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Article

Sarah Urist Green

(b Kabul, June 5, 1973).

Afghan video and performance artist and photographer, active also in the USA. After fleeing Soviet-occupied Kabul with her family in the late 1980s, Abdul lived as a refugee in Germany and India before moving to Southern California. She received a BA in Political Science and Philosophy at California State University, Fullerton, and an MFA at the University of California, Irvine, in 2000. Abdul first returned to a post-Taliban Afghanistan in 2001, where she encountered a place and people transformed by decades of violence and unrest. Since that time, Abdul has made work in Kabul and Los Angeles, staging herself in performances and creating performance-based video works and photography that explore ideas of home and the interconnection between architecture and identity.

Beginning in the late 1990s, Abdul made emotionally intense performance art informed by that of Yugoslavian artist Marina Abramović and Cuban-born American artist Ana Mendieta. At the time unable to travel to Afghanistan, Abdul created and documented performances in Los Angeles that probed her position as Afghan, female, Muslim, a refugee and a transnational artist. In ...

Article

Rebecca Swift

Advertising uses visuals (predominantly photographic) and copy (text) to convey an idea or make an affective appeal. Typically, specialists in commercial images are commissioned by companies to produce imagery to a specific brief, including such considerations as image size, media placement, and length of campaign. Until the growth in the 1980s of stock libraries, which offer a wide range of images that are licensed for use, commissioning photography was standard in the advertising industry. The proliferation of digital photography in the early 21st century has also prompted the use of consumer-generated or amateur photography in advertising. Finally, whereas most of the history of advertising has been print-based, digital advertising now appears across an array of platforms.

As a commercial practice, advertising photography is client-driven; awards for creativity inevitably go to the whole creative team of an advertising agency and not just to the photographer. Nevertheless, influential photographers have emerged from this commercial realm. Advertising is practised around the globe, but its photographic history centres on London, New York, and Paris where agencies such as J. Walter Thompson, Reynell & Son (now part of TMP Worldwide), and Publicis were established early in the 20th century....

Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Saïda, Algeria, 1953).

French painter, sculptor, photographer, film maker, writer and installation artist of Algerian birth. Born to Spanish parents, he was much affected by North African as well as Southern European culture. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre. Despite a pervasive and diverse use of media, Alberola often stressed the coexistence of his different artistic practices as leading to painting alone. His paintings relied heavily on evocative narratives, at once personal and ‘historical’. Alberola conceived of his role as a storyteller, on the model of African oral cultures. Convinced that narratives could not be renewed, he argued that a painter’s main task was to reactivate his work through contact with his pictorial heritage. The main points of reference for his paintings of the early 1980s were Velázquez, Manet or Matisse, whose works he quoted in a personal way. In the early 1980s he undertook a series of paintings inspired by mythological subjects, which he combined with his own history as the principal subject-matter of his work. The biblical story of Susannah and the Elders as well as the Greek myth of Actaeon provided his most enduring subjects, both referring to the act of looking as taboo, as in ...

Article

Jason E. Hill

(b Philadelphia, PA, April 21, 1912; d London, Jan 4, 2012).

British photojournalist of American birth. A full member of Magnum from 1957 until her death in 2012, she was, with Inge Morath (1923–2002), one of the first two women to join the agency. Best known for her unique, decade-long photographic relationship with the actress Marilyn Monroe, Arnold produced a major body of photojournalism for such magazines as Life, Picture Post, and Sunday Times Magazine of London on subjects ranging from African American culture and politics in the 1950s and 1960s to rural conditions in China in 1979.

While Arnold was studying photography under Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch at New York’s New School for Social Research (beginning in 1948), she produced a portfolio on Harlem’s vibrant culture of fashion shows. Brodovitch was so impressed with the Harlem portfolio that he recommended Arnold to the London illustrated Picture Post, which syndicated the series in 1950, launching her career. Arnold soon after turned her photographic attention to African American migrant workers operating amidst pervasive housing discrimination in Long Island, New York. Throughout her career she was acutely attuned to her subjects’ calculated self-presentation before the camera and marshalled this sensitivity to foster cooperative relations with potentially recalcitrant subjects. One such subject was Marilyn Monroe; the ‘candid’ portraits Arnold made on the set of John Huston’s ...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Nigeria, 1963).

Nigerian photographer, film maker, installation artist and writer active in Scotland. He studied Chemical Engineering at Strathclyde University, Glasgow (1981–85), before completing an MA in Media, Fine Art, Theory and Practice at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1996–8). Bamgboyé’s earliest work was photographic: The Lighthouse series (1989; see 1998 book, p. 65) initiated his interest in the representation of black masculinity by depicting his own naked body in often theatrical contortions, amid mundane domestic rooms; the frames of the photographs are attached to coat hangers, underlining the theme of domesticity and pointing to his interest in the changeable character of subjectivity. These themes were further explored in films, which he began to make in 1993: Spells for Beginners (1994; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 74) explores the breakdown of his long-term relationship with a woman through a broken mix of confessional dialogue and fleeting images of their home. The installation of which this film is a part takes the form of an ordinary living room and is typical of Bamgboyé’s technique of adumbrating his imagery with sculptural motifs that emphasize his themes. In other films he explored the issue of migration: ...

Article

Susan Kart

(b Mbarara, 1963).

Ugandan photographer, film maker, and installation artist of Indian descent, active in the UK. Bhimji was born in Uganda to Indian parents. The family fled Uganda to England in 1972 due to President Idi Amin’s expulsion of all Asians and Asian-Ugandans from the country along with seizure of their property and businesses as part of his ‘economic war’ on Asia. Bhimji studied art at Goldsmiths College and the Slade School of Art in London and her photographic work primarily consists of close-up, sometimes abstracted glimpses of seemingly abandoned spaces, objects, and landscapes. Bhimji’s work focuses on India and Uganda, which are treated as almost anthropomorphic subjects that appear restless, unfinished, abandoned, or frozen in her photographs, films, and film stills. Bhimji was one of four shortlisted finalists for the Turner Prize in 2007, and her work has been exhibited alongside such artists as El Anatsui, António Olé, Yinka Shonibare, and ...

Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Antwerp, March 19, 1946).

Belgian photographer and installation artist. He studied theatre and cinema in the late 1960s, creating a fruitful ground for his future installations and later dividing his work into four categories with the aim of blurring the frontiers of art and social reality. One such category, ‘Transformation–Installation’ was rooted in a spoof governmental pamphlet written by the artist in 1979 announcing the bankruptcy of art: he argued that art was unnecessary since it was inherently non-functional. From that point on, this ironic point of view was built into his recreations of everyday environments injected with incongruous elements, as in Driving School Z (1979; see 1998 exh. cat, p. 44), an installation in an Antwerp gallery that recreated the soulless premises referred to in the title. At once bleak and dramatic in its painstaking reconstruction, it contained furniture from a real driving school as a way of blurring the distinction between art and reality. Bijl’s polished installations have an unsettling atmosphere, as they lack any sense of human presence. Tackling issues of mass culture and its vehicles, he reconstructed some institutions in tableaux that mixed the artificiality of highly stylized objects with the tangible reality of everyday artefacts. By so doing, he questioned the identity and meaning of environments once they have been relocated to an institutionalized art context. In ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Birmingham, September 25, 1970).

English photographer and video artist. Billingham graduated from the University of Sunderland in 1994 and in the same year took part in his first group exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery, London. The series of photographs for which he has become known shows the activities of his family at home. Taken over a period of years beginning in 1990 and initially intended as source material for paintings, these photographs are a stark, painful and often humorous documentation of the emotional, sometimes violent relationship of his parents and brother. They are noted for the extraordinary sympathy with which they explore their subjects and the domestic environment. Both the black-and-white and colour prints are mounted on aluminium, unframed, and untitled, suggesting that they are to be seen as a series rather than as isolated images. The images were published together for the first time in book form in 1996. In the following year he won the Citibank Photography Prize and was included in the exhibition ...

Article

Andreas Franzke

revised by Jean Robertson

(b Paris, Sept 6, 1944).

French sculptor, photographer, painter, film maker and installation artist. Self-taught (Boltanski stopped attending school at the age of 12), he began painting in 1958 but first came to public attention in the late 1960s with short avant-garde films and with the publication of notebooks in which he came to terms with his childhood. Boltanski grew up in Paris in the aftermath of World War II. During the Nazi occupation of Paris, his Jewish father hid in a secret room, only emerging after the liberation of Paris, which coincided with Christian’s birth. The combination in Boltanski’s works of real and fictional evidence of his and other people’s existence has remained central to his art throughout his career, as has his interest in mortality and in the operations of memory and forms of remembrance. In the 1970s he experimented inventively with the production of objects made of clay and from unusual materials such as sugar and gauze dressings. These works, some of them entitled ...

Article

Hilary Gresty

(b Sheffield, July 24, 1941).

English conceptual artist, writer and photographer. He studied painting at the Royal College of Art from 1962 to 1965 and philosophy and fine art at Yale University from 1965 to 1967. From the late 1960s he adhered to Conceptual art using combinations of photographic images and printed texts to examine the relationship between apparent and implicit meaning. In his ...

Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Toulouse, 1952).

French photographer and sculptor. Bustamante studied economics at the University of Toulouse. In 1972 he went to Provence to study photography for two years, before becoming assistant to William Klein, at which time he produced his own first portfolio. His first independent work was a series of 120 colour cibachromes named Tableaux, begun in 1977 and pursued over the five next years. Conceived like paintings in their frontality and highly detailed depiction of desolated landscapes, their 8-by-10-inch formats recall those of commercial photography as well as easel painting. Selectively framed and therefore always incomplete, they lack any documentary or narrative value. Bustamante's interest in the object became evident from his five-year collaboration (1983–87) with the French sculptor Bernard Basile (b 1952), whose free-spirited reinterpretation of visual codes were called BasileBustamante. At the 1987 Documenta in Kassel, Bustamante exhibited alone. In the same year, he redirected his attention to sculpture and installation: ...

Article

Marta Zarzycka

(b Paris, Oct 9, 1953).

French photographer, writer, and conceptual artist. Calle’s work engages with absence of others, either loved ones or strangers. Her frequent use of street photography, scene-of-the-crime photography, surveillance cameras, and archival photography lend a documentary character to her work. The stories she tells in that documentary mode, however, are often mysterious and their relationship to reality remains uncertain.

In her art, Calle often acts as the pursuer or voyeur; on other occasions she places herself directly under the observation of others. One of her early works, Suite Vénitienne (1980), involved following someone that she had met at a party in Paris to Venice, without his knowledge. The photographic documentation of the project raised questions as to whether the man’s identity could be revealed by his day-to-day movements through the city, as well as imitating ironically the behaviour of unrequited love. The French philosopher Jean Baudrillard wrote an essay (...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Croydon, May 18, 1953, d London, March 15, 1996).

English sculptor, photographer and installation artist. She studied at Brighton Polytechnic (1973–6) and the Chelsea School of Art, London (1976–7). She lived and worked in London, and lectured at the Royal College of Art, Chelsea School of Art and the London Institute. Chadwick’s innovative and provocative use of a rich variety of materials, such as flesh, flowers, chocolate and fur, was hugely influential on a younger generation of British artists. Her strongly associative and visceral images were intended to question gender representation and the nature of desire. In the early performance There’s Absolutely Nothing to Worry About, which she presented with Philip Stanley at the Spectro Gallery in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1979, she staged an interaction between a lone male and female on a London Underground train. Here Chadwick dealt, from a strongly feminist perspective, with gender power relations taking place in a depersonalized public space. This theme was continued in ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b London, Nov 8, 1965).

English conceptual artist, photographer and film maker. He studied History of Art at Manchester University (1985–8) and Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ College, London (MFA, 1992–4). In 1990 he began a series of works by placing advertisements in the London magazine Loot and various newspapers, inviting people who thought they looked like God to send in their picture; this evolved into The God Look-Alike Contest (1992–3; London, Saatchi Gal.), exhibited in the Sensation exhibition (London, RA, 1997) and consisting of the original advertisement and the responses he received. For Involva (1995; see 1999 exh. cat., pp. 19–21), he advertised in a sex contacts magazine, illustrating a drawing of a woodland clearing with the caption ‘Please will you join me here?’. He then photographed the letters he had in reply in a clearing similar to the one shown in his announcement. The process of asking a question that at first appears naive or absurd is a key strategy in Chodzko’s work, the final form of which is the product of other people’s imaginations. In the late 1990s he began to target specific groups for his projects, as in ...

Article

Francis Summers

American photographers and conceptual artists of Irish and Israeli birth. Collaborating under a corporate-sounding name, Michael Clegg (b Dublin, 1957) and Martin Guttman (b Jerusalem, 1957) began making photographs together in 1980. Using corporate group portraits as their resource material, they made constructed photographs in the manner of 17th-century Dutch paintings. A Group Portrait of the Executives of a World Wide Company (1980; see 1989 exh. cat., p. 33) shows five suited men seated in a brooding darkness, their heads and hands illuminated in a chiaroscuro effect. The reference to historical paintings is made particularly explicit in The Art Consultants (1986; see 1989 exh. cat., p. 37): the figures are posed directly in front of a canvas so as to mirror the painted figures, illustrating Clegg & Guttman’s proposition that within the hierarchies of power, the essential nature of pose, emblems and dress have remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Pushing these images to the point of indetermination, Clegg & Guttman also occasionally carried out actual commissions (although not always successfully), as well as creating collaged and altered portraits such as ...

Article

(b London, 1956).

English photographer, active also in Spain. She studied at the Slade School of Art (1974–8) and became known for her large-scale, black-and-white photographs of evocative interiors and landscapes. These works often had a sense of moody abandonment to them. Collins questioned photography’s role of representing reality in a manageable scale. The huge scale of her photographs demanded a physical experience as well as a conceptual one. The location of the viewer’s body to the work also evoked issues regarding a relationship to geographic place. Collins’s subject-matter was often vistas—the desert, the city of Barcelona, where she lived, or alternatively interiors that she constructed herself by lining rooms with such materials as cardboard or mattresses. These interiors were sometimes empty and sometimes included people and objects. Most of Collins’s photographs have a sense of being open to metaphorical or symbolic interpretation because of the simplicity of the presentation. She became known as an artist who expanded the realm of photographic practice....

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

Anne Blecksmith

Term used to describe pictorial representations of objects and data using a computer. The term also implies the creation of and subsequent manipulation and analysis of computer-generated imagery and graphics. Computer-generated imagery was developed shortly after the introduction of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) in 1946. In 1950, a mathematician and artist from Iowa named Ben Laposky produced computer-generated graphic images using an electronic oscilloscope and photographed the results using high-speed film. The first interactive man-machine graphics program was Sketchpad, invented by Ivan Sutherland, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Developed for the TX-2 computer, Sketchpad allowed one to draw on the computer screen using a light pen and processed image manipulation functions through a series of toggle switches.

In 1965, scientists from the USA and Germany organized concurrent computer art exhibitions entitled Computer-Generated Pictures at the Howard Wise Gallery in New York and the Galerie Niedlich in Stuttgart. The American scientists, Bela Julesz and A. Michael Noll worked at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ, a center of computer graphic development and in ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Cork, 1956).

Irish sculptor, installation artist and photographer. She completed a BA in 3D Design at Leicester Polytechnic (1974–7), and an MA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute, CA (1980–82). Her sculptures of the early 1980s were hybrids combining religious architecture with mechanical and found objects, as in Bishop (1984–5; see 1991 exh. cat., fig.), which uses a megaphone and chair to parody the authority of the Irish Catholic Church. In the late 1980s she took over a space in a disused electricity plant near Dublin, turning it into a studio in which objects collected from the abandoned space formed the basis of her major series of installations, Powerhouse (1989–91). The exclusively male domain of the disused plant is subverted, in works such as Screen (Ladies Changing Room) (1990–91): behind screens constructed from old locker doors, hard hats with nipples attached to their tops, cast in bronze, hang from hooks. Exploring gender differences, she produces surrealistic combinations of objects that upset conventional notions of identity and power. In the 1990s Cross used cowhides and udders as a central motif in her work, as in ...

Article

Edward Hanfling

[William] (Franklin)

(b Port Chalmers, Jan 23, 1935).

New Zealand photographer, sculptor, installation artist, and painter, active also in France and Great Britain. Culbert consistently explored the workings of both natural and artificial light in his works, as well as the transformation of found objects and materials. A student at Hutt Valley High School, his artistic ability was fostered by the radical art educator James Coe. From 1953 to 1956, Culbert studied at the Canterbury University College School of Art in Christchurch. Moving to London in 1957 to attend the Royal College of Art, he became interested in the photographic works of László Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray, while his paintings were informed by Cubism. In 1961 Culbert moved to Croagnes in Provence, France; he remained in France and the UK for the rest of his career.

During 1967–8, Culbert shifted his focus from the analysis of form and light in painting to the analysis of actual light, often arranging light bulbs in grid formations. In ...