You are looking at  1-13 of 13 results  for:

  • Twentieth-Century Art x
  • Fashion, Jewellery, and Body Art x
  • Performance Art and Dance x
Clear All

Article

Adrian  

Ann Poulson

(Gilbert) [Greenburg, Adrian Adolph]

(b Naugatuck, CT, March 3, 1903; d Los Angeles, CA, Sept 13, 1959).

American costume and fashion designer. Adrian is best known for his costume designs for Hollywood films and his signature women’s suits (see fig.). Adrian was educated at the School for Fine and Applied Arts (now Parsons School of Design) in New York and Paris. He began his career in New York by designing costumes for Irving Berlin’s Music Box Revue of 1921. It was through his work on Broadway that he met the costume designer Natacha Rambova, wife of the screen idol Rudolph Valentino, and began designing costumes for films. He arrived in Los Angeles in 1924 and by 1926 was working for the director Cecil B. DeMille, who brought him to Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) in 1928. When his contract with DeMille ended, Adrian signed with MGM, where he would remain as head costume designer until 1942. At MGM, Adrian dressed stars such as Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, Norma Shearer and Jeanette McDonald. Although it was his designs for Garbo, in which he was careful not to distract from her natural beauty, that first brought him fame, it was his creations for Joan Crawford that made him a household name....

Article

John Hovell

(b Wairoa, Hawke’s Bay, NZ, Aug 27, 1939).

Maori painter, carver, weaver, costume and stage designer. His involvement with art began at Te Aute Maori Boys’ College (1954–7), Hawke’s Bay, Waipawa County, and continued with formal art training at Ardmore Teachers’ College (1958–9) and at Dunedin Teachers’ College (1960), where he trained as an art specialist. He subsequently worked for the Department of Education as an arts and crafts adviser and served on committees for national art education policies, the Historic Places Trust (with particular reference to Maori sites), art museums and tribal committees (dealing with traditional and customary art forms and architecture). He helped to promote contemporary developments in Maori arts for community buildings, meeting houses, churches and public sites, serving on private and governmental commissions. In his own work he maintains a balance between the conservation of older traditional materials and forms of Maori arts and the experimental use of new materials, such as composite chipboard, synthetic dyes, plastic-coated basketry fibres and composite, laminated board. His painted and woven-fibre works are notable for their rich but subtle colours and controlled sense of line. They vary in size from complex architectural installations or stage designs for the Royal New Zealand Ballet to designs for postage stamps. At Te Huki Meeting House (...

Article

Tom Williams

Movement in performance art that took shape in the 1960s and 1970s in which artists use their own bodies or those of their audience as the basis for their work. Body art performances have frequently involved transgression and occasionally violence, and they have often entailed extreme acts of endurance on the part of the artists. This term is typically in used in reference to artists such as Vito Acconci, Chris(topher) Burden, Valie Export, Gina Pane, Carolee Schneemann, the Vienna Actionists, Hannah Wilke, Marina Abramović and her former collaborator Ulay, as well as Brazilian artists in the Neo-Concrete movement such as Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Clark. (For information about the permanent decoration of the body, see Tattoo.)

Although the emergence of body art is often traced back to early 20th-century trends in performance art, recent accounts have pointed to Hans Namuth’s famous photographs of Jackson Pollock (1912–56) in the act of painting as a particularly important precedent. This practice was taken up by a number of performance artists during the late 1950s and early 1960s, including artists involved in Happenings such as ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Sunshine, Victoria, March 26, 1961, d London, Dec 31, 1994).

Australian fashion designer and performance artist. He arrived in Britain from Australia in 1980 and set up as a fashion designer in London’s Kensington Market, selling clothes he had made with his partner. His regular and increasingly outlandish appearances on the club circuit led to his opening the club Taboo in Leicester Square in 1985, within which he developed his performing persona. In 1988 he made his first foray into the mainstream London art scene with a one-week performance at the Anthony D’Offay Gallery. Every afternoon for one week Bowery improvised a performance in front of a one-way mirror, wearing a different costume each time and accompanied by a soundtrack of traffic sounds; the narcissism of his outlandish preening and posing, exposed to the audience with a literal transparency, was all the more comical and outrageous given his large and ungainly appearance. His subsequent performances include an appearance in 1993...

Article

Robert J. Belton

(b Jassy [now Iaşi], Romania, Aug 29, 1933).

Canadian sculptor, film maker, costume designer, playwright and poet of Romanian birth. His formal art training began in 1945 but in 1950 he emigrated to Israel. From 1953 he studied at the Institute of Painting and Sculpture in Tel Aviv. Etrog’s first one-man exhibition took place in 1958 and consisted of Painted Constructions, wood and canvas objects blurring the distinctions between painting and low relief (see Heinrich). In these works he tried to embody uncertainties that stemmed from his experience of Nazi aggression as a boy. The results were loosely expressionistic versions of geometric abstraction, derived in part from the work of Paul Klee.

Assisted by the painter Marcel Janco, Etrog went on a scholarship to New York, where he was inspired by Oceanic and African artefacts he saw in the collections there. This led to a preoccupation with organic abstractions, flowing totemic forms, and metaphors of growth and movement, seen in ...

Article

Valerio Rivosecchi

(b Faenza, Aug 4, 1909; d Rome, April 5, 1981).

Italian painter, illustrator and stage designer. He began his training in Faenza in the workshop of the Italian painter and ceramicist Mario Ortolani (1901–55). After living briefly in Bologna (1927) and Paris (1928) he settled in Rome in 1929, first exhibiting his work at the Venice Biennale in the following year. His paintings at this time, such as Nude (Susanna after her Bath) (1929; Faenza, Pin. Com.), were characterized by an emphasis on tonal relationships and on the influence of the Scuola Romana. In 1934 he began to work with growing success as an illustrator for the journals Quadrivio and Italia letteraria. The contacts he established with Paris were intensified with his move there in 1947, resulting in three one-man shows at the Galerie Rive Gauche (in 1950, 1953 and 1957), and in his paintings he evolved a cautious balance between the representation and the disassembling of the image. Some of his best-known series of paintings date from this time, including his ...

Article

Ellen G. Landau

(b Allegheny, PA, May 11, 1894; d New York, NY, April 1, 1991).

American dancer and choreographer. Graham is widely considered a major pioneer and exponent of modernism. Her collaboration with American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, who designed costumes and sets for the Martha Graham Dance Company from 1935 to 1966, and the extraordinary photographs of her in performance by Imogen Cunningham, Soichi Sunami (1885–1971), Philippe Halsman (1906–79) and especially Barbara Morgan, link Graham’s revolutionary accomplishments in dance to experimentation in the visual arts. During the late 1930s and 1940s, her belief in the ability of dance to tap the power of myth and the unconscious anticipated and was analogous to the tenets of Abstract Expressionism.

Brought up in California the daughter of a physician, in 1916 at age 22, Graham began studying dance under Ruth St Denis (1879–1968) and Ted Shawn (1891–1972). Ten years later she formed the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance in New York. While her own performances were initially based on the Denishawn style, by ...

Article

Mark Allen Svede

(b Riga, March 3, 1946).

Latvian performance artist and teacher. As a central figure in Latvia’s small hippy community of the 1960s, he declared his liberation from the cultural prescriptions of Soviet life. Though trained in clothing design at Riga’s Applied Arts High School (1964–7), he was more profoundly shaped by the music, film and fashion innovations of Western counter-culture. In late August 1972, with his musician wife, Inta Grīnberga (b 1955), he staged the happening Jesus Christ’s Wedding, notable not only as the début of performance art in Latvia but also as an expression of religious belief in violation equally of Soviet atheism and of conventional Christian doctrine. Considered subversive, a private photography exhibition in his apartment was raided by state security forces at this time. Grīnbergs’s performances and body-art works during the 1970s and 1980s explored issues of free expression, sexual identity, politics of the body, human interaction with nature, ethnographic preservation (particularly of the Liv tribe) and the supposed boundaries separating art and life. His conclusions challenged Latvian mores as often as they refuted Soviet social theory, and in its sociopolitical trenchancy his work can be considered a precursor to the performance art of ...

Article

Beatrice v. Bismarck

(b Lingen, Jan 25, 1925).

German sculptor. During World War II he worked as a hairdresser and fashion-designer and in the first post-war years trained as an actor, dancer and choreographer. This training influenced his work with marionettes, the first figurines of his ‘mechanical theatre’, begun in 1951. He used the mechanically controlled puppet to clarify movement-sequences, thus combining mechanical and balletic elements and breaking with the narrative tradition of ballet. The jointed dolls and wheel-figures, based on the human body and created for 13 Scenes (1953–5), were soon replaced by self-propelled machines. Dehumanized movement took on a self-sufficient quality in this motorial dance. Kramer’s exploration of the relation between people and technology brought him into the orbit of the Zero group. After moving to Paris in 1956, he produced 12-minute films in collaboration with Wolfgang Ramsbott (e.g. Die Stadt, 1956, Défense 58–24, 1958) and his ballet Nachtimpuls (performed in Paris in ...

Article

Christine Robinson

[Ingrid Mwangi Robert Hutter]

(b Nairobi, 1975).

Kenyan and German performance artist, installation artist, photographer, and video artist. Mwangi’s work addresses notions of cultural difference, social conventions, racial categories, and national identity, primarily through an autobiographical lens. She has often utilized her body as a subject and engaged with questions related to her own African-European heritage. In 2005 Mwangi shifted from a mostly solo practice to a collaborative partnership with her husband, German artist Robert Hutter (b 1964). From that time, the pair has worked and exhibited exclusively under the name IngridMwangiRobertHutter. Together they have explored larger human experiences and universal issues of stereotypes, fear and negotiations between different cultures, genders, nationalities, and religions through multimedia works that have produced cross-cultural dialogues.

Mwangi was raised in Nairobi by a German mother and a Kenyan father. In 1990, as a teenager, she moved with her family to Germany and studied at the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar in Saarbrücken from ...

Article

Dora Pérez-Tibi

Reviser Kristen E. Stewart

(b Paris, April 20, 1879; d Paris, April 28, 1944).

French costume designer, dress designer and painter. Despite paternal opposition to his precocious artistic gifts, Poiret attracted attention with his first fashion drawings for Mme Chéruit at the Maison Raudnitz, 21, Place Vendôme, Paris. From 1898 to 1900 he worked for Jacques(-Antoine) Doucet and distinguished himself by creating the famous costume ‘Aiglon’ (Fr.: ‘eaglet’; the nickname of Napoleon II; untraced) for Sarah Bernhardt. From 1901 he worked for the fashion house Worth, where he designed the Eastern-influenced cloak, ‘Confucius’ (1901–2; Paris, Mus. Mode & Cost.). Poiret opened his first fashion house in 1902 on the Rue Auber in Paris. There he produced innovative designs such as the kimono coat and the ‘Révérend’ (1905; Paris, Mus. Mode & Cost.) and enlarged his clientele of famous customers. In 1910 he opened new salons in a large 18th-century house, in the Avenue d’Antin, where he created his famous ‘hobble-skirted’ dresses, drawn in at the hem. Dubbed the ‘Prophet of Simplicity’ in a ...

Article

Jordana Moore Saggese

(b Baltimore, MD, Nov 15, 1948).

African American sculptor, jeweller, printmaker, installation artist, performance artist, and poet . Daughter of the renowned quiltmaker Elizabeth Talford Scott (b 1914), she received a BFA in art education from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, in 1970 and her MFA from Institute Allende in Mexico in 1971. She also studied at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, ME. As a visual and performance artist, Scott is most noted for works that engage with both politics and popular culture. The signature of Scott’s visual work is the application of beads, which she frequently used in her sculptures, installations, and jewellery. Her predilection for a material typically associated with craft, rather than fine arts, was inspired in part by the handicraft traditions of African and African American cultures. Such traditions were very familiar to Scott as her maternal grandfather was a basket-maker and a blacksmith and her paternal grandfather was a woodworker; her mother and grandmother both made quilts as well. The use of beads also connects Scott to a broader history of art. For example, one can see the influence of Yoruba beadwork in her creation of objects that are both beautiful and functional. The work also extends beyond Africa to include many other cultures and communities—Native American, Czech, Mexican, and Russian—which all have beading traditions. Scott’s manipulation of so-called women’s arts (i.e. quilting, sewing, and beadwork) connects her to a longer tradition of black feminist artists including Betye Saar and Howardena Pindell. Even with these connections to personal, cultural, and artistic histories, however, Scott’s materials are unique in that the sparkling and seductive surfaces they create are integral to the artist’s desire to shock and to surprise her viewers....

Article

( Isabel )

(b Glossopdale, Derbs, April 8, 1941).

English fashion designer. The early phase of her career was closely affiliated with contemporary music, including costume design for the rock band the New York Dolls. Over the course of more than 30 years in fashion, Westwood became known for her use of historical sources and her enthusiasm for British dress and textile traditions ( see fig. ).

Westwood grew up in Derbyshire, where her parents managed a post office. The family moved to north-west London when she was 17. After her grammar school education, Westwood attended Harrow Art College, where she studied fashion and silversmithing, but left after one term. She trained to become a primary school teacher, married Derek Westwood in 1962 and had a son, Benjamin, one year later.

Westwood had a subsequent relationship with Malcolm McLaren (1946–2010), whom she met in 1965 after her divorce from her first husband. They had a son, Joseph Ferdinand Corré, in ...