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Article

Sofia Hernández Chong Cuy

American installation artists, active also in Puerto Rico. Jennifer Allora (b Philadelphia, Mar 20, 1974) graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Richmond, Virginia (1996), and Guillermo Calzadilla (b Havana, Cuba, Jan 10, 1971) graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Escuela de Artes Plastica in San Juan, Puerto Rico (1996). Allora and Calzadilla met in Italy in 1995 during a study abroad program in Florence. They then lived together in San Juan for a year before moving to New York City where they started working collaboratively while each participated in different residency and study programs. In 1998–1999, Allora participated in the year-long Whitney Independent Study Program, while Calzadilla participated in the P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center National Studio Program.

Allora & Calzadilla’s first important international exhibition was the XXIV Bienal de São Paulo in 1998 curated by Paulo Herkenhoff, which investigated the idea of cultural cannibalism known in Brazilian literature as ...

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Cartagena, Oct 27, 1945).

Colombian painter, sculptor and conceptual artist. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes of the University of Atlántico in Barranquilla, Colombia, from 1958 to 1960, and in Italy from 1966 to 1967 at the University of Perugia. In 1966, under the influence of Pop art, he made the first of a series of collages combining cut-outs of well-known individuals and comic strips with drawn elements. Two years later he added frosty effects and velvet flowers to his interpretations in black and red ink of figures with distorted bodies and the faces of film stars. In 1969 he began to present these in increasingly three-dimensional boxes or glass cases, accompanied by clouds of cotton wool, plastic figures and other additions that combined to make up fantastic or nostalgic scenes, dream-like and surrealist in appearance and tone.

Barrios was among those who introduced conceptual art to Colombia, for example by publishing in newspapers a series of ...

Article

Cecilia Suárez

(b Quito, Sept 8, 1939).

Ecuadorean painter, graphic designer, sculptor, installation artist, architect and teacher. He studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Bogotá, Colombia. He worked for the Graham Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC, and received a grant to attend the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, where he worked with György Kepes. Later he became a professor at the arts faculty of the Universidad Central, Quito. Bueno worked first in graphic design before going on to experiment with the incorporation of technology into art, using laser beams, mechanical pumps, plastic, glass and such elements as water, fire and air, for example in 49 Tubes, exhibited at the Bienal de Arte Coltejer in Medellín in 1972. He also combined visual art with music in such works as Flame Orchards, with music by Paul Earls, which won joint first prize with Kepes in the same exhibition. Exploration into ecological and environmental art led him to experiment with the idea of an aerial view of the urban landscape incorporating military camouflage sheets....

Article

Denise Carvalho

(b Belo Horizonte, Oct 23, 1920; d Rio de Janeiro, April 25, 1988).

Brazilian painter, sculptor, interactive artist and art therapist. She was a cofounder in 1959 of the Neo-Concrete movement, whose members laid the foundation for much of Brazilian contemporary art. The Neo-Concretists broke with the rigidity of the rationalism of Concrete art and advocated a more sensorial, interactive art. Lygia Clark and her creative soul-mate, Hélio Oiticica, created participatory works that challenged not only longstanding artistic dogmas, but also the role of the art object itself, as well as the role of the artist, the spectator, and the art institution. Their most groundbreaking works required the viewer to be part of the artwork and thereby experience it sensorially, all of which made their work difficult to categorize. Clark came to see even her exhibitions at major art events as meaningless, and her emphasis on person-to-person dialogue eventually led her into art therapy. Without a therapeutic license, she devoted her last decades solely to treating patients with her own form of art therapy....

Article

Horacio Safons

(b Buenos Aires, Jan 14, 1915; d Barcelona, Oct 14, 1965).

Argentine painter, sculptor, performance artist, conceptual artist, poet and illustrator. After studying in Buenos Aires at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes and with Cecilia Marcovich and Tomás Maldonado, he quickly established a reputation for his scandalous views, attracting extreme disapproval and equally strong support. After delivering a lecture at the Juan Cristóbal bookshop, Buenos Aires, entitled ‘Alberto Greco y los pájaros’ he was briefly imprisoned for his ‘Communism and subversive acts’. On his release in the same year he travelled to Paris on a French government grant, selling drawings and watercolours in the cafés and studying painting with Fernand Léger and printmaking with Johnny Friedlaender. Between 1956 and 1958 he lived in São Paulo, where he became aware of Art informel; he painted in this style in the late 1950s and early 1960s (Glusberg, pp. 284–5).

As early as 1959, when he had returned from São Paulo to Buenos Aires, Greco had expressed his corrosive vision of society through the form of his work. In his shows he exhibited tree trunks and rags for cleaning window gratings or floors. He moved again to Paris in ...

Article

Hersúa  

Daniel Garza-Usabiaga

[Hernández Suárez, Manuel]

(b Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, 1940).

Mexican sculptor and installation artist. He studied art at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City. In 1967 he launched, along with his fellow students Sebastian, Luis Aguilar Ponce, and Eduardo Garduño, the artists’ collective Arte Otro, which held its first exhibition in 1969 in the Academia. The work of this group, including Hersúa’s, was distinguished by perceptual and kinetic solutions produced by cheap, everyday objects, like cartoon tubes, plastic straws, and golden or silver papers and adhesives. The issue of the spectator’s participation was paramount to Arte Otro: they wanted to emphasize this condition in their work as a continuation of the forms of civil participation and organization that took place in Mexico City between 1967 and 1968 and that ended, tragically, with the state’s massacre of students and civilians in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlateloco on October 2, 1968. With this first exhibition, Arte Otro also published their founding manifesto in which they declared their practices as a “subversive alternative,” particularly toward the “established plastic values within the Mexican state and context.” With their perceptual and kinetic interests, indebted to Frank Popper’s ideas, Hersúa’s collective truly represented an alternative within a cultural context dominated by the postwar cultural and ideological debates centered in an antagonism between realism and abstraction....

Article

Susan Snodgrass

(b Madrid, Spain, 1961).

Chicago-based American sculptor also working in photography, video and installation. He received a BA in art and art history and a BA in Latin American and Spanish literature from Williams College in 1983. In 1989 he earned a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Manglano-Ovalle’s hybrid practice emerged with Tele-vecindario: A Street-Level Video Block Party, a public art project created for Culture in Action, a community-based art program in Chicago in 1992–3. Working with Latino youth in Chicago’s West Town community, an area often challenged by substandard housing, drugs and gang violence, the artist facilitated a multimedia portrait of their lives in which these youth constructed their own images and concept of self. Issues of identity, community and migration, as they relate to both cultural and geographic borders, have been explored throughout his prestigious career that includes collaborative modes of working, as well as individual works sited within the museum or gallery. For Manglano-Ovalle, culture encompasses a broad network of systems—artistic, political, environmental, scientific—in constant dialogue, negotiated by both artist and viewer....

Article

Denise Carvalho

[Saboia de Albuquerque ]

(b Rio de Janeiro, July 2, 1964).

Brazilian sculptor, multimedia and installation artist. Neto attended the School of Visual Art of Parque Lage and the Museum of Modern Art, both in Rio de Janeiro. His large-scale installations not only appeal to our visual and tactile senses, but also to our sense of smell, filling rooms with aromatic spices. Pastel, biomorphic forms create fairy tale, nurturing landscapes, inviting the child in every visitor to explore.

Neto has used stretchable, transparent fabric, from which he created hanging tubes, weighed down by sand or spices, such as turmeric, cloves, saffron or cumin. Leviathan Thot (2006; see image page for more views), a site-specific installation of polyamide created for the Paris Festival d’Automne, which was located at the central nave of the Panthéon, where his organic shapes played against the building’s Neo-classical architecture. The Creature, Malmö Experience (2006), at the Malmö Konsthall, in Sweden, was a labyrinthine landscape of organic shapes and scents. In this topological arena of lights and passageways, viewers’ perceptions were purposely disrupted as they traversed a space of biomorphic structures. For ...

Article

Francesca Ferrari

(b Goiânia, Góias, Feb 22, 1950; d London, Jun 20, 1998).

Brazilian sculptor, installation artist, and draftsman active in the UK. Nogueira was born in the central state of Goiás in 1950. After studying journalism and communication at the University of Brasília and photography at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, in 1975 Nogueira visited her brother in London and ended up settling in the metropolis. Like many Latin American artists who left their countries to avoid the persecution and censorship of oppressive governments, Nogueira found in London an artistic effervescence and a cosmopolitan atmosphere that Brazil’s military dictatorship did not encourage. Nonetheless, a sense of instability would pervade Nogueira’s oeuvre, echoing her experience of the dramatic political shifts in Brazil as well as her condition as an expatriate.

With the encouragement of her friend Ana-Maria Pacheco, who had left Brazil to study art in London in 1973, Nogueira attended the Chelsea School of Art from 1976 to 1979 and the Central School of Arts and Design, gaining her MFA in 1980. At this early stage of her artistic career Nogueira experimented with gestural, almost expressionistic paintings centered on human and animal bodies, but she also created jewelry by assembling objects that she found on the floor of her studio. This latter practice laid the foundation for the sculptures and installations through which Nogueira became an internationally acclaimed artist in the decade between 1987 and her untimely death from cancer in 1998....

Article

Annie Dell’Aria

(b Santurce, Puerto Rico, Jun 10, 1955).

American sculptor and installation artist. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Osorio came to New York in 1975 and earned a BSc in sociology from Lehman College, Bronx, in 1978. He then earned an MA in art education from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1985. Osorio spent much of his early years in New York as a social worker in Puerto Rican neighborhoods in the South Bronx, an experience that would inform both his aesthetic style and his artistic involvement with Latin American communities.

Osorio worked primarily in Assemblage sculpture, which led to more elaborate and ornate multimedia installations. From the mid-1980s, his practice was characterized by an overabundance of kitschy objects and a keen eye for the intricacies of Nuyorican (New York–Puerto Rican) material culture and family life. In 1985, a turning point in his stylistic development, he created La Bicicleta (The Bicycle) (New York, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts), which references the vehicular decoration of street peddlers in Puerto Rico in the 1950s and 1960s. This hanging bicycle covered with flowers, ribbons, plastic trees, Kewpie dolls, and many other cheap adornments was rendered useless as a mode of transportation and made entirely sculptural. Osorio’s later installations maintained this attention to vernacular decoration, but were more narrative in their investigation of urban Latino communities. For the ...

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

Daniel R. Quiles

(b Montevideo, Nov 24, 1951).

Uruguayan architect, sculptor, photographer, installation artist, curator, and art critic. In the late 1970s, she studied architecture at the Universidad de la República, Montevideo, and in the early 1980s visual art at the Taller de Artes Plásticas Guillermo Fernández and the Club de Grabado, Montevideo. The latter served as a gathering place for political artists after the dictatorship (1973–1985) closed the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes; Tiscornia ultimately became Secretary General of the Club, serving until 1988. Between 1975 and 1990 she worked in the architect Pola Glikberg’s studio designing domestic and office interiors as well as converting existing spaces for new functions, techniques, and subject matter that would later inflect her artistic practice. Tiscornia’s interplay between artistic and discursive production, spanning the fields of architecture, art, curatorial work, and academia, aligns her with other interdisciplinary practitioners in contemporary Latin American art such as her countryman Luis Camnitzer and Cuban American artist, critic, and curator Coco Fusco....

Article

Iliana Cepero

(b La Plata, Nov 29, 1915; d Paris, Jan 17, 2014).

Argentine sculptor active in France. His father was a carpenter, bricklayer, and painter. Tomasello studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Prilidiano Pueyrredón in Buenos Aires from 1932 to 1938, and then at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes Ernesto de la Cárcova from 1940 to 1944. During his first trip to Europe in 1951, he became acquainted with artists making kinetic art and promoted by Galerie Denise René in Paris. In 1957 he relocated permanently to the French capital, where he joined a vibrant expatriate community of Latin American artists.

Responding to legacies of constructivism, Mondrian’s concept of the grid, and Hans Arp’s and Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s reliefs, Tomasello began his series Atmosphère Chromoplastique in 1959. The series consisted of three-dimensional works in which small cubes, half cubes, or polyhedrons—either in white, or painted on their undersides and tilted at various angles—were attached onto a flat, white wooden surface. The white or painted surfaces of these protruding modules’ beveled edges capture the surrounding light, generating either a combination of light and shadows or color reflections in the background. At the same time, the color of the polyhedrons projects itself into the exhibition space, creating a subtle chromatic environment—hence the title “Chromatic Atmosphere.” His other series, ...

Article

Sarah Lack

(b Bogotá, Colombia, March 16, 1956).

British painter and sculptor of Colombian birth. She studied at the Academia Arjona, Madrid (1975–7) and the Bath Academy (1978–81). Her paintings and installations are concerned with architecture as a bearer of meaning and as a symbol of stability revealing how the everyday is rapidly changing. Pool Painting at Burrell’s Wharf in London (acrylic on plaster and board, oil on steel, 1991) dematerializes interior architecture into planes of colour. In a collaborative work with the architects McGurn, Logan, Duncan & Opfer, at 9–15 Bellgrove Street (light fittings, glass filters, 1996), Turnbull added other dimensions to architecture that went beyond prescriptive meaning: the glass windows of a stairwell in a Glasgow housing block were transformed into a series of coloured panes of light and reflections at night. Similarly Houses Into Flats (2000) is a series of 28 paintings in acrylic on canvas based on original building plans taken from books, maps and the internet. As an archaeologist reads ancient building plans in order to understand lost civilizations, so Turnbull invites the viewer to analyse the plans. Commenting on the globalization and cyclic nature of modern society, Turnbull alludes to both public and private buildings, from past centuries as well as the present; the varied references have included a 16th century villa, Calcutta Zoo, a North African oasis and an American apartment. Turnbull has received the Pollock-Krainer Foundation award (New York, ...