lancs, March 10, 1961).

English sculptor. He completed a BFA at Goldsmiths’ College in 1983, but did not begin showing his work until later in that decade. You Can’t Touch This (London, Hales Gal., 1993) was the title of his first one-person exhibition, which consisted of a false wall made from tightly stretched metalized polyester over a wooden frame; the illusion created was of a shiny golden lobby of an upmarket comtemporary building. A year later he constructed a ‘gold’ facsimile of a timber shed, Untitled (Shed) (1994; exh. London, Hales Gal., 1994), using the same technique. These two works had a particular resonance in the context of the site for which they were made, a confined basement gallery in a deprived area of South London, suggesting an ironic comment on the corporate façade of politics and commerce during the 1980s. When shown in Young British Artists IV (London, Saatchi Gal., ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Belfast, Aug 20, 1963).

Irish sculptor. She studied in London at Middlesex Polytechnic (1985–8) and at Goldsmiths’ College (1990–92). She held her first solo exhibition (London, ICA, 1995) only two years after her inclusion in the Barclays Young Artist Award (London, Serpentine Gal., 1993) and Wonderful Life (London, Lisson Gal., 1993). In 1998 she was the winner of the IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) Glen Dimplex Artists Award. At her 1995 ICA exhibition Hapaska exhibited perfectly finished and smoothly elusive floor and wall sculptures, as well as a hyper-realistic figure, Saint Christopher (wax, human hair, cotton, oil paint, 900×500×700 mm, 1995; London, Entwistle Gal.). The contrast between the two was typical of the highly ambiguous atmosphere evoked by sculptures that incorporated a range of synthetic materials, sound and light elements, and that often made reference to speed and travel, to utopianism and to a technological sublime. At her ...

Article

Octavia Nicholson

(Steven)

(b Bristol, June 7, 1965).

English sculptor, installation artist, painter, and printmaker. He was a leading figure in the group of ‘Young British Artists’ who emerged, predominantly in London, in the 1990s. He studied at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1986–9), and in 1988 curated the exhibition Freeze, which provided a new platform to show his own work and that of many of his Goldsmiths’ contemporaries, some of whom have since become internationally renowned. His works are explicitly concerned with the fundamental dilemmas of human existence; his constant themes have included the fragility of life, society’s reluctance to confront death, and the nature of love and desire, often clothed in titles which exist somewhere between the naive and the disingenuous. The works typically make use of media that challenge conventional notions of high art and aesthetic value and subject-matter that critiques the values of late 20th-century culture.

Dead animals are frequently used in Hirst’s installations, forcing viewers to consider their own and society’s attitudes to death. Containers such as aquariums and vitrines are also hallmarks of his work; reflecting the formal influence of Minimalism and certain sculptures by Jeff Koons, they are used as devices to impose control on the fragile subject-matter contained within them and as barriers between the viewer and the viewed. ...

Article

Andrew Cross

(b London, May 13, 1963).

English sculptor, installation artist and draughtsman. After completing his BFA at Loughborough College of Art in 1983, he returned to London to take an MFA at Goldsmiths’ College in London (1985–8); his fellow students included Damien Hirst, Gary Hume and Sarah Lucas on the BFA course. He showed with other Goldsmiths’ graduates in the exhibitions Freeze I (London, Surrey Docks, 1988) and East Country Yard Show (London, 1990). His work at this time combined a formalism with a realist aesthetic: vast installations mimicking Minimalist sculpture but employing the materials and vernacular of street market stalls, including Market (installed London, Building One, 1990). Accompanied by video footage of actual street markets, the work indicated Landy’s concerns with the value of commodity exchange and production as well as with the interplay between materiality in art (with a nod to the Minimalism of Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt) and an aesthetic based on everyday activities. The social relations present in the processes of production and exchange continued to inform installations such as ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Penzance, 1967).

English sculptor and installation artist. She studied at Bristol Polytechnic (1985–6) and Goldsmiths’ College, London (1986–9). She had her first solo exhibition, Abigail Lane: Making History, at Karsten Schubert, London, in 1992. Lane’s work of the early 1990s dealt with the presentation of bodily traces as forensic evidence. For her installation Bottom Wallpaper (exh. Lucerne, Ksthalle, 1992) she papered the gallery walls with a repeating pattern of female bottom-prints, the space also containing a chair whose seat had been converted into a large blue ink-pad; a smaller version of this work, Blue Print (1992; London, Saatchi Gal.), consists of a single chair facing one framed print of this type. Wallpaper was used again in the exhibition Skin of the Teeth (London, ICA, 1995), this time with a motif of bloody hand-prints and drips, based on a police photograph of a murder scene. The space contained other objects, such as a Jack Russell terrier petrified in cement and cast body parts hanging from the ceiling, forming an unsettling and highly suggestive scene. The uncanny (...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b London, Oct 23, 1962).

English sculptor, installation artist and photographer. She studied in London at the Working Men’s College (1982–3), London College of Printing (1983–4), and Goldsmiths’ College (1984–7) and emerged as one of the major Young British Artists during the 1990s, with a body of highly provocative work. In the early 1990s she began using furniture as a substitute for the human body, usually with crude genital punning. In works such as Bitch (table, t-shirt, melons, vacuum-packed smoked fish, 1995; see exh. cat., 1996, pp. 54–5), she merges low-life misogynist tabloid culture with the economy of the ready-made, with the intention of confronting sexual stereotyping. As with earlier works in which she had displayed enlarged pages from the Sunday Sport newspaper, the intention was to attack stereotyping on its own ground, using a base language given critical viability by an affinity to previous movements such as Situationism and Surrealism. She is also known for her confrontational self-portraits, such as ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Düsseldorf, Dec 27, 1965).

German sculptor, painter and installation artist, active in Wales. She studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ College, London (1987–90), before going on to study for an MA in Sculpture at Chelsea College of Art and Design, London (1991–2). Her work in the mid-1990s focused on modelling small three-dimensional recreations of paintings by German Romantic artists such as Caspar David Friedrich, contained in glass tanks which were filled with saline solution and dye to reproduce the dramatic sunsets and skies. Neudecker accentuated the kitsch fantasy of these landscapes, making the imagined mountains and hills ‘real’ as objects, albeit in miniature form. The Sea of Ice 1997; Eastbourne, Towner A.G. & Local Hist. Mus.) is typical of these works. The associations with German history, and in particular with Hitler’s appropriation of Romanticism, forms a cultural backdrop to these landscapes that unsettles the innocent, childlike imagery. Maps are another important motif in Neudecker’s exploration of the ways in which cultural identity is affected by personal conceptions of geography and history. In an ongoing project initiated in ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b London, Dec 12, 1958).

English sculptor, painter, printmaker and installation artist. He studied at Goldsmiths’ College (1979–82) under Michael Craig-Martin, for whom he briefly worked as an assistant, and emerged as an influential figure on the British art scene in the 1980s, with a highly inventive series of painted metal sculptures. These humorous and playful sculptures combined a loosely painted imagery with steel shapes, as in the case of This One Took Ages to Make (1983; New York, Mr and Mrs A. Safir priv. col., see 1994 exh. cat., p.15), representing a red typewriter supported by the loose pages that fall from it. Towards the end of the 1980s his sculptures became larger, more austere and minimal, and were often based on a relationship between art and architecture. As his work developed it dealt increasingly with the exploration of visual and spatial experience, often with reference to digital simulation. Imagine You are Walking (1–18)...

Article

Andrew Cross

revised by Mary Chou

(b London Aug 9, 1962).

British sculptor, painter and installation artist. Born to Nigerian parents, he grew up in Nigeria before returning to England to study Fine Art in London at Byam Shaw School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College where he completed his MFA. Shonibare’s West African heritage has been at the heart of his work since he started exhibiting in 1988, when he began using ‘Dutch-wax’ dyed fabrics, commonly found in Western Africa, both for wall-mounted works (as pseudo paintings) and for sculpted figures. Generally perceived as ‘authentic’African cloth, the tradition of Batik originated in Indonesia, and was appropriated by the Dutch who colonized the country. Manufactured in Holland and Britain, the cloth was then shipped to West Africa where it became the dress of the working class in nations such as Nigeria. Shonibare used the material as a way of deconstructing the more complex histories that determine these and other images of ethnicity. As such, he has been described as a ‘post-cultural hybrid’ or the ‘quintessential postcolonial artist’ by critics as well as the artist himself....

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Castle Eden, nr Hartlepool).

English sculptor, installation artist, curator and writer. She studied at Sunderfield Polytechnic between 1980 and 1983 and Goldsmiths’ College, London, between 1984 and 1986. In the early 1990s she used furniture and domestic objects as sculptural materials, reworking them so that they became art objects, as with Shadow Box (1990; see 1997 exh. cat.). Here a padded leather seat, which seems to be a typical gallery bench, is echoed by an abstract wall relief, also in leather; closer inspection reveals that the latter is sewn into squares that could be the interior of the seat, inducing the sensation both of sitting on the installation and of looking at what is normally ignored or unseen in the gallery. For Gold Card (1992; see 1997 exh. cat.) Smith placed gold credit cards bearing the message ‘I wanna be your fantasy’ in various phone booths along Charing Cross Road in London, adjacent to cards advertising the services of prostitutes; the invitation to use the card to buy intimacy linked ‘acceptable’ consumer lust with the taboo sale of the fantasises on display next to them. Smith often created viewing situations that encourage a reassessment of the values represented by everyday objects and scenarios, transforming the ordinary into trophies or mementos that lay bare uncomfortable associations. In the sculpture ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Chigwell, Essex, May 25, 1959).

English painter, sculptor and video artist. He studied in London at the Chelsea School of Art (1978–81) and Goldsmiths’ College (1983–5). From the mid-1980s his work has addressed the traditions and values of British society, its class system and organized religion. The range of approaches he has adopted reflects his wish to have a broad appeal and highlights his roots in a tradition of British left-wing thought. In the early 1990s he began using a personal enthusiasm for horse racing as a theme through which to explore issues of ownership and pedigree. Race Class Sex (oil on canvas, four parts, each 2.3×3 m, London, Saatchi Gal.), consists of four highly finished renderings of thoroughbred race-horses. As well as evoking the equestrian portraiture of George Stubbs, these works also direct attention toward issues of identity and the inheritance of social structures. This thematic culminated in A Real Work of Art...